The hidden costs

Betty Duffy shares one woman's encounter with the current state of our world:

She ultimately concluded that accepting that rate for in-home care was a devaluation of what she actually gave her own children: good schooling from an educated teacher, nutritious meals, a spiritual life, and of course the quality time, care, and love of their own mother.

Putting a price on her "services" made her recognize just how priceless was what she had to offer, and the $2.50 an hour rate came to feel not only like unjust payment for her qualifications, but also an insult to the value of her motherhood and the sacrifices she's made to stay home.

There is nothing morally wrong about women working outside the home, especially in cases where they are a primary provider for their families. But when we talk about demanding equal pay for women, and finding affordable childcare so that women can work, we tend to discount the fact that most childcare providers are also women, many of whom are asked to accept a pittance in order to accommodate other women who have "real" jobs.

When the dollar-per-hour rate we're willing to pay for childcare comes in well below the price we pay for a hamburger, we're giving testimony as to how little our society really values the care and formation of our children.

You really can't put a price on it, yet we're paying the price for it all the same!

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