Watching the Child Play, 1909
Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, but I will not forget thee.
In view of the strong individualistic nature of the people who once explored and settled this country, it is astonishing and sad that so many mothers are going to work and hiring babysitters to provide physical care for their children.
Remember the old saying: If you want something done right, do it yourself. You want your child cared for in the best way, you are the answer to your own child's needs; not a baby sitter, not a nanny, not daycare.
Allow the family to help, if they are inclined.
Grandmothers want to help their grandchildren, and will be more likely to do so, if the mother is making an effort to stay home and live on the income provided by her husband. It has been a tradition for decades for the grandparents to contribute money to the family. This is what grandparents live for and what they want to do. It is what they have saved for and looked forward to all their lives. If a mother goes to work, the grandparents do not see a "need" as strongly and will not be as likely to give gifts, and decide to invest their money elsewhere.
Many women today can testify to the fact that the gifts from the grandparents helped them buy clothes and pay bills over the years when the children were little. As more mothers go to work, the older people do not have as the same incentive to help out monetarily. Families were made to work together to provide strong social units, yet many people reject this system in favor of other ways of providing for the emotional and physical needs of the children. This does not mean you should expect, or even depend on money from grandparents. It only means that birthday gifts and other special gifts are very helpful to young parents when children are small. Some parents think that if a mother stays home, there is only "one income", but forget to count the many times family and church members have given them money, food, clothes, and gifts, which helps to stretch the income.
Your child needs you during the most developing moments of his life.
A Mother and Her Two Children in the Garden
You may not think that having a babysitter or using daycare is "raising" your child, but raising children is a mixture of physical care, emotional care and spiritual care. Materialism today insists that as long as you are "providing" for your child by giving him food and a roof over his head, that you are "raising" him. Your child is more than just a physical human being with bodily needs. There is an emotional part of a child that is even more important than clothing or a nice house. Often, parents are more concerned about physical neglect than they are about spiritual neglect. Children who grow up with nice things but without a mother during the most crucial part of their lives, can lack important elements that help them to distinguish between wisdom and foolishness, right and wrong, understanding and dull- heartedness. There is a big difference in the mental capacity of those adults who have had a strong family upbringing, and those who were farmed out to daycare, schools, and in general, raised by institutions. Emotionally and spiritually, the family-raised children tend to be more mature and more able to grasp important concepts of life.
God created children and their mothers to bond. Look at the creation around you: even the animals keep their families to themselves and do not find other animals to stay with their young. This was illustrated many years ago in a poem about evolution:
The Monkeys Disgrace
Three monkeys sat in a coconut tree
Discussing things as they're said to be.
Said one to another, "Now listen, you two,
There's a certain rumor that cannot be true,
That man descends from our noble race -
The very idea is a disgrace.
No monkey ever deserted his wife,
Starved her babies and ruined her life;
And you've never known a mother monk
To leave her babies with others to bunk,
Or pass them on from one to another
Til they scarcely know who is their mother.
And another thing you'll never see -
A monk build a fence around a coconut tree
And let the coconuts go to waste,
Forbidding all other monks to taste.
Why, if I put a fence around this tree,
Starvation would force you to steal from me.
Here's another thing a monk won't do -
Go out at night and get on a stew,
Or use a gun or club or knife
To take some other monkey's life;
Yes, Man Descended - That ornery cuss -
But, brother, he didn't descend from us!"
Mother and Son
Be a Full Time Mother until your child is grown.
To turn your child over to someone else while you pursue money or personal fulfillment, is to ignore the example of Mary and Martha, in the Bible. Jesus said that Mary, who was listening to the teachings of Christ, had chosen "the better part." If you are bent on making money, you are worried about many things. Christians are not supposed to be worried about the things of this world, but to be more concerned with obeying the scriptures, which teach mothers to guide and guard their children (Titus 2:5). When a mother stays at home with her children, she is choosing "the better part." It fulfills other scriptures, because the children learn to obey their parents, not a host of other people all day, (teachers, bus drivers, coaches, etc). While it is not wrong to obey other authorities, the child must first learn to obey his own parents. Many times when parents have a struggle with obedience in their children, they find that there are too many outside authorities distracting and dividing the child's focus on life. While a child lives at home, his first allegiance should be to his parents (Deuteronomy 6, and Ephesians 6).
God made mothers especially to go with their children. The children were not created to be matched up with nannies and babysitters or daycare workers. Some mothers say, "My child will be just fine, because I have a good sitter. She will get good food during the day and have her diapers changed. My sitter knows how to keep my daughter safe. I pump my breast milk in the morning and then she has the best nutrition from her bottle while I am away."
This attitude shows a lack of awareness of the human soul, and the spirit of a child. Let me explain further. When a child feeds at the breast of his mother, he is doing more than just getting nourishment. There is more to it than just filling his tummy with the best milk ever created. There are other things that happen. It produces a sense of security and well-being. It promotes healthy sleep, heals pain, and strengthens the immune system.
You have heard of the current popular phrase, "separation anxiety"---well, that should never be, because the motehr and child were not designed to be separated. It is normal to feel anxious when mother is not around, and wise mothers will not leave their children while they pursue other things. Childhood is so fleeting. You will one day turn around and wonder how your children grew up so fast, and how it all happened in such a hurry. Savor those years and be content at home with your children and you will not regret it.
Playing With Baby
The emphasis on physical care can often diminish emotional care.
It is true that changing diapers, feeding a baby, bathing them, dressing them, playing with them, and even holding them, can be done by anyone. However, in the natural form of things, a baby is designed to bond with the mother, while these things take place. Even an adopted child, when treated as though he were a natural born child, responds favorably to this bonding.
While a child is being fed, he looks into his mother's eyes. While he is diapered, he looks up into his mother's eyes. When he is being dressed, he looks at his mother's hands and arms. When a mother holds her baby, the baby is aware of the special scent of his mother. When playing or holding the baby, he knows how his mother's lap feels. He instinctively knows the difference between his mother's voice and that of a babysitter.
A Child's Moments are not Replaceable.
So what is wrong with getting a babysitter while you go back to work? There are a number of things that both the mother and the child lose, when this happens, but first, it is necessary to understand that no place of employment is more important than the care of your own child. The work you do is replaceable. You can train someone else to do your job, and then stay home with your child.
When you leave your child, you miss a lot of his life: his first work, his first tooth, his first step. It might not seem like much, but all this was intended by God to give happiness to the mother. When she misses out on this, she misses out on a certain part of her own personal maturity and development.
Worry is at the base of it. If a mother has a husband who has a job, she should learn to live on his income and not worry about bringing in more, herself. Her job now is to care for her children full time. One day that time of her life will be gone, and she will wonder how it went so fast. While the children are home, mothers need to be home, too.
Many women worry that they will not be able to return to their place of employment if they are away too long, but the moments of a child's life are never, ever retrievable. While you may go back and pick up where you left off at work, doing the same job you always did, a baby grows and changes, and you need to grow and change along with your child.
Places of work and industries change over time. What might have been a promising career may be on the way out, as things change, or jobs are eliminated due to mechanization or lack of money. It is foolish to depend on a job being there for the rest of your life, or to think that a company will look after you financially all of your life. Some companies go broke before they can even repay the retirement funds that the employees have paid into it. Mothers need to focus on the emotional and spiritual investment they can make in their children, instead of worrying about retirement, benefits, and insurance.
'"Fear of man brings a snare," the Bible says," but he who trusts in the Lord will always be safe." Sometimes a mother will take on a job and explain that it is "just for the insurance." This is not necessary at all, when insurance is available for the smallest income families, and if they shop around, they can find something affordable. To go to work "for insurance" is to give your days and your life to a place of business while you give your children over to someone else who is in the child care business.
Children belong at home with their mothers. In the book of Proverbs are many verses which instruct parents to teach and train their children, and to instill wisdom and understanding and knowledge. Babysitters cannot do it. Nannies cannot do it, and daycare cannot do it. A baby may not be able to understand some of the deeper aspects of something like wisdom, but by staying home with him, he develops the wisdom of his mother: my mother loves me and is my full time caregiver. When you turn him over to someone else, his wisdom is developed in a different way: a babysitter is the way we look after children. From a very tender age, a child develops his values from those he is around the most. Who will your child copy, emulate, immitate, look at, and obey?
One danger of having babysitters, nannies and daycare when children are small, is that it makes it easier to turn them over to the State for the remainder of their youth, to be indoctrinated in the government schools. Through daily separations, mother and child become more detached from one another and in the end there are two people related to one another without a real relationship.
Feminist indoctrination from youth can make a young mother feel that she must go to work and put her child in the care of a babysitter. She has seen her mother and grandmother do it, all her friends do it, and it looks like a normal course of life to her.
In some cases, women who have worked for many years and waited quite awhile after they married in order to get financially ready to have children, will only stay home after their baby is born for a few months, and then go back to work. These women have already worked, and "served their time" in the work place outside the home, having taxes extracted by government and state to support all the welfare programs and free things the state provides.
Why do they want to leave the child they have waited so long for? In some cases, it is a life of indoctrination, or belief, that causes them to go to work in the office and leave their child with a sitter: They may have mothers who were feminists and pride themselves on their degrees, which cost them a lot of money, time, and effort, which they believe they must put to use at all times. They raised their own daughters to get such a high education that they think they too should keep plodding away at work, while someone else stays home and enjoys the changes and the growth of their child.
Young mothers may also be steeped in feminism, which robs them of their natural instinct to be with their own children during the most teachable and impressionable moments of the day. Growing up in schools and colleges, they learn to be workers outside of the home, instead of workers at home, like the Bible says, and they outsource their own children to other workers outside of their homes.
They may also feel compelled to leave their daughter or son with someone else so they can retrieve the job they had, and keep it until retirement. They worry about benefits and insurance, more than they worry about the love they share with their children. Women's studies classes in major universities promote the idea of working rather than staying home just to nurture and teach their own children until they grow up. Surrounded by feminist mothers and grandmothers, other career women, and their friends from college, particularly the women's studies classmates, who believe that children are best developed in daycare and schools, mothers have a lot of pressure as well as "support" to follow this path.
The love of money, the Bible says, is the root of all kinds of evil. This is another reason that mothers leave their children, but in the quest for money to pay their rent or house payment, they lose something very precious: the natural closeness they would have with their children. They do not know how much they will need this in later years. They tend to think their children are just like other children and we are all one big family. However, each child was made to mentally and spiritually and physically bond with their own mother, not with a sitter or a nanny. No sitter can ever love your child the way that child is supposed to be loved. No one can provide the kind of bonding that God created just for a mother and her child. Christian women should not be like Martha, worrying about the physical things of life more than about the spiritual things. When they become more concerned about insurance, benefits and retirement, than they are about every growing moment of their child's life, they are not choosing the "better part."
I pray that all mothers that are leaving their children today will turn around and go home. If you will do what God says to do, you'll be provided for.Many women have done this, and found out that the sky did not fall, and they did not lose everything or end up living in a cardboard box. It is an opportunity to test your faith.
There are many women who cannot have children and long for them, desperately. They see young mothers taking their child-bearing years for granted, and leaving their children so that they can go to work. These childless women grieve at this. Some women wait a long time to have children, and would not dream of doing anything else but raising them. There is a time for everything. During your child's stay with you in your home, is the time to be home with them.
A Little Coaxing
To read more about the other benefits of breastfeeding, go here
See also, "No Need For Nannies" here.