Many mothers forget -- and many fathers never experience -- how lonely and mentally fatiguing the day-to-day rearing of infants and small children can be. As gratifying and as important as parenthood is, it also can feel like isolated and relentless servitude. One of the largest groups of depressed people in the U.S. is at-home mothers of small children.
Retired Rear Adm. James L. Carey's thoughtful endorsement of voluntary home visits ("Home visits help families, save money," April 6), not just to military but to all young families in South Carolina, is a valuable and authoritative acknowledgment that caring for the caretakers of our youngest citizens ultimately benefits the taxpayer, as well as the families themselves. Child development experts have long emphasized the particular impact of proper care for children from birth to age three as a way of avoiding costly problems down the line. Mentoring young couples on the often mysterious practices of effective nurturing will reap benefits far beyond anyone's ability to tabulate.
Plus, it's just the right thing to do. Lest we forget, these children and young parents need us.