Sunday, February 12, 2006

Daycare not an option

The drive-through teller at the bank, a fellow young working mother, asked me the other day if my girls were in daycare since she noticed they weren't with me. Now, that might tell you that I live in a small town since she knows I have two small children who are sometimes with me, which is true, but it tells me something else. Actually it tells me two things.

Though I found her question quite odd — I thought she was going to ask me if they were both in school — I smiled and told her that they were both in school, the older one in first grade and the younger one in head start. But I just couldn't bite my tongue about the daycare bit. Ever since my husband and I got together and decided that we would become parents someday, we determined that our children would not go to daycare but that they would stay with us. I kept smiling and said un-smugly as possible since I didn't want to seem critical, "They never have been to daycare."

We've worked really hard to keep them with one of us at nearly all times; the ony exceptions being, of course, school and an occasional day with a grandmother. They go everywhere with us, and of course, spend the majority of their time with me when they aren't in school. (Some people might take issue with the fact that we send them to school, but that's another matter entirely that I'll be discussing here soon.) They come along with me when I interview people for my stories, and come right on back to the house with me when we're finished.

One thing her question tells me is that far too many young mothers don't realize that they can work from home with their children around, and maybe they don't want to. That's sad that they must spend their precious time at work away from their children, and even sadder that they either don't realize they can work from home or are too afraid to give it a try.

Another thing that question told me was that I am fortunate that I'm a work-at-home mother! Sometimes that's especially true between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.!

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Anonymous said...

Neither of my kids been in day care too. I just can't do it. Luckily I was working the night shift and we never needed one. But I just couldn't do it anymore, after I had my son. Even when I tried to go back to work and pump, since I was still b/f, I couldn't keep up. We only had 15min breaks every 2hrs with a 30min lunch. It took me 20-30mins just to pump. It just wasn't worth it.

smbwallace said...

I love to hear that you were so committed to breastfeeding your child that you quit your job instead of nursing your son! Most of the time it is the other way around, quite sadly!

Wild Bill said...

I have been a stay-at-home dad for two years now, but next week I am starting a new job. I said I never wanted to put my kids in daycare, but I can't avoid it any longer. It makes me so sad to have to put my boys in daycare, but if I do not start making some money we will be living on the street soon. My wife refuses to stay home with the kids so I offered to stay at home. I don't want to talk negative about my wife so that is all I am going to say about her. I am afraid that I am going to have to leave my wife as soon as my income can support me and my children. I wish my websites made enough money to stay home and take care of my sons, but it doesn't. I wish I had met a woman like you that feels as strongly about staying home with your kids. When my divorce is finished I hope I can find someone that shares my values about "No daycare", but for now my kids will have to go to daycare until I can rescue them from daycare.

smbwallace said...

Wild Bill, it's so refreshing to hear about dads who are as committed to raising their children as you are! I hate that your home situation is not as you would like it, but you know that you love your children and that they love you! They will be just fine in daycare until you can get things straightened out. In the meantime, keep your chin up and keep being a great dad!

jen said...

I am a working mother and have been since my son was three months old. Because we work, we are able to give our son a stable financial environment and provide everything he needs. Every stay at home / work at home mother I know is lacking financially and has to make sacrifices to get by. It is not that easy to work at home and make what you can out in the workforce - especially if you're a college graduate like I am. You can't make broad statements like that, especially without knowing each and every mother's situation. Your comment has the potential to make working moms, like myself, feel less about themselves because they can't be home with their kids. From the beginning I have refused to let those with your mindset affect how I feel about my life. I don't judge you for how you live your life, and you shouldn't make judgements about others for how they live theirs.