Parental presence isn’t a privilege — it’s a necessity

by Rita Brhel on October 12, 2015

Share Button

APM 2015 logoOn occasion, we see a post circulating the Web about the cash-value of stay-at-home parents if they were paid the going rate for their hours “on the clock” and for the multiple, often-simultaneous roles they play, from “facilities manager” and “counselor” to “janitor” and “teacher.” According to one such post at Salary.com, the average stay-at-home parent is worth an annual salary of nearly $113,000.

These types of analyses are meant to raise awareness of all that stay-at-home parents do, but they can also undermine the value of parental presence by underlining the fact that being at home doesn’t pay — well, not in terms of a paycheck.

But what Salary.com and other articles completely miss out on when bringing to light the worth of parental presence is that a parent’s choice to balance working outside the home with prioritizing the child’s attachment needs — which very much includes presence — is not so much a choice in lifestyle as it is critical to a child’s healthy development.

The parents who choose creative — sometimes career-sacrificing — options to be able to stay at home longer with their baby, or children, are not making that choice lightly. They know and understand their child’s needs, the consequences of their choices and the alternatives, in every sense.

Whether working outside the home or not, these parents understand that a parent’s presence is not a privilege for that child — it’s a necessity.

Attachment is that important.

Parents who make the choice to stay at home with their baby longer — choosing not to work, flex time, part-time, from a home office, working opposite shifts of their partner, bringing their baby to work with them, changing jobs or even careers, and so many other possibilities — need support.

They need encouragement to continue with their personal goals of providing parental presence. They need validation of how hard their choices were and of the challenges they’ve encountered because of it — perhaps financially, but likely more socially as it can be difficult to find others who can relate. They need people who’ve been there, done that — and came out the other side for the better.

Parents who are striving to balance financial/career needs with their child’s attachment needs — you are who this year’s Attachment Parenting Month celebrates as we observe the theme: “Parental Presence: Birthing Families, Strengthening Society.”

And we thank all of the partners and sponsors who — with Attachment Parenting Internationalare working every day to support parents who put their child’s attachment needs, their need for parental presence, as priority:

ask-dr-sears-logo1

mothering-logo

obj735geo430pg1p7

unnamed

IMUSAlogo_US-Chapter-R-300x69

12027545_10156888713688125_9073001214752304_n

Header_logo_slogan_Jan2011_0

img_logo

donalogo_white

spsbhdvd

PoopWebsiteArt

logo

 

Share Button
Rita Brhel (183 Posts)

Rita Brhel, BS, CLC, API Leader, lives with her family near Hastings, NE, USA, where she works as a WIC Breastfeeding Counselor. She also writes for Mothering and La Leche League's New Beginnings.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Zurainny Ismail February 10, 2016 at 1:50 am

The fact is, the higher a parent’s level of education, the harder it is for society to accept the parent’s choice to become a SAHM, SAHD, WAHD or WAHM. They view it as a waste or something… I used to be such a person, actually, but my perspectives have changed. I try not to explain my decision when I see the ‘questioning looks’. Imagine how much harder it is for dads.

Reply

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: