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In Europe (and other places) moms get paid to stay home, sometimes for many months or even a couple years. Why can't moms in the US get paid to stay home and raise happier, healthier children?

I raised all my kids working full or part time while their dad also worked, usually at night, it was hell, really. All anyone ever talked about regarding this topic was 'better child care' or 'more affordable child care' (which was NEVER affordable, so we didn't do it.) And all the time I kept reading about other countries where moms and even dads got paid to stay at home with their young children. I wish I could have done that, be we needed the money too bad. And I could never figure out why the government would pay someone to take substandard care of my children, (although we never did have the government do this) so I could go work at a crappy job, but would not pay me to stay home and take really good care of my own kids. So now that I am just about done with the parenting I am still wondering why we are the only industrialized country that cares so little about our children, all the while ranting about 'family values'. so new moms what do you think? would you rally around a chance

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Asked by Mamma_Tree at 2:17 AM on Jun. 21, 2008 in General Parenting

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Answers (5)
  • I stay at home... in saying that I think it is because we are a lazy nation and the down side would be more babies being born and not so they can take care of the child as you mention. I to wonder about meny things that would be so helpful, in a perfect world but the realites is a few people abusing a good thing ruins it for us all

    Answer by vidasmama at 3:50 AM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • and yeah, we ARE NOT lazy, we work longer hours than many other industrialized countries, and I know I have not been lazy, working and taking care of 4 kids, and going to school at times, yeah, that's not lazy! And I probably had it easier than many, after all I was married most of the time and he worked too. ok, but there are actually right now, as i type, countries where women are getting paid to take care of their own kids, because their countries have put children FIRST. how could you abuse a system if it's open to everyone?

    Answer by Mamma_Tree at 2:25 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

    here's a nice overview from the BBC, if you'd like to see that it IS possible

    Answer by Mamma_Tree at 2:32 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • I'm in England, we're encouraged to stay home with our kids but it's only been in the past few years I would say that it's been recognised that mums should be home with their kids and still get a income from maternity pay or state benefits. But, at the same time, I am on benefits and the authorities make it very clear they are eager for me to enter employment again ASAP! Even tho I think our law states we can be at home and on benefits til our kids are 11 years old. Not that I plan on not working for that long!

    Answer by MeAndLo at 3:15 PM on Jun. 21, 2008

  • I've been thinking the same things for a long time. Since parenting is often considered "womens work" here, I know it's not taken as seriously. Politicians give a lot of talk to how they value the traditional family and motherhood, but when it comes down to it, most moms can't afford to stay home. This country hands out corporate welfare so freely and no one complains. Yet the very THOUGHT of subsidizing parents who wish to stay home and raise their kids brings up thoughts of "welfare queens" and abuse of the system. It's a shame that is how little we value the role of parents, especially mothers in our society. Great question!

    Answer by feministmama at 10:12 AM on Jun. 24, 2008

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