To answer this statement requires a consideration of various factors. Let us
examine them. Firstly, the statement implies that there is more than one young
child. Children, when young, are very dependent on their caregivers, not only
for their physical but also their emotional needs. Ideally, the mother should
provide this nurturing role. Looking after the children from young would
establish a bond between the mother and her young, something which cannot be
replaced. She will be there to share the child's first attempt at walking, to
comfort him when he cries or to laugh with him.
It has also been proven by
child experts that a child's early years are those in which he can easily learn
new knowledge and skills. That is why some parents talk to their unborn children
when they are still in their mother's wombs or send them to some hothouse
environment like education programs where they are taught language, mathematical
or musical skills at a tender age. If the mother is an educated woman, she is
best placed to educate her own children.
Of course, all these are based on the presumption
that the father is not interested in giving up his work to look after his
children. There is, however, a minority of men who are interested in being
househusbands and who show a liking for childcare like feeding, bathing or
changing their children's diapers. If the family can afford the father not to
work, there should be no objection to the husband being the 'house minder' in
However, it is usually assumed by society that the mother is the one who
looks after the children if she wants to be the 'house minder'. There are
increasing numbers of highly educated women who earn considerable income and
have good career paths, but may not be prepared to forgo the glamour of such
work to become involved in domestic issues, or being a housewife.
In considering whether both parents should go to work, much depends on the
financial commitments of the family. Couples will calculate what their
properties are. If the family is burdened with the expenses of maintaining a
car, servicing a house mortgage, or providing for elderly parents, both husband
and wife may decide to have a dual income by working to provide for family
expenses and to keep up an expected standard of living.
If one is to consider whether the mother should work, the factor of childcare
comes in. Does the state subsidize childcare well and have a system of good
childcare centers so that the children are looked after while the mother is
working? In this respect, an employer's support for the working mother is also
significant for a mother to consider working.
If the mother's income from working is barely enough to cover the expense of
fostering out her children to childminders,
then she would seriously consider staying at home instead. Again, the question
of alternative sources of childcare arises if the mother were to consider going
out to work. If she has parents or relatives who would love to look after her
children, she may decide to go out to work.
Many parents are aware of the disadvantages of having nannies or maids to
look after their children. These childminders are not looking after their own
children and thus they may not show the love and concern of mothers. Again, some
maids may be preoccupied with domestic
chores so the children are neglected. These children are often `planted' in
front of the television set to keep them occupied and entertained.
Therefore, as to whether both parents should go to work when their children
are very young, is dependent on many factors and the parents themselves have to
make the decision carefully for the sake of their children and the welfare of