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Log

Women In The Workforce Damages Children Redux

181 posts in this topic

Middle class children are adversely affected by time spent in childcare, a study claims.

They suffer ‘significant declines’ in their development, health and standards of behaviour, researchers found.

The poorest youngsters benefit from being in nurseries or with childminders, and wealthy parents can afford the highest quality childcare.

But youngsters in the middle – the ‘lion’s share’ of the population – fall behind in developmental tests, suffer more ill health and behave more aggressively.

The study, being presented today at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference, suggests that childcare leads to a substantial drop-off in parents’ involvement in their children’s upbringing.

The damaging effects are most marked for boys and for youngsters aged from birth to two, prompting the researchers to suggest that childcare may not ‘be suited for children aged zero to two’.

Academics from Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, studied a highly subsidised childcare scheme in Quebec.

Families who took part in the scheme were compared with similar families elsewhere in Canada, with 10,000 youngsters a year being studied.

Children were assigned a series of scores for their development and behaviour, based on the results of assessments and questionnaires.

Childcare was found to significantly improve development for disadvantaged children.

But the ‘lion’s share of the population experienced significant declines in motor-social development and health measures as well as increased behavioural problems’, the study found.

It added: ‘The reported benefits for children with least advantage, the grounds on which universal childcare is often justified, stands opposite to negative outcomes for the bulk of children.’

http://www.dailymail...l#ixzz1qWIpqPEX

Read more:

Commentator Vox Day sums it up thusly:

In other words, unless you're a dysfunctional single mother [...] in which case the minimal childcare provided by indifferent minimum-wage workers is actually an improvement, your kids will be worse off.

The tragic thing is that most of these absentee mothers historically did not work and the main reason they are working now is in order to provide what they imagine will be to their children's advantage. But what is the point of being able to afford an extra car or give your child a computer and a smartphone if you're going to handicap him with "significant declines in motor-social development and health" from an early age?

Throw in the reduced wages produced by the entry of middle class women into the labor force and the 30 percent increase in female labor force participation from 1950 to 2010 and it's not hard to understand why the USA is now facing a perfect storm of children's issues combined with marital and familial problems.

Note that Vox is not claiming that single mothers, per se, are dysfunctional.

This seems to be empirical data in support of the Proclamation on the Family. What's your take?

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I agree fully. My own Jacquie didn't work (but for a few months) any time our children were still home. (Nor has she since, btw.)

But there is another, rarely mentioned, side to this discussion: the economics.

I did a personal study of the effects of working outside the home back in 1980, while we were stationed at Ft. Hood, Texas. I was a captain in the US Army, making a reasonable $25,000/year. Jacquie had not yet earned her degree, so she would have been able to earn about $10,000, if that. (Multiply these figures by at least five to get 2012, inflation-adjusted numbers.)

After I calculated the costs of having a job (additional taxes, another car, work-necessitated clothing, eating out more often because we'd both be too tired to cook, having to buy more expensive prepared food from the Commissary/Kroger, et cetera., etc., &c.), we found that her $10,000 would not completely cover her expenses. And that was before I calculated child care.

In a word, I could not afford to have her work outside our home.

Let's assume, against the evidence, that her job would have been "profitable". What would we have ended up with?

  • A tired, cranky wife 50 weeks a year.
  • Fifty hours a week with her not home, doing the things that make life bearable.
    • A messier house.
    • An empty house.
    • Cold pizza three times a week.
    • The list goes on and on and on and ...

    [*]A wife with divided loyalties: to us, her family, and to her boss.

    [*]All the headaches that go along with maintaining a second clunker of a car (or the additional expenses of someone else to keep it running)

    [*]The list goes on for a very long time.

It would not have been a winner, no matter how much she might have earned.

If there was a "break-even point", where her income matched the additional expenses, should we have gone ahead and had her go to work? I'd say no. In fact, even if she really did make a profit on her efforts, I'd still say no because my Jacquie is worth far more to me than $5,000 or even $25,000/year.

And that is without considering the things from the study which are of far greater consequence.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers
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For the stats itself:

  • What developmental delays are they talking about….some are far more important than others.
    • Motor development isn’t all that important. If a kid learns to walk at 1 or 18 months will have littler effect on their long term development

    [*]What constitutes behaving aggressively?....another study I’d hear about called it assertiveness and marked it a good thing….it was based on the researcher’s preconceived biases.

    [*]Ill-health should be expected. Kids get sick….and when there are a lot of them they get sick more often. School has the same risk factors in my mind. So do large families.

    [*]“suggests that childcare leads to a substantial drop-off in parents’ involvement in their children’s upbringing.” à problem of correlation not equaling causation. Childcare in and of itself probably doesn’t lead to drop-off. I’d be more apt to believing it could entail how long parents work, if there’s two parents in the household, divorce rates, problems at home, etc. These could easily be linked to the both childcare and lowered involvement

For the summation:

I have some major problems with it, because not even the results (that I question) support his claims. He leaps from data stating childcare can have negative effects to mothers need to be at home. One major flaw I see is the assumption that it’s the mother’s job and subsequent failure to a child’s development. What happened to the dad’s responsibility to their children?

I’d be interested about measuring how long the father is in the home and at-home dads for comparison. My bet is that it’s not about parents being outside of the home. It’s about the fact that both parents are out for inordinate amount of time. A traditional household and non-traditional stay-at-home dad household I would assume would have similar development for there children, because children have someone actively participating in their development who is invested. It’s less about mommy not staying with the kids and more about how we’ve structure business practices in many areas that minimizes family time in general.

This seems to be empirical data in support of the Proclamation on the Family. What's your take?

I’m not seeing it. I don’t see where the proclamation dictates that mothers should be in the home all the time. It’s assuming that the word nurture is equivalent to the idea of at-home.

With luv,

BD

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I don’t see where the proclamation dictates that mothers should be in the home all the time. It’s assuming that the word nurture is equivalent to the idea of at-home.

To quote a recent Conference talk: "We spell 'love' T-I-M-E."

It's only been in the last few decades that the idea has prevailed that only the women qualified to raise children are those who are paid to do it for others.

We still hear the claims that "children are our future" and "children are the most important things in our lives." I don't believe it is true any more for a very large number of people, including the parents of so many children. At least if the "Iron Law of Humanity" (you can tell what a person or entity really wants to accomplish by observing the results of his actions over time) is true (and it is), then these claims are blatant lies. People do not care about children much any more. At best, children are trinkets to many, mere status symbols.

Lehi

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To quote a recent Conference talk: "We spell 'love' T-I-M-E."

Yeah....T-I-M-E for dad; T-I-M-E for mom....quality time, not necessarily quantity time. Working outside the home does not necessitate that either parent must check out on childrearing. My point was that the problem with work environments is that many of them take way too much time away from family for both parents.

It's only been in the last few decades that the idea has prevailed that only the women qualified to raise children are those who are paid to do it for others.

Funny, this is the first time I've heard that idea period...color me skeptical.

With luv,

BD

Edited by BlueDreams
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From the Proclamation itself.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Psalm 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations...

Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation..

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Yeah....T-I-M-E for dad; T-I-M-E for mom....quality time, not necessarily quantity time. Working does not necessitate that either parent must check out on childrearing. My point was that the problem with work environments is that many of them take way too much time away from family for both parents.

No one has claimed that fathers are not important, but they are important for other reasons.

Mothers nurture, fathers praise.

I agree that fathers frequently get an undeserved pass on their contribution, and that they pass off their responsibility to scout masters, coaches, Sunday School teachers, etc. But tu quoque is a fallacy: just because fathers are not doing their job is no reason (and even less) that mothers should abandon theirs, too.

this is the first time I've heard that idea [that only women who are paid for it are qualified to raise children] period...

It seems you have not been listening very well. A large part of the "feminist" movement implicitly claimed that women should not stay home to raise their own children because that would be stultifying and limiting. Thus, when a mother who now must work to be "fulfilled" goes off to work, she must find someone else (usually another woman) to raise her children for her, and pay her to do so. We see repeatedly that mothers are not qualified to teach their children at home (the NEA and governmental departments of education, too, are famous for saying so), but "teaching" is what "raising children" is all about.

To an earlier point: feminism has also painted fathers as irrelevant. Since women can do it all, the only purpose men serve is to provide spermatozoa (and money—but the government does that, so it's only the one thing). But this has led to the horrific case of Trayvon Martin, an essentially fatherless kid who, suspended from school for drugs and using the Twitter name NO_LIMITS_N***GA, hadn't learned enough self control from his father to fit into society. What happened the night of 26 February, we may never know, but it is clear that, hoody in place, he was punching out a Hispanic man who was trying to protect his and his neighbors' property from burglars. Burglars who had not learned self control from their fathers, either.

color me skeptical.

Can't—you're already blue.

Lehi

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With respect to the OP, BD, I get this from your post.

1. You are not actually aware of any methodological problems with the study, and

2. You object to the conclusion.

Is it fair to say you have a dog in that fight?

Lehi, I think your 1st post was crystal clear and on point.

The reason this topic stuck with me was one of the resident trolls is directly contradicted by this study, which, interestingly enough, pertains directly to the relevant country. He claimed there was no tradeoff involved in women having a family and employment, that women should choose ambitions within the economic power structure, that women should put those ambitions before family (implicitly contradicting the "no tradeoff" claim), and that society (here, I read gov't) should intervene to make sure women had the proper ambitions and values to take their rightful place in the economic power structure.

If studies should show similar disparities between publicly schooled students versus, say, homeschooled students, what course of action should "society" take if "society's" true concern is the best interests of the children?

Because, of course, "society's" true concern is not the best interests of the children. The pursuit of money justifies all things.

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Yeah....T-I-M-E for dad; T-I-M-E for mom....quality time, not necessarily quantity time.

The myth, nay, the lie, that "quality" time is more important that "quantity" time is another insidious concept that destroys family.

You can't have quality without quantity. How much, what the threshold is, depends to an extent on which parent we're talking about. But mothers' job simply takes more time than dads' does.

I do not understand how, but there is an important connection that happens when a diaper gets changed, or an owey is kissed, or a report card opened [when mom('n'dad) has decided to outsource raising children], or a child climbs a tree and yells "Look at me!" If mom's not there, the connection still happens, but it happens with someone else. The "collagen" that links one generation to the next sticks, instead, between the child and the "caregiver".

Jesus warned us about hired caregivers: they don't care for the sheep children because they are there working for a check, and nothing more—they will not risk their lives for their charges, as a legitimate shepherd does.

Lehi

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This is one of the reasons I'm such a champion of birth control. People should not have children if they cannot take care of their basic needs. Basic needs for a child include a lot of time with the parents who love them. On the other hand, I am not anti daycare if the daycare is very good and the child is only there for a reasonable amount of time. This is a problem that is really unique to "nuclear family" societies--not all societies. Other societies might deal with this by having grandma and grandpa or aunties tend the children.

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No one has claimed that fathers are not important, but they are important for other reasons.

Mothers nurture, fathers praise.

That's not what it says in the proclamation either.

I agree that fathers frequently get an undeserved pass on their contribution, and that they pass off their responsibility to scout masters, coaches, Sunday School teachers, etc. But tu quoque is a fallacy: just because fathers are not doing their job is no reason (and even less) that mothers should abandon theirs, too.

That's not my argument. Read over it again. The problem isn't mothers working or men working outside the home. The problem is how work has been structured that pulls anyone who works away more from their family. For any family in any circumstance, that's a problem. 50-60 hr work weeks are too long period.

It seems you have not been listening very well.

My interests is women and issues facing them. I just spent my time with two different classes over 6 or so months that are oriented to studying women's issues. Both entail a ton of reading and contain tons of "feminist" readings, new articles, etc. On average I read something at least once a day connect to gender issues. I promise, I'm listening very well. The idea you give in that extreme is not there in massive numbers. The closest thing that I've seen proclaiming this idea was the first generation kibbutz in israel (after reading the second post that explained it more). So I stick with my first point: the idea as you've presented just isn't there in large numbers.

Can't—you're already blue.

Just in my dreams.

With luv,

Bd

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KtG:

True enough, but Death, Divorce, Disability, and Job lose will make other plans necessary.

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I joked with a work collegue once. who used childcare within a year of the child's birth. that now you have outsourced her care she will outsource you to the nursing home, after selling your house.

BTW I understand the Swedes after trying childcare now pay the mother to stay at home. But then women complain if they take time off to care for their children they will lose some opportunities of advancement in their careers.

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I don't know how employed moms do it. If I worked full time and had to deal with everything else, I would lose my mind! I have also been disgusted by too many daycares to ever put my kids in one. I know there are some good ones, but I still feel like small children especially aren't having their emotional needs met.

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That's [mother nurture, fathers praise] not what it says in the proclamation either.

Did I say it was from the Proclamation? If so, I was mistaken.

There is more truth about families than is in scripture, including the Proclamation.

Lehi

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Commentator Vox Day sums it up thusly:Note that Vox is not claiming that single mothers, per se, are dysfunctional.

This seems to be empirical data in support of the Proclamation on the Family. What's your take?

Being Catholic, I am not familiar with the Proclamation of the Family, but anticipating the times in which we find ourselves, a recent pope spoke disparagingly of the trend for women to see the role of mother with diminished esteem:

We see a woman who in order to augment her husband's earnings, betakes herself to a factory, leaving her house abandoned during her absence. The house, untidy and smal perhaps before, becomes even more unbearable for lack of care...Scarcely ever do they find themselves together for dinner or rest after work--still less for prayer in common. What is left of family life? And what attraction can it offer to children?
To such painful consequences of the mother from the home there is added another, still more deplorable. It concerns the education, especially of the young girl, and her preparation for real life. Accustomed as she is to see her mother always out of the house and the house itself so gloomy in its abandonment, she will be unable to find any attraction for it...She cannot be expected to appreciate their nobility and beauty or to wish one day to give herself to them as a wife and mother.
---Pope Pius XII, 1945, Woman's Duties in Social and Political Life

I was glad to see Lehi's good post. My good wife also worked a few wretched months when we had children at home. Last year our oldest daughter married, and now approaching thirty years together, it is the two of us again. Lis asked about getting a job. I thought about it. I decided quickly, in the negative. Spend time in the garden. Make the house beautiful. Prepare great dinners. Visit the grandkid. Volunteer. Mothers have endured their punishment for the Fall, pain in childbirth. Without serious reason, they should not have to endure a man's punishment too.

But this crazy world has everything about it upsidedown. Modern women really think they want to work. And then they see. Its not what you think. Its not that great. If you have to work I am not trying to discourage anybody but my goodness, nobody should want to work. Work is to prepare us for those lovely hours and sometimes days of leisure and rest. Vacation! Or even retirement! There is a reason why we get money in exchange for our labor.

We get money for toil because work is NOT its own reward.

Motherhood is unpaid. Why? Because emphatically...motherhood IS its own reward

Edited by 3DOP
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KtG:

True enough, but Death, Divorce, Disability, and Job lose will make other plans necessary.

Those things happen of course. I don't think they are large factors in this particular problem though. I don't imagine a large percentage of these mothers are young widows. Also, if hubby loses his job and wife has to go to work, dad can watch the kids. I've seen that scenario several times in my neighborhood and it worked out pretty well. Divorce--definitely a huge factor. Not sure how job loss translates in to middle class daycare. It seem more likely to translate into increase welfare benefits.

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Being Catholic, I am not familiar with the Proclamation of the Family, but anticipating the times in which we find ourselves, a recent pope spoke disparagingly of the trend for women to see the role of mother with diminished esteem:

---Pope Pius XII, 1945, Woman's Duties in Social and Political Life

I was glad to see Lehi's good post. My good wife also worked a few wretched months when we had children at home. Last year our oldest daughter married, and now approaching thirty years together, it is the two of us again. Lis asked about getting a job. I thought about it. I decided quickly, in the negative. Spend time in the garden. Make the house beautiful. Prepare great dinners. Visit the grandkid. Volunteer. Mothers have endured their punishment for the Fall, pain in childbirth. Without serious reason, they should not have to endure a man's punishment too.

Just out of curiosity, why shouldn't a woman work once her children are raised? (if she wants to.) I recently returned to school and I feel happier than I have for years because I don't WANT to be at home all the time. I feel too isolated. I want to be around other people and use my mind and learn new things and feel connected to the world around me.

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On average I read something at least once a day connect to gender issues. I promise, I'm listening very well. The idea [that the only women qualified to rear children are those paid to do it] you give in that extreme is not there in massive numbers. The closest thing that I've seen proclaiming this idea was the first generation kibbutz in israel (after reading the second post that explained it more). So I stick with my first point: the idea as you've presented just isn't there in large numbers.

I'd be pleased to see "large [or massive] numbers" of "feminist" opinions and articles stating that mothers are better qualified to raise children than hired "caregivers". I'd love to read that politically powerful/influential "feminists" support women's staying home with their children.

I'd like to read one of these advocates of "equal rights" state unequivocally and forcefully that motherhood (not mere birthing) is as valuable as engineering, medicine, law, or political office. I'd like to see one of them say that stay-at-home moms are the backbone of civilization, or affirm that the hand that rocks the cradle ought to be Mom's.

Lehi

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The problem isn't mothers working or men working outside the home. The problem is how work has been structured that pulls anyone who works away more from their family. For any family in any circumstance, that's a problem. 50-60 hr work weeks are too long period.

Yet until the early XX, everyone worked 60 hours (or more) a week. But people worked from home, not in "the office". Their children grew up around them, and learned to work by doing it themselves. Today, it's nearly impossible for a child to learn how to work, because the law forbids his going to Dad's factory or construction site. It forbids Molly from watching Mom make hats in her milliner's shop downstairs.

Yes, the modern workplace and contemporary work itself are not family-friendly. But that does not mean that Mom should foist off her children to a hireling to raise for her.

Lehi

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I'd be pleased to see "large [or massive] numbers" of "feminist" opinions and articles stating that mothers are better qualified to raise children than hired "caregivers". I'd love to read that politically powerful/influential "feminists" support women's staying home with their children.

I'd like to read one of these advocates of "equal rights" state unequivocally and forcefully that motherhood (not mere birthing) is as valuable as engineering, medicine, law, or political office. I'd like to see one of them say that stay-at-home moms are the backbone of civilization, or affirm that the hand that rocks the cradle ought to be Mom's.

Lehi

I think you are stuck in the 70's Lehi. :) I've never heard a woman say that daycare providers are better qualified to care for children than their mother (except where mom is negligent.) If I have heard a woman say (or write) it, I shrugged her off as an extremist. Most women I know of this generation are more open to daycare, but still don't particularly like it.

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<p>

With respect to the OP, BD, I get this from your post. 1. You are not actually aware of any methodological problems with the study, and 2. You object to the conclusion. Is it fair to say you have a dog in that fight?

In issues relating to family, don't most people have a dog in that fight? I haven't met someone who isn't affected in someway by family

What I have is my life experience. All (4) of my parents work outside the home. They both have very different ways of doing it. Both have their problems in how that works, both have their benifits. One household hasn't ever used childcare providers. The other household always has. I myself was with a baby sitter till I could take care of myself. Are there problems to it? Yeah, there's problems with every system....I can't state that it was directly connected to my mom working....most familial systems are not that easily reduced. But there are also benifits, I think, that I've appreciated or that my brothers have appreciated as well.</p>

I don't have a problem with childcare providers, mothers who work outside the home, mother who stay at home, fathers who work oustide the home, or fathers who don't. My question is about balance. Is it it balanced? Does it work? Do the children feel secure? Do both parents have the needed time with their children. That's not a question of statistics, but a question that'll range from family to family.

For LeSeller's family, his family was (one of the minority of families) that had a working traditional system of familial responsibility that worked. Good for him. Probably won't work for me. Couldn't work for my family. Hasn't worked for tons of other families as well. I'm not about to negate every other family structure (which is the majority of families nowadays) to esteem another.I don't associate nurturing exclusively with meaning stay-at-home mom.

The myth, nay, the lie, that "quality" time is more important that "quantity" time is another insidious concept that destroys family. You can't have quality without quantity. How much, what the threshold is, depends to an extent on which parent we're talking about.

Lehi, I simply don't see things so black and white. My point is balance, not negating either quality or quantity. How we balance, in what manner, is individualistic...based of different family needs, desires, and pressures. Quantity is necessary for there to be quality but does not necessesitate that quality is given

The "collagen" that links one generation to the next sticks, instead, between the child and the "caregiver". Jesus warned us about hired caregivers: they don't care for the sheep children because they are there working for a check, and nothing more—they will not risk their lives for their charges, as a legitimate shepherd does.
Poor analogy. Most of the caregivers that we've had did care. They were carefully chosen, often became family friends, and were good in general. Who knows, maybe I'm an optomist, but I can't imagine not wanting to risk my life for a child. Not that I don't think there's exceptions... but they're exceptions, not the rule. Right now, my family's babysitter is the ward relief society president while one of my bros goes to a catholic-owned preschool. At some points it's been me.

With luv,

BD

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I think you are stuck in the 70's Lehi.

Possibly. I am Peter Pan.

I've never heard a woman say that daycare providers are better qualified to care for children than their mother (except where mom is negligent.) If I have heard a woman say (or write) it, I shrugged her off as an extremist. Most women I know of this generation are more open to daycare, but still don't particularly like it.

Then it ought not be too difficult to provide any of the items I would love reading. But I am not going to hold my breath. Because, aside from "50 Great Ways to Please Your Man in Bed" and "Lose 20 pounds by the Fourth of July", the only articles I see trumpeted on the women's magazines at the Safeway checkout are about how to have children and still work at a "fulfilling" job.

Lehi

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This seems to be empirical data in support of the Proclamation on the Family. What's your take?

Too bad you didn't post the original study. The newspapers themselves publish no names with the study, merely stating it was done by "academics". What is an "academic"? Undergraduate? Graduate?

Furthermore they state that the study was done by someone(s) at Queen's (English speaking university) of a Quebec childcare "scheme" (French speaking). Anything get lost in the translation?

If you're interested I can show a dozen studies from Sweden, where I both live and work and my wife is Principal for two Childcare schools (not schemes), that show that early childcare does not have detrimental effects on children. In fact, the studies of the childcare system, in place for many decades and Absolutely Not staffed by minimum wage employees, has many beneficial effects on children. Studies here do not, however, have much good to say about dysfunctional homes, regardless of whether it is a dysfunctional single mother or dysfunctional pair that parent.

Childcare is not, in and of itself, better than care by parents. It all depends on the quality of the care and the controls in place that ensure good care. Subsidies do not figure in the equation. Throwing money at a system doesn't make it better. Money does figure into the equation when it attracts quality workers in an already carefully developed system. My wife just hired a new teacher, starting salary 29,000 Swedish crowns (that's 4,350 US $ a month). My daughter-in-law works in Oslo as a Pre-school teacher, starting wage 35,000 Norwegian crowns (that's 6,000 US $ a month).

While my children and their spouses work, their children receive quality childcare. I am understandably proud of my grandchildren but I see no dysfunctionality in their social skills nor school work that so many here loosely attribute to public childcare, quite the contrary.

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Today, it's nearly impossible for a child to learn how to work, because the law forbids his going to Dad's factory or construction site.

I think you're right on the money Lehi, and in a perfect world women wouldn't be working outside the home. I also think Katherine is right that you are stuck in the 70s. Women have been in the work force for some time and economically I don't see how I could do without my wife working. With the costs of education, we've been set up for women to be working for a long time. You can't just change that on a whim. You have to pay the loans off first. The decision to work outside the home was made in the 70s. It was the wrong decision. Now we have to make the best of it and pay the price for it. That means all hands on deck, women and men alike.

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