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Protecting Our Children

Maternal Love is Not for Sale

By JoAnn Hibbert Hamilton

“How many daycare center workers will ever give the children in their care the kind of affection an at-home mother can?” is a question posed in The Family in America, a publication of The Rockford Institute Center on The Family in America, Feb 2004. The publication goes on to say, “Maternal love is not for sale in any daycare center.”

I wish to hurriedly assert that there are circumstances that perhaps force children into daycares, but I wonder if most can't be averted by utilizing the loving care of grandparents or other relatives. I asked a daycare provider once if she would put her grandchildren in the daycare where she worked. That daycare had a “wonderful reputation for providing stimulating experiences for children.” Her answer? “No way!” That comment came from a capable daycare provider.

In this same article, titled, “Family Failure & Economic Growth,” the author stated, “How many fast-food meals compare to a lovingly prepared home-cooked meal? . . . “And how can a split family ever hope to maintain in two homes the same level of physical or emotional comfort that they could attain with comparable resources if living in just one home?”

Again I am aware that some divorces need to be. But I did read somewhere that many marriages that were considered troubled were re-evaluated five years later and found to be good.

Many families choose the bigger house and perhaps the boat and nice car in place of mother staying home.

One of the choicest times of the day I remember is when my children came home from school. They proudly showed me their papers and read me their books. They headed for the fridge or so often shared their day.

Because our family was large, I often utilized the children to help get a meal ready. Jill became the specialist on meat, others got to choose the vegetable, or they decided to make muffins or fix a salad. Someone else set the table. Often this, too, was good talking time.

Mothers are tired as they come home from work and still have errands to run, groceries to put away and a meal to fix. And then: can they have story time, talking time and get the homework done? What about teaching values? Someone has a soccer game. How do we fit that in?

Parent Teacher Association meetings help us stay in touch with what is going on at school, but attendance is low. Why? Mothers are tired after work and they have so much to do. I watched our attorney general do Internet safety programs in school after school. In the evening, he had a parent's meeting to teach parents how to keep their children safe. I went to a parent's meeting and maybe there were 15 people there. The presentation was excellent and much needed. One of the things the attorney general's standard lines is that nearly every day a predator is picked up who has groomed a child and tried to meet him or her. My experience is that the pornography problem is rampant, but if there is a meeting to inform parents almost no one comes.

Hopefully we can look at our families and carefully decide what is really important.

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