My own feeling is that whenever possible, try to keep the kiddos out of day care.
However, it is NOT a sin to put your children in day care.
And life sometimes gets messy and complicated, so the question of mom going to work or not needs to be decided on a case by case basis.
There is nothing wrong or sinful about women working. Indeed, women are a tremendous benefit to the companies who hire them: “women have much to offer the world of work, not because women are the same as men, but precisely because they are not.” Similarly, having a mom at home can also be tremendously beneficial to the family.
This is definitely a decision best left up to the family. There is no one size fits all solution.
In my case, I decided to take some time off working to be at home with my children while they were very small. I’m getting ready to go back to work at the end of the year. As a teacher, there will be enough flexibility in my workday to prioritize my family when I need to.
Someone was telling me - that his wife works - just to pay for the cost of day care !
Good article, but I can’t help but think that the arguments apply equally to Catholic Fatherhood.
This was almost me. Both grandmas said they were done helping(we were grateful for their help and understood) and I knew the kids would be going into school one more each year. Then a fourth baby made daycare costs nearly exceed my salary and my husband got a slight raise just in time for me to stay home.
Working and having all your money dumped into daycare is temporary and holds your spot at your place of work.
I’m sure that wasn’t the only reason she worked. Health Insurance was a big part of it for me.
I’m having to go back to work full time after having a long-awaited kiddo. He’ll be almost a year when he starts daycare and I’m hoping to only work a year or two before staying home and (hopefully) having more kids. NFP is working a little TOO well for my tastes, but it’s necessary for now.
The amount of guilt and heartache I have even thinking about it can be overwhelming, but then I remind myself that providing shelter, clothing and food and keeping him alive is more important than being with him 24/7.
I agree , @DeaconJeff .
As to the question “Is a Catholic mother’s place really in the home?” , I would say “Yes” , but not necessarily 24/7 .
In the same way a father’s place is really in the home , but not necessarily 24/7 .
I live in Lancashire in the north of England , a place where women traditionally worked in the cotton mills before the mills disappeared as the country’s manufacturing industries declined .
Then the necessities of WW2 here in the UK meant women having to work .
I was fortunate to have a childhood when the exptended family was still a part of the social fabric . When I started school my mother went back to work as a weaver in one of the town’s cotton mills and my grandmother cared for me . That was the pattern of life for most of the children I grew up with , and we were loved and cared for without a doubt .
I think there are two inter-related issues here.
We have devalued the vocation of motherhood. The assumption (at least where I am) is that wives work outside the house. It’s rare for a mother to be a stay-at-home mother. We’re the only family on our street where the wife does not have an outside job.
Our priorities in life are out of balance. Many families outsource the most important aspects of life, namely child raising and caring for the elderly.
Instead of mothers being with their children and teaching them how to live, the kids spend their time in school and childcare. When I was young there was no such thing as preschool; we started in kindergarten. Now, it begins with 3-year old preschool. Children learn their values from teachers rather than parents.
Similarly, the elderly are placed in senior citizens’ homes rather than moving in with family. My mom spent the last six months of her life with us, and it was a blessing for all of us.
I understand that many families need 2 incomes to survive, and some elderly need more care than a family can provide, but I believe a lot of families choose a lifestyle that revolves around new cars, summer trips and day care.
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