The peculiarity of parenthood consists in the fact that ultimately, there is in it no division of labor. Like dressing oneself or brushing teeth, one can’t hire someone to do these things for him.
It is possible that Alice the manager works for A, Inc. and pays Betty the nanny to look after her children. However, from the social point of view, the situation in which Alice cares for her own kids, and Betty is thereby released from service to find work at B, Inc. is almost indistinguishable.
Further, few people can afford to hire nannies. Now we get to the argument that daycare should be run or subsidized by the government in order to free women to work. Again, it’s unclear why this is more efficient. First, employment is not a path to self-esteem for women; women become factors of production for the sake of satisfying consumer desires.
Second, this will result in higher taxes, possibly to the working women themselves; of course, taxes harm society quite capably in and of themselves.
Third and most important, in daycare or kindergartens, the children are unloved. They are anonymous, impersonal, customers. Love is tangible; it can be seen and felt, and children do feel it, when they are loved; it’s the most beautiful and rare thing in the world. Children in their capacity as consumers of parental care are deeply harmed, rejected, wither through their mothers’ selfishness. Fox-Genovese is correct in saying that what “the child above all needs” is to “feel loved and ‘at home’.” Mises argues that “From the parents the child learns to love, and so comes to possess the forces which enable it to grow up into a healthy human being.” But the only way to learn to love is to be loved first.
In short, if you are having children, you’d better be prepared to sacrifice everything for them, including your very life. It is likely that you will not actually be called upon to do this, but it is beyond the shadow of a doubt that your own ambitions will be scaled down.