The Hand that Rocks the Cradle

It’s something my mother quoted to me more than once while I was growing up:

“The hand that rocks the cradle/ Is the hand that rules the world.” William Ross Wallace

Maybe not the world, but definitely the nation. And the battle is ongoing for power over who will wield that hand.

Because now the US government wants to gain more control sooner over the cradle.

Mary Szoch of the Family Research Council explains what the current administration’s proposal (which the FRC says will cost $2.5 trillion over the next seven years) will do. The American Families’ Plan, would be “the replacement of parents by a government-approved agency.”

“[The plan is] trying to fix a problem America has with fatherlessness by creating a culture that promotes motherless as well,” Szoch says.

The president’s plan would provide free preschool for 3- to 4-year-olds and lower-cost daycare through “approved” agencies. The plan makes no mention of faith-based organizations.

And while it offers tax credits for most parents putting their children in daycare, it offers no such break for mothers giving up income to care for their own children–thereby saving the government money.

The program would dictate that caregivers earn at least $15 per hour (they currently earn $12.24 on average). And “those with comparable qualifications would receive compensation commensurate with that of kindergarten teachers.”

 Being required to pay such wages in order to continue to offer subsidized care might put most churches already participating in the current program out of the daycare business.

I went back to work in the late 1980s when my two youngest children were of pre-school age. The daycare was subsidized. I paid $5.00 per week for the care of both children. That included their meals.

Even with a pro-rated increase to account for inflation and the passage of time, such care would still qualify as affordable for any employed person–even the single mother I once was.

When government officials propose plans like the current one, they must assume most people aren’t aware that there is already a service in place to address the problem.

And if that program is underfunded, as some assert, why not increase funding instead of creating a new bureaucracy?

What could be the motivation for making a new program where one already exists? And why exclude faith agencies where some workers might even choose to work on a volunteer basis?

The primary question is not so much whether mothers of young children should work. Many have to. It’s a question about how much say these mothers should have over whether the care their children receive while they work will reflect their own values and beliefs.

Ministries offer the best opportunity for parents to seek childcare that will match the message they work to instill in their children.

While our national government proposes to provide care for low- and middle-income families, many headed by single parents, legislators in one state propose to roll back legislation that has resulted in more single-parent families–liberalized divorce laws.

The state of Texas is proposing to end one-sided, no-fault divorce.

State Representative Matt Krause says, “There needs to be some type of due process. There needs to be some kind of mechanism to where that other spouse has a defense.”

In Restoring the Shattered, I wrote:

“Instead of a liberating cure-all the feminists of that day presented, divorce has wreaked havoc on our society. Throughout the decade of the 1970s, no-fault divorce laws swept across most of the country. In their aftermath, divorce rates nearly doubled. . . .

“[In 2006] NOW—which had led the vanguard in promoting lenient divorce legislation and unrestricted abortion for decades—was protesting the liberalization of New York’s divorce statute. At that time, New York was the lone holdout on no-fault divorce. The proposed divorce bill provided a unique opportunity for NOW to partner with the Catholic Church against allowing one spouse to dissolve a marriage unilaterally. Unfortunately, in 2010, New York finally became the fiftieth state to enact a no-fault divorce law.[ii]

“We don’t have to think hard to understand why the Catholic Church opposed no-fault divorce. But for liberal feminists to turn on a foundational plank of their platform is astonishing. Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique, a catalyst for the women’s movement, had called marriage a “comfortable concentration camp.” She cheered the passage of the first no-fault law in California in 1970. Twenty-seven years later, Friedan—and NOW—realized that the new laws had harmed women instead of helping them.

“Often, men can use custody of the children as a weapon against women. In a perverse game of mental manipulation, the man will agree to forgo a custody battle if the woman agrees to a smaller financial settlement, leaving the woman torn between seeing her children or supporting her children.

“One study found that only 37 percent of women retained ownership of the family home under no-fault divorce, versus 82 percent under fault divorce. . . .

“Under no-fault divorce laws, women tend to come up short in battles over finances and property, and they are more likely to lose their health insurance coverage. Today, divorce places 22 percent of divorced women in poverty as opposed to 11 percent of divorced men.

“Friedan now admits that feminists ‘made a mistake with no-fault divorce.’”[iii]

We often can’t see the results of public decisions until years later. The results of turning young children over to state-controlled daycare won’t manifest themselves for years.

The results of no-fault divorce are already in.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. Restoring the Shattered is published through Morgan James Publishing with whom I do share a material connection. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


[i] New York Times editors, “Is New York Ready for No-Fault Divorce?,” June 15, 2010, https://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/15/is-new-york-ready-for-no-fault-divorce.

[ii] Ashley McGuire, “The Feminist, Pro-Father, and Pro-Child Case against No-Fault Divorce,” Public Discourse, May 7, 2013, http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2013/05/10031.

[iii] Nicholas Wolfinger, Understanding the Divorce Cycle: The Children of Divorce in Their Own Marriages, as cited by Stephanie Chen, “Children of Divorce Vow to Break Cycle, Create Enduring Marriages,” CNN, September 22, 2010, http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/09/22/divorced.parents.children.marriage/index.html.

20 Replies to “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle”

  1. There are so many issues that people try to “fix” with ideas that make them look good, instead of addressing the real problems. Lessons can be learned from past mistakes. I pray for all families.

  2. You make great points here, Nancy. Especially when you compare the no-fault divorce with government controlled daycare/preschool. Since the effects to these decisions sometimes come to fullness years later, the new hand that rocks the cradle will become a power struggle at the cost of our children.

  3. Families truly are in such turmoil right now. My prayers are lifted that we all try our very best to treasure the preciousness of family and work hard to remain intact.

  4. Once again, you speak logic and truth to a world that would rather close their eyes and stop their ears. But now it’s not just us who will pay the price, it’s the generations that are following.

  5. Every time I think I’ve read all the horrifying news of where certain people want to take our country, there’s another story. As usual, the sin nature brings with it a struggle for control, even control over other people’s children. May God strengthen the Church to make children (our future) priority and offer help to the moms (and dads) who need it.

  6. Our government overreach is out of control. So many issues are at stake in your post. I continue to pray that Christian principles will once again be at the foundation of our laws and decisions that affect our families and children.

  7. Thank you for keeping me updated on such current events. Your post offers so much information. I appreciate it. Thanks

  8. You always provide a wealth of information. The decimation of the family by no-fault divorce and by the continual attempts to encroach on a child’s precious years before kindergarten have been pressing on America families. Taking away the faith-based providers of preschool and childcare would be a disaster for our children and for the parents who must work and who need and want that kind of care for their kids. I hope wiser policies prevail.

  9. You’ve shared a lot of important information, Nancy. Thank you. While I agree that the price tag for the President’s newest proposal is too high, there are some aspects I support. Having 3 and 4 year old pre-school available for all families could go far in helping ALL our children be better prepared for school. I’m not placing specific blame here, but many of our 5 year-olds come to Kindergarten woefully unprepared for what is expected of them. It is challenging for them to catch up and often slows the progress of the entire class. If all children had the opportunity for the basic education some 3 and 4 year-olds are blessed to receive, then all could move forward faster.

    Cost prohibits many working families from enrolling their children in pre-school programs. Current 3 and 4 year-old government sponsored programs cannot handle the numbers of children that need these services. While increasing funding in Head Start, Smart Start and other current pre-K programs is a possibility and should be investigated, other options should also be studied, such as existing (good) daycare programs (including faith based programs). However, we must keep in mind that when the government gets involved (as in subsidizing some of these programs to allow for greater enrollment), government also sets requirements, policies, and guideline (rules) in exchange for the money they pump into a program. Private and/or church affiliated daycares would have to decide if they want that interference.

    Most parents want the best home and school environment possible for their children, but many families and communities struggle with the issue of how much government involvement there should be. It would be a blessing if every family had adequate income for all their needs, including pre-K, but we know that is not the case. How much should government be involved? That’s a really hard question when we consider the needs of families with inadequate income to live comfortably.

    Thank you for tackling the hard topics, Nancy. As a nation, we need to address these issues. Wishing you continued blessings.

    1. I agree that many 3- and 4-year olds would benefit from pre-school.

      Parents might feel more encouraged about this program if it allowed for a spiritual element. It might not be paranoia that asks whether the goal is learning itself or learning a life philosophy adverse to faith. Otherwise, why not give parents a grant instead of setting things up in a way that requires no spiritual aspect in order to become approved?

      As ever, Katherine, thanks for reading and commenting. God bless!

  10. Thank you for your strong promotion of traditional family values and protecting the actual freedom of women’s rights. It reminds me of Proverbs 16:1 “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish tears it down with her own hands.”

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