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  •  disagree (2.00)
    It's just assumed by repubs that the good mother stays home and the good dad goes to work, and any other arrangement is sub-par.
    All things being equal, any other arrangement is sub-par.  That's the crux.  You have to admit it.  In any given situation, the ideal is two healthy parents, the mom raising the child fulltime.  

    Now, the reality is that all things are not equal.  And I am fine with that.

    As far as incomes goes, a huge number of people who say that they require two incomes are not being honest.  The fact is that "survival" means "comfortable upper-middle class existance".  It means vacations, pre-prepared food, dining out, movies, cable, high speed Internet, DVDs, air conditioning, nice clothes, new cars ever few years, junky toys and video games, and all the trappings of non-essential American life.

    The fact is that most families could get by on one middle of the road income.   They elect not to.

    •  She has to admit it?? (none)
      Or, if "you" didn't mean her, but "one has to admit it," I beg to differ.  I, for one, don't admit it.  Uh, lots of people don't admit it, you know.
      •  That's fine (1.00)
        You are a moron then, that's all.

        The best situation is mom at home, dad at work, all things being equal.  

        •  sorry, that's bullshit (none)
          The best parent, regardless of gender, should spend the most time at home raising the kids.

          Now, how to decide who is best at parenting?  I'm better at some aspects of parenting (cuddling, nurturing, juggling several balls at once, getting the shoes on the correct feet) but my husband is better at other aspects (e.g., keeping calm in a situation where the kid needs to be disciplined, instead of losing his temper in a spectacular fashion, as I tend to do).  He's much less of a control-freak/micromanager than I am, which is a really excellent skill for parenting.  He's also extremely patient, which I am not.

          We end up spending approximately the same amount of time with our son, so our strengths and weaknesses are balanced out.

          New Orleans will never die

          by hrh on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 12:07:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well then (none)
            The best parent, regardless of gender, should spend the most time at home raising the kids.
            Then all things are not equal if one parent is better than the other, are they?
          •  Actually . . . (none)
            It seems to me that BOTH parents should spend time acting as primary caregiver for their children. Men and women do often have different approaches to the job and, like any two individuals, different talents and skills. But children benefit from the parenting styles of each and need lots of time with each.

            My wife and I split the week evenly. We spend Sunday together as a family. I work Monday, Wednesday and Friday and she works Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. We don't use day care.

            I knew next to nothing about caring for kids at the time my first daughter was born. But after two-plus years I am pretty confident that I can handle almost anything. While my wife and I agree on the basic philosophy and goals of our parenting, I don't handle everything or react to things in the same way that she does. My kids benefit from learning that no two people are alike. I think that principle holds true pretty generally.

        •  Uh, wow. Never mind. <n/t> (none)
          •  yeap (2.50)
            Yeap.  That's right.  You have nothing to say.  

            Loser.

            •  You know, I'm not sure I've ever (none)
              in seriousness been called a moron OR a loser before.  It's kind of fun, actually.

              But that's my last word, dipshit.  Enough fun for today.  I have work to do.  

              •  well (none)
                Well its good.  Apparently people are too afraid to call you what you are.

                A moron and a fool of grand proportions.

                •  I know you are but what am I? (none)
                  OK, it isn't fun anymore.  WTF is your problem? Know when to quit, dude.
                  •  I never let (none)
                    I never let wrongheaded morons who can't defend thier point have the last word.  It will never happen.

                    If you can't acknowledge that all things being equal the ideal family is a working father, and a stay at home mom who raises the kid(s), then you are delusional, wrong, and a moron.

                    There is, literally, no debate.  It is not even a scientific question.

                    •  Huh? (none)
                      There is, literally, no debate.  It is not even a scientific question.

                      Who "can't defend their point"?

                      If you insist on having the "last word" after this (so that's what it's all about), you're welcome to it.  I hope I don't forget your userID, as I don't really ever want to talk to you anymore.

                      •  response to idiot (none)
                        I said:
                        All things being equal, any other arrangement is sub-par.  That's the crux.  You have to admit it.  In any given situation, the ideal is two healthy parents, the mom raising the child fulltime.

                        To which you said:
                        "I don't admit it"

                        then

                        "Uh.  Nevermind"

                        Which is when I called you a loser with nothing to say.

                        Things being equal, the best situation for a child is two healthy parents, the mom raising the child fulltime while dad works.  You deny this.  You apparently have some secret method that's super top secret that no one else knows about that produces better results.  But you just can't say what it is, or provide any type of basis.  In fact, you can't even spell out what is a better situation.

                        Therefore, you a fool, moron, loser, and idiot.

                        See?

                        And yes, I will have the last word.  You've posted, what, four or five times about not responding, being done, not talking to me.  I don't you have it in you, gasbag.

                        Therefore,

                    •  Wrong (none)
                      You, sir, are overgeneralizing things. Whether the traditional arrangement, "all else equal," is best is a question that cannot be answered. That is because things are never equal - not even on an hour to hour or day to day basis.

                      I think it is a bit over the top to be as critical of someone who disagrees with you as much as you were. People can and should choose the parenting arrangements that work best for their own families. As long as they are fulfilling their parental responsibilities well, what's to criticize?

                      We also need to stop stereotyping fathers as being incapable or less capable of child care than mothers. I can tell you from personal experience that this is not the case. That something is traditional does not mean it is best for children.

                      •  wrong (none)
                        That is because things are never equal - not even on an hour to hour or day to day basis.
                        They certainly can be equal enough.

                        But even if not, you should be able to agree to the statement if intellectually honest: all things being equal the best arrangement for the welfare of the child is fulltime mom, working dad.

                        We also need to stop stereotyping fathers as being incapable or less capable of child care than mothers. I can tell you from personal experience that this is not the case. That something is traditional does not mean it is best for children.
                        It's a good indicator though!  I am not saying a father can't be a good stay at home dad.  I am not saying it should be discouraged.  I am saying nothing of the sort.  I am talking about what the ideal is.

                        Ideally, the mother should raise the child with help and support from the father.  That's the model.

    •  your biases aside... (none)
      My husband and I ARE raising our kid on one income.  We have for most of the 7 years since he was brought home needing 24-hour care as a preemie and my boss wouldn't let me take off from work to be with my son.

      My husband has held some jobs but they have been without benefits, without vacation time, without security and lower pay.  So yeah, maybe I should have married a higher wage earner.  But is it better to have two parents married who love each other and the wife works and the dad stays home, or is it better for the wife to stay home with a husband working a high-profile job who's never home to see the kid?

      We forego a lot of luxuries.  No vacations -- what's a vacation?  Not much dining out, simple meals, $1 movies, central air conditioning taht we don't run to save money, one car that we drive until it's a hazard on wheels, but yes, we splurge on cable and high-speed internet and a few junky toys for the kid, so I guess that's why we are struggling.  And no, we don't have large credit card debt.  No stereo, no iPod, no 2nd house, no jewelry or fancy clothes or gas barbecue or anything like that.  

      But my point wasn't what parent is "better" to stay at home.  My whole point is that my niece seems to think she's a better mom than I am because she IS carrying debt and letting her husband handle it, than I am for working 40 hours a week while my entirely able husband does his share of parenting.  And my other point is (as you concede) that nothing is ever ideal and there are trade-offs.  

      But I do resent the assumption that people who are having a hard-time making ends meet for any reason -- due to job loss, or health bills, or low income, or lack of security net, whatever -- are somehow just living too damn high off the hog to make sacrifices for their kids.

      "Every act of becoming conscious is an unnatural act." - Adrienne Rich

      by marjo on Wed Sep 21, 2005 at 01:54:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the question (none)
        But I do resent the assumption that people who are having a hard-time making ends meet for any reason -- due to job loss, or health bills, or low income, or lack of security net, whatever -- are somehow just living too damn high off the hog to make sacrifices for their kids.

        I counsel the poor and low-income financially in my community.

        The first time we meet the people always think the are living on nothing.

        In most parts of the country a family of 4 can live comfortably on $23,500 income before taxes without government subsidy.  That's a job making about $11.25 hour, no overtime pay, no bonuses, no tips.

        I worked with a family for two years that had twin premies (then aged 1), a husband and a wife.  They were able to make ends meet, and save $125/month towards a rainy day fund.  That's almost 7% savings, not bad by any modern standard.

        but yes, we splurge on cable and high-speed internet and a few junky toys for the kid, so I guess that's why we are struggling.
        I don't know why you are struggling, some people have it harder than others.  My guess is that, if you are paying what is average, you are paying about 90-100 a month on cable + internet.  There are other costs of course, electricity for your PC probably runs $5-10 a month, the computer itself probably cost something to stary (though not necesarily) and space (I've been around families who needed a seperate room for their computers.  The difference in rent between a 2 and 3 bedroom apartment is non-trivial).  So, is an extra 100-110 a month killing your budget (not including toys)?  I have no idea.  Maybe, maybe not.

        We have for most of the 7 years since he was brought home needing 24-hour care as a preemie and my boss wouldn't let me take off from work to be with my son
        That's sad to hear.  Depending on your state and the exact time you probably would have had a very good case against your boss.  Assuming you worked for a fairly good size company (>17 employees) and had been there at least 12 months when you went out on leave, you would have been guaranteed either 3 months or 6 months leave.   If they violated that then you would have a pretty easy case.

        And my other point is (as you concede) that nothing is ever ideal and there are trade-offs.  
        Don't get me wrong.  There are ideal circumstances: many families are doign the ideal arrangement: stay at home mom, working dad, good family life.  It sounds like you are doing it also, as well as your neice.  I am not suggesting that your husband can't do his share of parenting.  However, make no mistake.  If you are home with the child while he is working you are raising the child.  He is assisting.

    •  Right (none)
      I think you're dead on. The real issue is: are you as a parent willing to sacrifice the luxuries in order to give your kid what he or she most needs - that is, time with you?

      Most people think they "need" so much and they insist on having it even if that means depriving their kid of their parenting time. Our parents and grandparents knew that wasn't a good way to go.

      Not to say it isn't difficult to make ends meet with one income. It is. But it can certainly be done if parents think carefully about what is really a necessity and what is just fluff.

      •  It's a matter of phrasing, really (none)
        You nailed it better than I could.

        It's a matter of quantity of time, not just quality.  I hear that a lot - "I am going to spend some quality time with JR afte the game on Sunday".  

        Quantity counts.  A lot.  "Quality" time usually means the amusement park, shopping, video games, or other substitute filler.  It hardly means doing house work together, or reading, or doing charity work, etc.

        But it can certainly be done if parents think carefully about what is really a necessity and what is just fluff.
        Absolutely.  So right you are.

        I've found it helps to phrase it accurately.

        Parents who spend more time with children love their children more than parents who slough off raising them to others out of conveience or to maintain a certain lifestyle.  That's the bottom line.  If are working to afford luxuries instead of taking care of your child you don't love your child as much as some parents.  

        •  "quality time"- inaccurate, misleading (none)
          A. The phrase "quality time" is dangerous, because its  inaccurate and misleading.

          The real answer is "quantity time."  

          B.  Every parent must ask himself/herself -

          (1) How many hours a day do you spend with your child?

          (2) Who should pay the PRICE - your child or you?

          And you thought there was free lunch, when it came to parenting. Darn. :-)

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