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Australia May Pay Moms To Stay Home With Baby For Two Years

In the Australian state of New south Wales, family affairs ministers are drawing up plans that may pay moms to stay home with their babies for the first two years. It’s aimed at moms who want to stay at home, but have to return to work for financial reasons.

The Commissioner for Children and Young People, Gillian Calvert, says that “we have evidence that maternal employment during an infant’s first year of life can have a detrimental effect on their cognitive development.” and that the mother-baby interaction is vital for building social and communication skills.

Wouldn’t that be nice, to be paid to stay at home? I’d be happy to accept the check if I lived in Australia!

What I don’t like is the implied criticism of working mothers. While many moms would be delighted as me to not have to go out to work, the decision to stay at home, or go back to work, is a personal one based on many factors. While finances play a large part, it’s also about mom wanting to go back. Many women love their jobs and would feel a huge loss if they had to quit, or were guilted into it by government, or society.

A mom who works in a fulfilling job, who leaves her baby with a loving, nurturing caregiver, is surely just as good as a mom that stays at home with her baby? Especially if working mom gains immense personal satisfaction from her career and comes home happy, rather than a sad mom who’s had her arm twisted into quitting something she loves to do?

What do you think? Is the Australian government right to criticize working moms? It would be fabulous to not have to work if you don’t want to, but is it right to lump all working moms together and tell them that their babies brain development will suffer?

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