Family Time Famine

Giving Parents More Time

American families are spending less time together than ever, says a well-known sociologist. She calls it the “family time famine.” Statistics show that today’s parents spend 40 percent less time with their children than their parents did.

That’s a staggering decrease in adult investment in children.

Some fast-track professionals, however, are trying to slow the trend by combining work with family, according to a recent Washington Post article. They’re exploring things like part-time work and flexible schedules to create more family time.

Lynn Myers is a pediatrician, who began working part-time when her first son was born. Today her children are older but she still restricts her work to school hours, so she can help with homework or drive to soccer practice.

Another option for some today is home-based work. Caroline Hull is a computer specialist, who started her own business at home when her children were born. Jeannie Herbert is a nurse, who holds childbirth education classes in her home.

Stepping off the fast track when your children are young isn’t easy. To do so means standing against a culture where materialism and feminism are rampant. It means being willing to accept a lower standard of living in the name of a higher value.

Unfortunately, while bringing the business into the home is perhaps better than the conventional way of work and while part-time professionals may make good workers, it seems doubtful that these compromise approaches are as good as having a full-time mom, especially for younger children. All the evidence indicates the importance of mothers being at home to give full attention to their children. Sadly, it’s not always easy to persuade businesses and corporations of that.

Even many Christians and Christian ministries can fall into the trap of materialism and feminism. Instead, they should be taking the lead in supporting the family as God ordained it. Instead of encouraging women to fall into the careerism trap or compromise between career and family, they should applaud and recommend mom’s work to center full-time around the direct needs of her children and husband. Also, such ministries should be endeavoring to pay fathers a family wage to make it easier for mothers to stay home with their children.

That is the biblical pattern! (1 Tim. 2:15; 5:14; Titus 2:4-5). It also happens to be good business.


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