My wife (mother of seven) sent me the following observation:

The vast majority of mothers of large families I know (and I know hundreds) are only able to maintain and continue growing a large family because they are homemakers, and do not work outside the home. Our culture punishes this sacrificial love in many ways, from simple denigration (“Aren’t you wasting your degree?” as if the training of the next generation was a worthless task) to the marriage penalty to the Social Security system.

Did you know, for example, that a stay-at-home mother is not allowed to contribute to her Social Security account? To do this, she must leave the home, get a job, and be taxed. I know one mother in our area who drives around with her family in tow delivering flowers and earning income they don’t need, while spending time they can ill afford. Why? Because she’s older than her husband, and when she reaches retirement age there will be no check for her otherwise ? because she’s been busy raising the children who will be paying for your check.

How is this fair? Why can’t she just make the “contribution” needed for her credits without going to all this trouble? She would far rather invest the money than the time.