Here at e2s, we spend a lot of time thinking about the benefits of being a stay-at-home mom. We are eager to encourage other moms who have chosen this role, and communicate to them that they have not wasted their lives or their college degrees. We try to emphasize the fact that raising a tiny soul is a big deal, and one that should not be quickly thrown aside.
This fall, I want to spend some time looking, not at the moms, but at the kids. What happens to kids when moms decide not to stay home?
I was surprised to learn recently how common it is for college-age Christian women to think that their giftings should be used in the workforce, and that having children is something that should not change your career trajectory. Among Christians, I found, they tend to view career as an opportunity to use your spiritual gifts. Anybody can change a diaper, they argue, so why shouldn’t I go and be an outstanding businesswoman? Or artist? Or doctor? Or critic? Or chef? Or–in New York City–an actress? My bigger talents are needed in the world, and I should contribute, they reason. Dubious spiritual-giftings theology aside, I find that they haven’t really thought through what happens to your children when you make this choice.
Over the next three months, I’ll be taking a look at the different ways children are affected by non-mother care. I’ll be looking at issues like infant attachment, whether early education is beneficial for children, what the stats on the spread of disease looks like for day-care kids, and what some possible effects of long term other-than-mother care could be.
I found, as I researched these subjects this summer, that this material is fascinating. I am much more aware of how important involved mothers are. God created mothers to uniquely be able to minister to and raise their children. I hope you’ll join me as we look at the different ways children are geared to optimally respond to their mothers with affection and development, and how the day-care experiment we’re undertaking today could have disastrous results.