May 12, 2020 6:05 pm
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Categories: Commentary Culture Motherhood The New York Times NYT Western Journal work ethic

I had the opportunity to read Kim Brooks’ take on motherhood during the COVID-19 pandemic in The New York Times.

Her point is illustrated well, and she makes the case that mothers should receive compensation for their work during this crisis.

If no one is bringing in money for the household except the government, Brooks argues, then the mother should be paid something for her efforts to raise the children.

I understand.

But I disagree.

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Brooks points out that “staying home to raise children is one of the most devastating financial decisions a woman can make.”

What she calls a “devastating decision,” I call an investment.

I grew up the last of four boys in a busy home in Southern Ohio. My father worked and brought home a modest income, while my mom “worked” even harder to take care of us. And we were a handful. We all played sports, and Mom always made sure our stomachs were full and our laundry was clean. We never went without.

Looking back over the years, I cannot recall her ever mentioning that her decision to stay home to raise her sons was “devastating.”

Should mothers who stay at home to raise children be paid during the coronavirus pandemic?

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She had a career at one time and almost died from a car accident while driving back from a midnight shift when I was only 2. After that, she stayed home to raise her children. I never heard her complain about being a stay-at-home mother and raising her kids into young men. If she did, it wasn’t in front of us.

I know she viewed it as an honor and obligation, because she and Dad made the decision to have a family.

When my wife and I had children, our motivation was certainly not financial.

If it is, then mothers need to consider the ramifications of having kids before they go forward. Raising a family is an enormous financial obligation and commitment.

It is not a reason to earn a paycheck from the government.

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I read through Brooks’ piece a few times and could understand the logic of her argument, and I appreciate her viewpoint.

But I never once read the words I use to describe mothers and caregivers.

Selfless. Dignified. Responsible. Magnificent. Feminine. Honored.

Motherhood is not a labor organization, nor is it a company that needs tax abatements to relocate. It is a tremendous privilege.

To me, Brooks’ article was a subtle attempt to strip away the beauty and awesome responsibility that come with being a mother.

For years, feminists have tried to slowly chip away at the moral foundation of the family. They have compared happiness and joy with money and a career.

I agree that mothers work harder than anyone I know. My wife helped me raise two young men, and we both had full-time jobs.

But the family structure has been under attack for years. The role of the mother was frowned upon by feminists as a way to keep women from making it in the corporate world.

Paying mothers and caregivers is not the answer. The original intent of the welfare system was to assist families who did not earn enough money to live. Today that system has gone from helping families to incentivizing them to have more children in order to receive a bigger check. Where does it end?

Paying moms to stay home to raise children eliminates any personal satisfaction that goes along with watching a son or daughter take their first steps. Those special moments should not come with overtime pay. They are priceless.

I understand bills need to be paid, and when people are forced to stay at home, it presents challenging times.

My family went through challenges when I was young. My wife and I faced challenging times head on and in prayer. And there will be more times of trial over the next few years.

The work of a mother lies in love, not in a (401)k package.

Come to think of it, if my mother had been paid for her job, I know without a doubt she would have slipped the bills into my pocket somehow when I wasn’t looking.

Mothers are givers, not takers.

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