Posted by: vftmom247 | 2012/11/23

That Motherly Vocation thing once again

Once again, the German respect for the vocation of motherhood totally takes me aback. I am currently taking a series of classes required by the government. Why? Because beginning in February, I will be caring for a pair of not quite one year old (sweet, cute, smart) twins and this is a requirement of the state-run bureau that will be paying me (and fairly well, too!). At the first class, it was made really clear that this position is considered both a vocation and a profession. We were asked to examine how this would fit into our current family dynamic, the reasons why we wanted to do this, and subsequent classes will be going into child psychology! I am contrasting this to America, where there is no state overseeing body unless you become a licensed in-home child care provider, and where childcare providers, in my experience as a parent, are underpaid and undervalued. At most childcare centers, the workers are just there while finishing school and don’t stay in the profession very long at all. Certainly, they don’t consider caring for children to be a vocation.

Yet, the working parents of America are trusting their kids to childcare centers! The daycare workers spend more time with these kids than their parents do! I don’t think this is by choice of the parents, but more an economical necessity most of the time. Howsomever, one of the smartest things I ever did was not working when my youngest was a baby. Yes, I was finishing a degree, but the time spent with her was more peaceful than when I was working, and she is the only child out of three whose childhood I really got to enjoy. Nuts, right?

It’s just that…the more time I spend here in Germany, the more I realize how America undervalues moms. Considering that our children are the future, and considering that this means that they should really valued, doesn’t it follow that those who mold them should be valued too? So why aren’t parents, childcare providers, and educators (including religious educators) more respected? What is this truly saying about the value we put on children, and by extension the future? This inquiring mind would very much like to know. I mean, do we really want our future leaders getting formed by media in the form of Honey Boo Boo and Nicki Minaj?

(Since I have mentioned I am from Georgia, let me clarify: I am from the Atlanta area with a stint on the Georgia coast. Honey Boo Boo is from middle Georgia, and thus does not represent he whole state. Or even most of the state. Thank you for your understanding)

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