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A tribute to Moms

May 9, 2011 - Michael Palmer
Not so long ago, stay-at-home moms were the rule rather than the exception. As recently as 1975, fewer than half the mothers in the United States with children under 18 worked outside the home. For mothers with children under 3, that number was just 34 percent. By 2009, 71 percent of mothers worked outside the home, including 60 percent of the mothers with children under 3. While a two-income lifestyle is a choice for some, for many it's hard to imagine meeting expenses any other way. With $4 gas and inflation it would seem that in America today you can not survive without two incomes.

June Cleaver is gone and some women would say that it is good that the wife who stayed home, cleaned, cooked, and cared for the kids is a historic memory of days gone by.

Do moms who stay home have smarter kids?

Studies show that Moms who stay home for the first year of their children’s lives might be giving their kids an academic edge. But it depends on how much they need the money. Researchers found that for poor families, the additional financial security ends up benefiting children; but for middle- and upper-class families, early maternal employment was significantly associated with decreases in formal measures of achievement.

In other words, for wealthier families the added financial stability wasn't enough to offset the disadvantages of mom working outside the home.

Moms will say they value the chance to share their child's developmental accomplishments, along with the security of knowing they're in charge of their child's care. Regardless of where you stand on this debate, I am glad I was born when mothers stayed at home to take care of their kids.

My younger sister was two when she nearly died of a combination of Encephalitis with meningitis, which is known as meningoencephalitis. This was 1966 in Cadiz and she nearly died from complications and has been mentally handicapped ever since. That event made the decision of stay at home for my Mom, there was little chance of finding care for a child with disabilities aside from institutionalizing her.

Mom also had to help out with some issues for her oldest son, me. I was going to be held back in grade school by a teacher that makes the SB 5 collective bargaining argument valid. This teacher was ‘tenured’ and protected by her Union, but should have been fired for incompetence.

As it turned out, Mom had the school send me to be tested by state education officials who found out I was Dyslexic. Dyslexia is an inherited condition that makes it extremely difficult to read, write, and spell in your native language—despite at least average intelligence.

Dyslexia results from a neurological difference; that is, a brain difference. People with dyslexia have a larger right-hemisphere in their brains than those of normal readers. That may be one reason people with dyslexia often have significant strengths in areas controlled by the right-side of the brain, such as artistic, athletic, and mechanical gifts; 3-D visualization ability; musical talent; creative problem solving skills; and intuitive people skills.

Many famous people have overcome Dyslexia, and I will bet they all had stay at home moms. Inventors: Leonardo daVinci, Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and JFK. Athletes like Babe Ruth and Mohammad Ali. For younger readers of the blog: Salma Hayek, Steve Jobs (Founder of Apple Computers, CED of Apple and Pixar) and Tom Cruise. Despite the challenges, Mom was always facing them with a positive attitude. We were a family with mother and father raising four children in a two-bedroom house. As a small child, we did not have an inside toilet and the furnace was coal fired. Dad got up early to fire it up, but the house was still very, very cold when we awoke in the winter.

Dad already left for work driving truck, so mom would wake us children and turn on the oven so we could dress and eat breakfast with some warmth. Our days were always filled with helping mom with chores.

She taught me to strive for goals and work hard to achieve them despite the challenge. She gave up many things to raise her children and I don’t know where any of us would be without her unconditional love, hope, guidance and prayer.

I was fortunate to have her with me for 50 years and we miss her this Mother’s Day.

 
 

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Blog Photos

Mom poses with the kids, Grandpa Tony and her sister Joyce - Dad was the photographer.