Friday, March 9, 2018

The Deficit Of Attention

No, I'm not talking about ADD here. The article I linked in my previous post has this interesting statement:

She argued that when working women return from work in the evenings they spend as little as 90 minutes with their babies before they put them to bed - and then find that they don't sleep through the night as they're craving attention. 

If you ever read new mothers boards, you've probably noticed how many of them complain that their young children don't sleep well. It's sounds like there is an epidemic of sleeplessness among babies and toddlers. Of course, all children are different and there could be many reasons for poor sleep, still the author hits on something very important in her story: babies crave attention. 

When the traditional female role gets discussed, folks come with all sorts of things to say, but much too often it all gets reduced to doing household chores and changing diapers. Yet there is more to the role of a woman within traditional family than that. Caregiver isn't only about caring for material needs, but for spiritual needs as well. We tend to forget it these days because our culture is so incredibly materialistic. 

Even Christians are guilty of this, that's why I find it rather sad when they trot out the famous Proverbs 31 Businesswoman person. They keep stressing her money-making activities as if the only value she has can be measured in dollars and cents she earns. It's almost like an average Westerner can't fathom any other reasons for human existence besides financial; that's how we came to the point when some people seriously discuss euthanising old folks since they aren't profitable for the economy any more.

Yet when you read old books, like the novels of Jane Austen, for instance, you see that though wealthy women didn't spend their time scrubbing the floors or participating in the cottage industry, they nevertheless contributed to their family well-being in other ways. Emma is especially interesting in this regard since it features a stay-at-home daughter who is reluctant to marry the man she loves because she can't abandon her elderly father who needs her constant attention. In one of Agatha Christie's stories, an old man becomes a victim of a gold-digger because his sister who is supposed to take care of him, gets involved with some outdoors activities and neglects him.
Another thing noblewomen of old did with their time was praying, in fact, old novels often describe how they could spend hours seeking God and meditating on His Word. It was considered a virtue for women to be so religious. I once read a contemporary Christian book for wives, which I'll leave unnamed, but I remember one piece of advice they gave to women is to serve dinner on the paper plates, and the time thus saved (since you wouldn't have to wash the dishes) could be used for...Not for prayer or a Bible study, of course, but for working on your Home Business!

As you see, our priorities are quite different.

Besides being a caregiver a woman plays another important role in relation to her husband or just men of her family in general. She is a cheerleader. Fascinating Womanhood states that a man needs attention and admiration, and it's true. He comes home from work and expects his wife to be thrilled to see him again and tell him he does a great job providing. But if she has taken upon herself the male role of bread-winning, she comes home and expects the same from him. Since most men are simply not wired this way, the marriage will sooner or later be on the rocks.

As a society, we neglect our young and our elderly and sacrifice our marriages to Mammon. Is this extra vacation or a bigger house really worth it?


  1. Just today, I read an article about opioid-prescription-drug-addict mothers being encouraged to cuddle with their newborns, because it's important for mother-child bonding.

    We know this, yet we encourage women to get back out there and work, instead of staying home with their children...

    Heaven help us...

  2. BTW, cuddling is actually very good for women, it stabilises their hormones. When I have time, may be I'll post about it.

  3. You write so well, Sanne.

    I feel so sorry for those poor babies who cry at night because they don't get enough attention and love.

    Paperplates are disgusting. I never use them, even if we are camping. If my husband goes camping with his male friends they use paper plates. :) I don't. Which obivously makes me a better person. ;)

    I think people were wiser in Jane Austen's and Agatha Christie's days. They realized that making money is a nuissance and if you don't really really have to do it, why should you?

  4. Thanks, Housewife,I'm trying to do my best:)

    Yes, I, too,feel sorry for the babies. I also think that they register it somewhere in their subconscious. Later, when their parents are in a nursing home and nobody comes to visit, they'll have only themselves to blame. I also think a child knows instinctively whether the mother works out of necessity or by choice, and it does make a difference.

    Yes, in those days people would retire when they thought they had enough, and it was considered vulgar to be overly obsessed with money-making. It's because traditionally the upper class in Europe used to be the warrior elite not the merchants:)