17 March 2008
“Are you hot?
Are you cold?
Are you wearing that?
Where’s your books and your lunch and your homework at?
Grab your coat and your gloves and your scarf and hat.
Don’t forget; you got to feed the cat!” (1)
Anita Renfroe wrote these catchy words for the song “Momisms”, sung to the
familiar tune of the William Tell Overture. Her words best describe a typical day of
mayhem through the eyes of a mother. Mothers who stay at home know that at times,
their lives can be discombobulating. Despite the chaos, stay-at-home mothers get the
tremendous responsibility of only having one chance of raising their children in such a
way that makes a difference in their children’s lives and in society.
Throughout history, society has looked upon the male as the breadwinner: the one
expected to work and support the family. The mother has been viewed as the nurturer:
the one to stay home and raise the children. During the 1960’s, women wanted more
rights, power, and the ability to get higher paying jobs. Women were given this right so
they expressed this new found freedom by going to work outside of the home. As
women sought employment, their children were left to the care of babysitters and day
care workers. Because society has redefined the role of a mother to be one who is an
important element in the workforce, the loss of the mother in the home has led to the
decline of the family unit, and thus, to society. This forfeiture has created a generation
for whom social morals and values are not as important as they once were. Perhaps this
is due to a working mother being absent from the home where she is unable to personally
instill these ethical standards in her children, thus leaving her children to receive their
value system from strangers. “Society truly does begin at home”, asserts Sibyl Niemann,
so, in order to return to a culture with better morals and values, the importance of the role
of the stay at home mother should be restored. (2) In this way, stay at home mothers can
It is disappointing when mothers are devalued for staying at home to raise their
children. Richard Lowry states, “There is something valuable in a mother’s caring for
her own child.” (4) In general, no one can take care of your child in the same way his or
her mother would. A mother’s care is usually superior to daycare since she naturally
wants what is best for her child. “According to a non-partisan Public Agenda survey in
2000, roughly 80 percent of parents with children five and younger say a stay-at-home
parent is best able to give children the “affection and attention they need.”” (qtd. in
A mother’s individual care can also curb the aggression that is evident in day
care centers. “A study done by the National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development (NICHD), reports that, kids in non-maternal care tend to be associated with