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Brit Chicks Want More Time With Children

by Christopher Chantrill
June 28, 2006 at 11:01 pm

IN THE US THERE is a swelling movement of women who are wondering if career and children are a sensible combination, indeed whether, as Carolyn Graglia puts it, “market production” has any moral or economic advantage over “domestic production.”

Now British working mothers are beginning to wonder too. Writes Camilla Cavendish: “For me, the desire to be with my children is physical, like an elastic band stretching. I can’t be away for too long.”

And now there’s a poll to back her up.

This week, a YouGov poll of 1,736 mothers in First magazine demonstrates how profoundly unhappy many mothers are with living this way. More than half feel guilty about time spent away from their children. Two thirds think that mothers should stay at home with their babies and toddlers during the first few years — though nationally, less than half do. A third would like to reduce their working hours, and more than a third say they would give up work altogether if they could.

How did we get to this point, where mothers have been tossed into the workplace and told that it is good to leave their children to a childminder? And where they are exhausting themselves—for what?

Here we have the most prosperous society the world has ever seen, and mothers are running themselves ragged?

There seem to be two trends on a collision course. The National Center for Health Statistics says that in 1995 6.6 percent of couples were “childfree,” up from 2.4 percent in the 1980s But wealthy hedge fund managers are going for four and five children, and many people are saying that “three is the new two.”

Writes Cavendish:

We live at a time of greater opportunities for women, of greater job flexibility, of higher average incomes, than at any period in history. Yet we increasingly talk as though we have no control over our lives. We are the first generation to feel that we cannot afford to bring up our own children.

Yes, what is that all about? In the richest society we say we cannot afford to bring up our own children? Who are we kidding?

There is this to think about. When women are at work, governments get revenue from their market production. And they get more control over the nation’s children. It’s all about power, as the postmodernists say.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008


Socialism equals Animism

Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Sacrifice

[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


Postmodernism

A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy


Physics, Religion, and Psychology

Paul Dirac: “When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion. However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.”
John Farrell, “The Creation Myth”


Pentecostalism

Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill