Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The debate that never ends

I came across a blog post last week that really put a sour taste in my mouth.  My first thought was to write a nasty comment on the blogger’s post, but then I stopped myself.  I knew I wouldn’t want anyone to do the same on blog, so I just left the blog.  Almost a week later and I am still bothered by the post, here’s just one quote from it:

 “I think it's a bit selfish to put a child in daycare if you don't have to, would you want to spend all day every day in daycare?”

My response to this quote? Yes, I could probably afford to stay at home with Cecilia.  However, on just my husband’s salary that would mean we’d have to move out of our 2500 square foot house on an acre lot and into a singlewide trailer in a trailer park.  It also means we’d only be able to afford one vehicle and we could forget about date nights and going on vacation ever again.  Instead I work and Cecilia goes to daycare from approximately 7:20 am until 4:40 pm every day.  Does this make a bad mom? I hope not!

She still has two parents who love her more than anything in the world.  She eats better at daycare then at home sometimes (this morning for breakfast she had homemade waffles with turkey bacon).  I trust her daycare provider just as much as I trust my mom. At two, Cecilia knows her ABC’s, she can count to 30, she can tell you her colors and shapes and she has a huge vocabulary.   Do I sometimes wish I didn’t have to work and that I could spend all day with her? All the time!  I also think it’s healthy that I am not with her 24/7, because when we do get our time together I appreciate it more. 

I have a ton of friends who are stay at home moms and I have several friends who are working moms.  I don’t think one is better than the other, but I think it’s time that we respect each other.  I have so much respect for stay at home moms.  They don’t get the break I get every week day. They probably work harder staying at home and taking care of their little ones then I do in an 8 hour work day.  I sit at a desk all day and punch numbers {I do more than that, but you get the point.}  Working moms have it hard to, we have to say good bye to our little ones every morning.  There’s the occasional tears, because they don’t want mommy to go to work, but then there’s other days they run off without even giving you a hug or kiss goodbye.  We put our children in someone else’s hands every day.   We aren’t there to kiss every scrape and bruise, we might miss their first step or first word, but regardless that doesn’t make us a bad parent.
What are your views on working moms verses stay at home moms?


Jill said...

I don't have children, so I don't think I can properly weigh in on this subject...But I hope to one day have children, and while the dream is to be able to stay at home with them, realistically I don't think that would be possible.

My sister and her husband have two children, they both work and the kids go to daycare. My sister, like you, felt that she could stay home, but then they would have to sacrifice so much by living on only one paycheque. By both working, it affords them some luxuries, family trips, and more opportunities for their children than if she didn't work.

By extension, their children seem well-adjusted, smart, and happy to be in daycare with other kids. My mom was a SAHM, which I loved as a kid, but I was a mama's girl for years, cried every day when I had to start school, and was painfully shy for the first few years of school. As an adult, I now realize how hard this was on my mom, too.

At the end of the day, I think it's a personal choice, based on what your family is capable of doing. I don't think it's wrong to send your kids to daycare, I don't think it's wrong to be a SAHM. You just have to do what's right for your family!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

It's too bad someone would write that. I'm so grateful I get to stay home with my kids, but I wouldn't ever judge someone for their decisions. At times, I've thought I might even be a better mother if I was working. My kids would probably love daycare! I think the majority of moms do what they think is best for their family.

Heather said...

I appreciate this post as a working mom! I have horrible mom-guilt over the fact that my kids spend more waking hours with our daycare provider than me. However, they are well adjusted and probably have learned far more than I could teach them since I wouldn't know what they could/couldn't do at this point. My girls love to play with their friends and I am grateful for a daycare provider who loves them nearly as much as I do.

I think you do what is right for your family and your kids. And you have to make peace with it. But until you walk a mile in someone else's shoes, you can't judge the decisions they make. Besides the point that it robs you of the joy of your own life if you're focused on someone else.

Preach on sister!!

Sarah said...

Hi Minday! I'm your new snail mail partner and I wanted to add my two cents to this. :) I don't like it when people point fingers and pass judgement without even knowing the circumstances.

Initially when I got pregnant, we assumed I'd have to continue working. Then we looked at our child care options and we realized I'd basically be working to put my son in day care. I asked myself "well, what's the point of that?" and decided to stay home with him.

It's a choice I love, I get to spend so much time with him and I don't miss anything. On the other hand, money is always tight around our house. There's never quite enough to do anything, so we have to pass on stuff a lot. I rarely get any sort of an actual break from my kid. I'm with him almost nonstop. It's draining.

I wish people could understand that there's no "right" way to parent. We all do the best we can with what we have. It sounds like your daughter is well adjusted and well loved - so who cares if she goes to day care or stays at home with you all day? She's loved, fed, clothed and again - LOVED.

Amy said...

Hello! I am a new follower of your blog, and I am a T-SAHM. I will be returning to work in January after being home for 10 months with my daughter. She will be going to daycare. I love your post and hate what I call "mommy wars" I read so many blogs that are very opinionated about breastfeeding vs. formula, cloth diapers vs. disposable, SAHM vs. daycare. Instead of putting others down, moms need to unite and accept that there is not one way of doing things. There are so many advantages of daycare and even though I will be sad to not be home with her, I know we are making the best decision for our family. Thanks for posting!