Parenting Is Above All Other Jobs, Depending

Lindsey Novak on

What do you think of day care in this country? In your local area? Have you ever needed day care? Because your reason for needing it will determine how you feel about parenting.

The first "day nursery" dates back to 1898, established by Josephine Jewell Dodge, a prominent New York philanthropist who wanted people to see the need for day care, though most did not like the idea. She introduced the concept of day care in 1893 by setting up a Model Day Nursery in the Children's Building at the 1893 World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago to highlight approved methods for successful child-rearing.

In the early 19th century, mothers had been known to abandon their children upon placing them into day care, thinking their children would be better off left with others to care for them. By the end of the century, child care was associated with the poor, minorities and immigrant populations. Before 1658, Western education was taught in Latin because education was considered a privilege only for the wealthy.

Fast-forward to the 1990s. The Pew Research Center found that highly educated women (those with graduate degrees) chose to put their careers on hold in exchange for the ability to raise their children. Women who chose to be well educated also wanted their children to be raised by well-educated women themselves. They were surprised at their decisions. They apparently believed no one would take care of their children with as much intelligence, responsibility and love as they could.

As the '90s moved on, the number of highly educated women leaving the workplace to raise their own children doubled. This group admitted something inside them changed after giving birth, and the desire to be with their child was greater than the desire to develop their career. These women also could return to the workforce when they felt satisfied with putting their effort into their children's development years. They also benefited from their husbands being able to support the family without the wife's added income.

But what about women who need their income in addition to their husband's income? Here's an example most don't think is likely. A woman wants only to get married and have a baby. She graduates from an average college, majoring in a common subject that doesn't get her any particular type of job. She has a baby and soon after gets a job as a sales representative. She turns out to be a fabulously successful sales rep and realizes being a mom isn't for her.


This example is not the norm, but it's important to recognize that each person is best doing what they are meant to do. The husband makes a lower salary than his wife, and had she been forced to be a stay-at-home mother, she would have miserably failed that child. Even with a less educated, less sophisticated day care worker, day care saved the mother and saved the marriage.

Day care is now whatever the parents design it to be. A kind and caring day care worker can help to lay a foundation of values for that child in place of a cold, emotionless biological mother. Everyone benefits when the caretaker is happily providing the care that is needed. Children need to feel accepted, regardless of whether the child is cared for by a biological parent or a day care worker. We have seen many emotionally disturbed children harm others.

Many argue that guns create the violence. What we have seen regardless of the legality of guns are children, being raised by strangers or natural parents, who live with rejection daily, whether it stems from parental rejection, abuse or social isolation. Children who experience emotional harm will suffer. They need to feel love and acceptance to live positive lives.

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