It is perfectly understandable that the modern working mother is totally exhausted at the end of her day, and that when she comes home and is required to provide a well-balanced meal for the family, she invariably resorts to easy, frozen, fast foods, or even calls for takeout delivery. She just does not have the energy to shop for and start a meal from scratch! Moms are guilt-ridden knowing the lack of proper nutrition compromises the physical and mental growth of a child.
When a man comes home after a long hard day's work, the routine for him is often to grab a beer from the refrigerator, plop himself down on the couch, turn on the television and zone out. For a mother, however, mental and physical escape is impossible. Exhausted mothers, who do not have it in them to cook, are also likely to be incapable of engaging in nurturing or thought provoking discussions with their children.
Dual working parents might want to re-evaluate their priorities and analyze the true cost of that additional paycheck. How much money makes it worthwhile to abandon a child? The only way a child can grow to feel secure is if there is a protected foundation for him to thrive and grow. If both parents must work then dual working families, as well as single mothers, might consider enlisting a progressive approach so that the spirit of children can be saved.
Parents, single or not, might consider co-sharing, i.e. families helping each other out presents a multitude of opportunities. The theory behind co-sharing works in principle like the adage "it takes a village to raise a child". When families mutually supply support, then power, balance, and peace within each individual family can be held. This is the true meaning of community.
Sense of Community vs. Single-Minded Approach to Life
America, to a large degree, lost its sense of community when modernization created a shift in consciousness. Rather than working together, people began working alone -- and a single-minded approach to life proliferated. Narcissism, competition, and materialism replaced cooperative living. Childcare centers were established to fulfill the demand of capitalistic and career-minded parents.
Working couples didn't stop having children, but when the babies came they were expected to conform and not interfere with their parents agendas. Only now are we accurately measuring the consequences of handing our children over to be cared for by strangers in adverse and non-nurturing environments.
The option of co-sharing would enable single mothers to get the support they so desperately need. With co-sharing, single moms gain the many options of sharing jobs, homes, and childcare. They may elect to apportion in all aspects of their lives or in just one. Two moms with similar circumstances could work together like a team, or as if they were in a married situation.
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What Does Co-Sharing Look Like?
Co-sharing can be as simple and basic as two mothers in similar financial and personal circumstances, sharing child-care responsibilities. Or it could be as complex as the two mothers sharing a home and dividing the responsibilities i.e. household expenses; rent, phone, utilities etc.
If co-moms choose, they can apply for the same job. They can explain to their employer what they are doing. These co-moms can alternate work and childcare on a weekly basis. In this way children will trust in a sense of structure and feel sheltered. They will get the one-on-one attention that is so essential to their development. In addition, to improving the quality of life for their children, single mothers gain emotional and financial relief.
Co-sharing can help mothers re-establish the nurturing bond with their sons and daughters. When a mom is less stressed she is more inclined to enjoy and nurture her children. A happy mother is able to play, study, and even cook for her family. Co-sharing gives single mothers more time because they are sharing the responsibilities. The guilt of not having enough and not being around subsides and everyone gets more of what they really want -- to feel whole, loved, and validated.
Working Couples: Co-Family Approach
Dual working parents can also enlist the approach of co-sharing with a few alterations. Dual working parents who work co-operatively with another family enjoy the added value of extra time with their children, as well as eliminating pressure of doing too much. One parent from each family can take on a part time job and then alternate job and child care duties with their co-family.
How self-satisfying would it be to know that your child is in the reliable care of a like-minded parent? Additionally your child would have an instant playmate! Financially, co-sharing makes sense as it eliminates the exorbitant costs of childcare, which frequently runs to over a thousand dollars a month. Emotionally, the benefits of eliminating group childcare are infinite.
Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting by Myla Kabat-Zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn.
In the rush, rush, rush of too-much-to-do-and-no-time-to-do-it, the all-important, nurturing aspects of parenthood can easily disappear. Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and his wife, Myla Kabat-Zinn, have collaborated on Everyday Blessings, a book that approaches parenting from the Zen Buddhist position of moment-to-moment awareness. It's a beautiful presentation and a thoughtful approach to mindful meditation that will help you slow down, enrich your life as a parent, and nourish the internal life of your children.
About The Author
Francesca Cappucci Fordyce is a journalist who has worked in television, radio, and print mediums. She worked as an on-air reporter for 10 years with ABC News in Los Angeles. She is now a stay-at-home mom. Being a "broken child" who grew into a "broken person", she made it a priority to heal her pain because she did not want her child to inherit her negative traits. She can be contacted at: [email protected]