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Dr. Sears Revisited

Staying at home to raise our girls is a no-brainer. No subsidy required.

Dr. Sears Revisited

Time Magazine’s controversial May 21st cover photo lured me into reading the accompanying story about attachment parenting. After reading the whole article, the one thing that stuck out to me was this:

“The Seares suggest mothers quit their jobs and borrow money to make up the difference.  The couple subsidized their sons’ wives so they could stay home with the Sears grandchildren.”

The notion that one cannot afford to raise a family on a single income is what baffles me.

How about scaling back spending and relishing the simplicity in nurturing a cohesive family?

As summer approaches there is a buzz about coordinating schedules for activities, sports, camps and theme-park vacations - all in order to keep the kids occupied and entertained. To me that sounds rather stressful and expensive.

Maybe we are in the minority, but our family doesn’t make extravagant summer plans. Aside from a couple weddings and family reunions, the next three months are wide open.

We’ll pass the days packing lunch for picnics at the park, trying new recipes to use our locally-grown fresh CSA produce, taking bike rides and running through the sprinkler.

Older people are always telling me how quickly kids grow-up. We’re doing our best to enjoy these child-rearing years by just being together.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Missy Ed.S. May 24, 2012 at 04:13 PM
My family is a two-income household by personal choice. My husband and I both chose professions in non-profit organizations. We love that we have been called to minister to others while raising our family. Nonetheless, I believe that families are closer because of the relationships that are formed when spending time together. Schlepping kids from soccer to karate to dance to McDonald's (they gotta have dinner!) is a waste--not to mention stressful for all involved! My unsolicited advice here would be to choose an extra-curricular that your child is interested in and invest in that. My one son loves his t-ball. My other does not. Why force him to do something he doesn't enjoy?! We'll invest in the activity he wants to do. This could very well lead to the thing they love to do and will carry on throughout high school (maybe even scholarships!) and into the rest of his life. Furthermore, we like many who have commented, opt not to take extravagant vacations. Rather, we plan short weekends together to water parks, or grandma and grandpa's. Lastly, we are considering cancelling our cable--we would prefer our children be creative and active, not live as couch potatoes. They're so young, and the habits we instill in them now are the ones they will have forever! We spend lots of quality time together as a family. My husband and I would love to hear our children speak of their memories as, "Remember when we all....."
CowDung May 24, 2012 at 05:03 PM
It's not always a matter of forcing a kid to do an activity he doesn't want to do. Sometimes a kid is interested in playing more than one sport or activity. I know that my own children love playing both soccer and baseball. I certainly wouldn't want to force them to give one up before they know which sport (if any) they really have a passion for and want to concentrate on exclusively. Tee ball age is definitely too early to decide that baseball is the sport they will pursue. As long as they are having fun, we'll be happy to 'schlep' them to their practices and games as well as spending time playing the sports with them. I don't think that it is stressful or a waste at all. Canceling cable is one of the best moves we have ever made, the only negative is that we can't watch the soccer games at home anymore.
mau May 24, 2012 at 07:43 PM
26 years ago I gave up my job to be a stay-at-home. I never regretted that decision. I never returned to the full time workforce. I'm still at home, picking up temp or jobs from home. We never had cable. But recently got Netflix which is more than enough tv for us. As far as activities, my son was not athletic and actually a klutz. But being in a rural area he thrived with outside activities, helping with the yard work and garden, working for local farmers and neighbors. He picked up skills and an interest in the outdoors at a young age and has carried them into adulthood. Not all kids need structured activities.
anne neary May 28, 2012 at 11:57 AM
Working out of the home moms aren't deficient ...we are better planners. We schedule family time just as much as someone who stays home. We cherish the time with our children, and in many ways are children are better adjusted to life because they don't depend on mom for everything. Many families who have two incomes still chose to cut back and enjoy simpler things. The difference is that these moms are choosing to use their educations and set examples for their children. I, for one, am so tired of stay at homers with their superiority complexes. It is very possible that you stay home because you wouldn't be able to handle full time employment with full time motherhood.
mau May 28, 2012 at 05:39 PM
I left the workforce in 1986 because I was unable to find care for my baby. Both of us were working swing shifts. I came back to work from maternity leave to 2nd shift and my husband was on another back shift. At the time I attempted to get into a straight day shift job but was unable to do so as there were no vacancies. I had no family to depend on, there were no day care centers to cover 2nd and 3rd shift. In hind sight it worked out for the better. As far as depending on mom, isn't that the way it's supposed to be. If it weren't we should all institutionalize our children from birth. When I was ready to return to the workforce when my son was in Middle School he begged me not to. He liked to come home to me waiting for him. What is wrong with that? To add a twist to this, the baby I carried while I was working is now working for the same company, doing a similar job and will be working swing shift. This after spending 5 years getting his Journeyman plumbing license and ending up with no work. So even being a stay-at-home and him being dependent on me, I must have set a good example. And he wants his wife to be a stay-at-home mom just like his mommy is. I myself did not have a stay-at-home mom. My parents owned a business and farm, so she always had to work. Thing is she took me everywhere with her.

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