by Elizabeth Gardner Bougeureau (wife of William Adolphe Bourgeureau)
Mother and Child
by Emile Munier
Mother and Child
by Frederick Leighton
by Frederick Morgan
by Edouard Boubat
by Emile Munier
by Sterling Brown
A Mother's Joy
by Bessie Pease Guttman
by Jessie Wilcox Smith
Sweet and Low
by Jessie Wilcox Smith
Mother and Her Three Children Awaiting at the Garden Gate for Father
Playing With Baby
by Julius Berg
An Interior With a Mother and Her Child
Mother Wishes Her Two Children Goodnight
by Walter Langley
Three Girls Praying
by Pam McCabe
(buy at Allposters.com)
There has been a lot of scandal regarding the current trend of employing nannies in our society. What a shame that a can-do people have become so dependent on agencies, schools, nannies and babysitters to care for and raise their children.
The artists have captured a natural picture of love that mothers have for their children. While some people think that you have to be rich in order to stay home with your children, these paintings do not depict wealthy surroundings. Doing simple, natural things, like showing something of nature to a child, holding them, and sharing the simple things in life is all that a child really needs.
Young women need to marry and have children of their own, rather than desiring to become nannies. They can then be the nanny for their own children. If young women spend too much time raising other people's children, they be discouraged from having their own children. Mothers need to take care of their own children, because they were created for it.
Mothers and children were made to interact with one another, and each one will mature and grow from the relationship they form with each other. It is not natural for a mother to go to work for someone else while she hires another person to look after her children.
Mothers, won't you please stay home with your little ones? They need you so much, and no one else will do! You are not replaceable. There is no substitute for the mother in the most receptive and teachable moments of a child's life.
I have read that some mothers who take their children to parks to play will see nannies with other people's children, and report them to their employers if they are neglecting the children in their care. Sometimes these nannies will be on their cell phones while the children are getting in harm's way in a play-park, or sometimes the nannies are just abusing the children.
A mother may be watching this and report a nanny to the employer (the child's mother) and the employer will fire the nanny. Then, the parent will hire a new nanny. In my opinion, it would be better to talk to the child's mother and impress on her the importance of becoming the child's own nanny and being a real mother by staying at home with her child.
Childhood is so fleeting, and mothers should be with their children in those formative years, doing simple things at very little expense. Women in the past have done it, with less comfort and less luxury than is available today. Our mothers thought that raising children was their duty and their responsibility and did not want to give the job to anyone else. There is an important influence that the mother has on her children, for she blesses them with her values and her beliefs.
Jane Austen (1775-1817) gave a low opinion of the nanny business in her novel "Emma," where a young, single woman named Jane Fairfax referred to it as the governess-trade:
"Governess trade, I assure you was all that I had in view; widely different, certainly, as to the guilt of those who carry it on; but as to the greater misery of the victims, I do not know where it lies."
There are certainly victims in the nanny business today: the women who become nannies can be held liable for injury or death of a child. A child in the care of a nanny is denied instant access to his mother, whom he needs in order to develop normally. The mother misses out on learning about her child's needs, and misses out of course, on the "firsts" of her child: first word, for step, first tooth, first waking moment, etc.
Gwen Webb wrote in her book, "Training Up A Child" (1977, The Old Landmarks Press) of a woman who kept on working even after her husband had found adequate employment. She had left her children for years, and even though she attended worship three times a week and heard many Bible lessons, she had somehow failed to be impressed with the importance of her mission of motherhood. In one of the Training Up A Child classes, Mrs. Webb implored the ladies to understand what God's expectations were for them as mothers. The woman's heart was so deeply touched, that she cried all night, and then resigned from her job with the airlines. It broke her heart to think what she had missed in all those years of leaving her children.
Later, she confessed that she was happier than ever staying home with her children and was leading a far more interesting life than she ever experienced while working away from home.
Mrs. Webb wrote in another chapter:
"No matter how highly a baby-sitting service has been assessed, it still leaves us with the fact that mother's devotion is superior to the best of child-care services."
She cited a conversation she had with a case-worker when she was adopting a child:
"Many of her professional services were rendered to juvenile court. Just a few doors away from her offices were courtrooms. As she talked, she gestured with her hands and said, 'In my judgement, the majority of the juvenile cases we deal with in the courts could be eliminated if mothers would return home.' "
Mothers have the important duty of teaching their children to believe in God and to pray and prepare for the life ahead. Who will do this if the Mother goes somewhere else for the main part of the day? God told the Israelites in Dueteronomy 6:6-8, to teach their children as they sat in their houses, as they walked by the way, as they lay down and when they rose up:
Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the LORD your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.
The duty was given to the parents, not to a substitute. They were not told to outsource their parental responsiblities. There is a lot more at stake than mere child care. A mother's presence is essential for the emotional and spiritual well-being of her children.
Post Script: I agreed to add this from an email I received:
It is even more shocking to see women who get degrees in "child development" and work for daycares and schools for children whose mother's work. These girls do not want to marry or have children, but they work all day with children. This is a bizarre twisting of the word of God, which states that young women should marry, bear children, and keep house (in that order!) Money is at the root of it, but no amount can ever replace a childhood.
Motherhood was once regarded in such high esteem that artists tried to capture the look and the feeling on canvas. Would any artist paint a daycare worker or a teacher with children in such a sentimental way as the paintings of Jessie Wilcox-Smith, Munier, Bougeureau, Bessie Pease Gutman, Frederick Morgan, Frederick Leighton, or Walter Langley? Those artists seemed to get mothers and children in real poses that still occur in real life when a child leans on his mother's knees, sits on her lap, or is cradled by her.
Money should not be the criteria in whether or not you stay home with your children. Be willing to live in something cheaper and maybe out in the country and get rid of the habit of trying to look trendy, with fancy clothes and shoes, etc. Cast aside the materialistic expectations and hold your children, read to them, talk to them as you do your housework, and notice every expression and every attitude, every movement they have. No social worker or day care worker or nanny can possibly be that interested in your child.There is no replacement for the mother.
Mrs. Webb also wrote in her book, "Training Up A Child":
Dear Daddy and Mother,
You have been very busy getting me ready every day for school. You say that it is very important that I get an educagtion. That is why you see that TV is not turned on until I have prepared my lessons for the coming school day. That is why you see that I get to bed early to prepare my body for the physical strains of school.
Yes, getting an education is a must, to prepare one for the social demands of this life; but tonight, Daddy and Mother, when I am asleep, won't the two of you tip-toe into my room and steal a look at my sleeping face? There may be a tear on my cheek, though my cares of the departed day have gotten lost somewhere in dreamland. Look at me, and ask yourselves how much spiritual education you are you giving me...Is it more important to be a doctor than to be a Christian?...Is it more important to be a nurse than an angel of God?...What kind of person do you really want me to be? Now is the time to educate me spiritually. After I have opened the door of adulthood, it may be too late.
Please, Daddy and Mother, I need Spiritual Education too, through regular Bible study and worship.
Your irreplaceable child...
If a child has a mother who is alive, it is she who ought to be caring for him day and night, not a nanny.
I grew up in an era where mothers stayed home with their children, and made great sacrifices to do so. These dear mothers did not care about personal career satisfaction or moeny-earning abilities. They cared about their children's safety and about what was going into their minds and how they were developing as human beings. They knew that emotional bonding was very essential to the whole child. If on occasion they had to get someone to stay with the children, it was a responsible older woman from the same community who already knew the family. The rare occasions would have been to help a sick friend, to attend a funeral, to go to the doctor or hospital themselves, or some other real emergency. These dear mothers were used to taking their children everywhere and including them in their lives. The children were so used to being with their mothers that the family could go to stores and restaurants easily and without a lot of fuss. This is because of the bonding between parent and child.
It is possible that mothers want nannies because they see it is the way of life today. But one by one, this awful trend can be reversed. If you are thinking of getting a nanny, please try first to find homeschool mothers on the web and learn how to live at home with your children. There are many good blogs that share this wonderful plan.