Overheard in the Ladies’ Room

Woman #1: Hey, Bertha[1], I didn’t know you were back at work. Weren’t you supposed to be off on mat. leave for a year?

Bertha: Ya, but I was bored out of my skull and decided to come back early.

I’ve  heard a lot of women say they get bored being full-time moms. My sister-in-law went back to work two days after she had her baby because she couldn’t stand the idea of being “cooped up in the house with an infant all day.”

Since Bertha and a lot of other employees in Canada are able to take a year of paid maternity leave, most of them do it. But quite a few don’t. They’d rather be at work.

By the same token, I suppose most mothers could, conceivably be full-time,  stay-at-home mums if they really, really wanted to. Money would be tight maybe. And they’d have to scale back on a lot of things. But it would probably be possible —  financially anyway.  It’s tougher for a lot of women to give up or to put their careers on hold indefinitely or to give up the day-to-day interaction with adults or the autonomy of their own pay-cheque.

I know a few stay-at-home mums, but I know a lot more women who take whatever paid leave they get and then go back to work. Not only for the money, but also, they say, for their own sanity.

I chose to stay home for the first five years of my daughter’s life. I was a single parent and we were dirt poor for five years, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave her. Maybe, in part, because I knew she was going to be my only child.  I want to be there for every smile and tear; for every first word and every step; for every question and every new thing she discovered. We were together, literally, 24/7 for those first five years.

A lot of people gave me hell and said it wasn’t normal to spend so much time together. That I should at least take a part-time job to keep up with the world and not waste my degree. Or that I should go away on a holiday without her once in a while – have some fun. But I was having fun. I couldn’t think of anything I’d rather be doing.

She helped me with chores, we worked in the garden, we did errands, we met up with other mums and kids, we went to playgroups, we visited neighbours, walked on the beach, hung out with family. We read books, drew pictures, had picnics, made leaf forts, built snow people, took little trips. Whenever XUP Jr.waxes nostaligic these days, most of the time it’s over memories from those first five years. (Well, probably only the last two of those since that’s as far back as she actually remembers)

I don’t know if she would have been a different person or if our relationship would be any better or worse had we not shared that time together, but I’m so glad we did it. (I’m still always s little jealous when I read the daily adventures of the mommy bloggers on my blog roll)

My career never recovered from taking that time off. It’s a long time to be out of the workforce. A lot of changes happened while I was away. I missed out on a lot of promotions since, coindicentally,  those were the last of the boom years in government – never to be seen again. And, while I’ve done okay, I’ll never really recover financially from not having a steady income for five years.

Still, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.



[1] Not her real name.

36 responses to “Overheard in the Ladies’ Room

  1. Well, having decided to not have any kids, I couldn’t say, but I suspect I’d have been on the I-need-adult-interaction-or-I’ll-go-insane side of the fence.

  2. And yet it seems now that you and little have a very special relationship that no amount of money could ever buy.
    Personally I’m pretty sure you made the right choice.

  3. If you want your children to feel close to you and to share their thoughts and ideas and to feel safe telling you all the sordid details of their life that they need to share in order to help them sort out the important moral decision making process… then spending as much quality time as possible when they are young is vital.

    I see childrearing as a sort of breathless run on sentence.

  4. My son was two years, two months, two weeks and two days old when he started daycare. (It was just a coincidence, really, but it takes a certain kind of OCD to notice these things.)

    I went back to school at that point. Not because I’d had enough of him, but because I didn’t want him to spend his whole childhood on welfare. (It took me six years to get off welfare.)

    I loved those two years, two months, two weeks and two days. They were full of little bursts of joy. (And frustration too, of course, but I’ve never had a job since that offered those little bursts of joy.)

    I met a woman once who went back to work even though daycare cost ALL of her paycheck and $400 a month of her husband’s paycheck. She said she just couldn’t stand being at home with the kids.

    I’d say we all made the right choices.

  5. Loved this post (of course)…makes me feel all the more appreciative of being able to spend these years at home with the kids.

    I cannot believe your SIL went back after TWO DAYS. I could barely walk, even with the easy births. That’s just CRAZY.

  6. Good for you! I wished I had the freedom to stay at home with my kids, but had a husband that wanted my paycheck.

    Now my kids are grown, and I’m a stay at home grandma, sometimes. But my schedule is flexible enough that I can be there if they need me. And that is worth more than anything in the world.

  7. I have friends that would LOVE to have a whole year paid maternity leave. That’s just unheard of here in the US. People are lucky to get 6-weeks, and it’s usually not even full-pay.

    I worked out of a home-office as an independent contractor when I was pregnant with Claire and then for about two years, I worked from that same home-office with her by my side. I took a 6-week break when she was a newborn, but it was unpaid. She was an easy baby, so I had no trouble going back to work (from home, mind you.) It was doable. I did that until it wasn’t doable anymore, and then I quit.

    It was hard quitting in a way…I’d never NOT worked. I was afraid I’d put too much value on my title or position, rather than my new adventure. But, you know what? It was so easy and definitely the right thing to do. Now, I can focus on my freelance writing work and Claire. These are years that I won’t ever have again, and I’m savoring every moment.

    I loved the baby stage. I loved the toddler stage. I love the preschooler stage. I can’t imagine someone else raising my daughter. I’m fortunate to be in a position where I can quit and let my husband pay the bills.

    I’ve always thought “stay-at-home-mom” was a silly term. We’re very rarely “home”…we’re busy playing with friends, doing fun things, etc.

    I’m giving my daughter as much of a stress-free childhood as I can, and there’s just no price-tag for that. 🙂

  8. i’d love to stay home now. i found the first year home with #1 a shock to the system and not necessarily enjoyable – i attribute that to being completely self-absorbed for the first 29 years of my life. being home with #2 felt much more natural and I really enjoyed it. now i would love to stay home with them (well, see them on and off the school bus). they are pretty fun and interesting.

  9. I stayed home with DD her whole first year and then some (the joys of the school calendar!), then I was able to work two days a week till she was seven, at which point I went full-time. But I was lucky. My then-husband earned a good salary, and my child-care providers were always my parents who charged me very little, with the added bonus of developing an amazing, wonderful, close relationship with their only grand-daughter. And, I was teaching at the same school that DD attended, so ferrying her to and from school was a snap. I feel like I had the best of both worlds: able to stay home with my child when I wanted to, able to work when I wanted to. Not all women are that fortunate as to have a real choice, are they?

  10. I bet you would. You worked hard in your own way, and I admire you for it. I too was a single-mom when my son was born. I was only given 6 weeks off from work, but had no other choice but to work.

    Now he’s 13… *sigh*

    5 years…you are lucky indeed. I admire what you must have gone through for that time. 🙂

  11. I guess this is a matter of personal choice but I personally applaud your decision to stay at home with XUP Junior. If you hadn’t you might be financially better of but I suspect you would be happier even now cause you had played your part in helping your daughter become who she is today.

  12. i think our society has been so effective at selling the idea that families should be separated that i can not be surprised when women say they’d rather do paid work than enjoy the kids they made. it baffles me personally, but not when you look at how little families are valued in a capitalistic world.

    it so happens that i am a professional in this regard (a nanny) and i am not exaggerating when i say i am the cream of the crop. the care your kid gets from me eclipses the care s/he would get anywhere else, by anyone else. i am exactly that good. and i can still tell you that nothing i do for $16 an hour is anything like the quality you’re giving for free to your own kid. not even close.

    even taking care of my nephews (and my sister pays me) is totally different. i know that those kids will always be in my life, and the long-term relationship we’re building colors everything we do together and say to each other. i’m aiming for the future with the kids i nanny for too, and i treat them equally to my nephews, friend’s kids, anyone i love. because i do love them. but they can’t be mine. and i know it’ll end when they go off to school. it changes things, i can’t put a finger on how, either. it just does.

  13. I Love You. I have never understood why women go to all the physical trouble to have kids that they don’t want to take care of. Every study has shown that a person’s brain is developing like crazy in those first few years and I wanted to be the person to shape my daughter’s brain. She is practically a genius intelligence wise and I believe I had something to do with that. And no I wasn’t one of those weirdo flashcard parents. I just raised her to think. I’m impressed that you could do it as a single mom, because I totally give single mom’s a pass on going back to work. And financially we were poor as dirt. I remember rolling pennies to buy baby formula and kicking myself for having stopped breastfeeding – just for financial reasons. Everyone is different and I’ve heard every side of this but I always wonder about the people who do not have an interest in shaping their child’s brain.

  14. Jazz – A good decision for you then!

    Bandobras – Well thanks. I didn’t make it thinking about the future, just on what seemed right for me and her at the time.

    Violetsky – It is kind of a run-on sentence with a few blanks in between which give you the illusion that you can relax now but then suddenly, there’s the next word. And you may be right, but the mothers of a lot of our generation were stay-at-home mums and we don’t necessarily have good relationships with them now. We should also consider that a woman who is forced to stay at home and breed when she would rather be doing something else isn’t going to be a very warm and fuzzy mother either.

    Zoom – It’s nice that we had that choice. And yes, for us and our kids it was good, I think. But not everyone, obviously, is the same. Better a happy mother a few hours a day than a miserable mother 24 hours a day, I reckon.

    Lynn – She’s a sturdy Irish lass. She never sits still. She dropped the baby off at my mum’s with a full day’s supply of breast milk she’d pumped in between night feedings and trotted off to work — mind you it was their own business, too, so she had quite a lot of leeway as to comings and goings. So she could pop by during the day. And, as much as you appreciate this time at home with your kids, you will come to appreciate more and more as they get older, develop their own lives; as you perhaps go back to work and sit at a desk for 8 hours a day remembering the time when your days were fun.

    Susan – Your Pa should have made sure your intended had the means to keep you in the style to which you had become accustomed before he consented to give away your hand in marriage. They just don’t make Pa’s like that anymore I reckon. I’m looking forward to grandkids one day, too — but I don’t think I’ll want to look after them all the time.

    CP – I know. I always get a little verklempt when I read your blog. It’s kind of like reliving the wonder years — except for that crazy Shred month. I never did that. Ha!

    Meanie – Indeed. No one will ever find your kids as fun and interesting and unconditionally lovable as you do. So it’s a good thing that they have as much exposure as possible, for as long as possible, to someone to whom they are the centre of the universe before they have to plunge headlong into the cold, cruel world. Don’tcha think? Say what you will about being a federal public servant, but the fact that we have options of flexible work schedules, long-term parental leave, paid mat leave, etc, are worth all the BS we have to put up with.

    Pinklea -No, not all women have a real choice. Your option was truly the best of both worlds! And really, it doesn’t always have to be the mother that stays home. It could be the Dad or a grandparent or even an aunt –nothing wrong with sharing the child-rearing with an extended family.

    Grandy – At income tax time I always shake my head because the tax deducted from my salary now exceeds the amount we lived on each of those 5 years. I can’t even imagine it, yet we always had plenty to eat, paid our bills, had fun. It was sort of magical. And I can’t believe the US is still only allowing 6 weeks of mat leave — with all the recent emphasis on giving kids a good start in life. Is there any lobbying going on to get that extended? Six months is reasonable. Do they even take infants under 6 months in daycare over there? Most around here don’t as far as I know. (BTW – nice to hear from you again!)

    LGS – It’s really only a few years that you’re the kid’s whole world. Then they go to school and their world and their influences get fragmented and you never again will be that close with them. So ya, I hope those years helped to embed the knowledge that she is more important than anything in the world.

    Hallie – Yes, as I said to LGS above, the whole process of child rearing is the process of releasing them bit by bit into the world – starting from when they leave the womb to when you stop carrying them in the snuggli to when they start wanting to walk without holding your hand to when you leave them for hours at school to when they start families of their own or move half way across the world. Every step is a mixture of heart-wrench and pride. But having said that, I think staying home with your children has to be something you really want to do, not something you feel you should. If you’re there resenting the fact that the work world is carrying on without you; resenting being with your kids all day while other adults are out doing “more interesting and important” things, then it’s probably better that you do what is best for you, so that when you are with your kids you’re happy to be with them.

    Geewits – Gosh! You love me? You really love me? (I think I’m having a Sally Field moment here…) But ya, I don’t really understand how someone could be bored being with their own children or why someone doesn’t think devoting a couple of years of their life completely to their kids is important or worthwhile or, as you say, why people have kids if they’re just going to farm them out to strangers from day one. HOWEVER, there are often circumstances that make this necessary and it probably breaks the parent’s heart to have to leave their kids all day. And, as with a lot of other things people do a lot of things for a lot of reasons I might not do or even understand, but that doesn’t necessarily make them wrong or bad.

  15. I was a stay-at-home Dad with my eldest from the time she was 9 mos old until she hit a year and a half. It was an experience that I will never forget and I wish I could have done the same with my youngest kids as well.

    My financial and career situations were far different by the time the younger ones arrived and, well, I spent a month with them after my wife went back to work after her last mat. leave. But the month was nowhere long enough.

    But to the Dads-to-be out there – take some extended one on one time with your kids when they are very young. Even just a month is worth it and you will leave that month with a perspective on fatherhood that you would have otherwise never had and that you will always treasure.

  16. I was a work from home mom, part time, until they were both in school. I still felt divorced from the real world, stuck in a suburb beyond walking distance to anywhere, without a car. And, yes, it does damage to your career to do this.
    However, I think I made a difference to their preparedness for the world by staying home.
    I enjoyed a lot of it, hated some of it, relished child free weekends (thanks, SIL).
    I had to work part time – husband in grad school. I still remember with remorse leaving them with a sitter to do supply teaching.
    There’s no right answer. I persuaded my cousin to go back to work and hire a sitter because she was not any good as the mother of a baby; she resented the infant hugely.
    I admire your tenacity; I had two fifteen months apart and darn well needed the occasional break.

  17. I was lucky enough to benefit from decent maternity leaves — and it was a bonus spending another year home with my oldest when off on mat leave for my youngest. I’m a single mum now, and I have my girls 24/7 — their father spends very little time with them.

    An acquaintance asked me how I was coping having them all the time (outside of work and school) and didn’t I need some weekend time away from them to retain my sanity? Ummm, NO! We have fun together, I *like* my children as well as loving them. They are interesting, funny, complex people, and I enjoy their company. We go to the park and the library, to the splashpad and the Farmers’ Market. We travel (when money permits) and cook together.

    I don’t feel the tug to stay home so much now they are both in full-day school, but I’m trying to figure a way to adjust my workday so I can be there when they come home from school, so I can hear all about their day when it’s still fresh.

  18. At this risk of having all the Mommy-Bloggers scream for my blood, I’m going to give another point of view.

    Granted, having children is one of the biggest decisions anyone can make.

    Some people couldn’t care either way. But for many, it’s very VERY important. It’s a Lifestyle choice.

    They’ll take time off work to have kids, and many companies will accomodate them. They’ll have their jobs waiting for them when they come back. Even if they’re gone for a year. And they can do this as often as they want.

    And rightfully so. I’m not arguing against this.

    But what about those, for whatever reason, who don’t have kids? (Maybe they can’t).

    Maybe there’s something these childless people really want to do. That’s That’s really important to THEM.

    Like back-packing across Europe. Mastering a musical instrument. Volunteering overseas. Or spending more time with their family. Whatever…

    Who’s to say that their Lifestyle Choices are no less important to them, than having kids are to the Moms?

    So why cant’ THEY take a year off, get paid EI, and have THEIR jobs waiting for them when they get back?

    Hardly seems fair, does it?

    (Okay, ducking and covering, now..).

  19. XUP –

    You say in your comments, “I might not do or even understand, but that doesn’t necessarily make them wrong or bad.” Really?

    It seems to me that you have very clearly judged a parent who chooses to return to work and have their child in care as wrong/bad, otherwise why would you use such derogatory language as “farm them [children] out to strangers from day one”?

    Just saying.

  20. Trashee – I think Dads miss out on a lot when it comes to kids. They don’t get the whole pregnancy experience or breastfeeding experience. They are almost never the primary care-giver or the parent who stays home full time or even the parent who stays home when the kid is sick. It’s nice that you were able to take advantage of the parental leave program.

    Mary – It didn’t require tenacity just a little planning and scrimping. And you’re right — there is no absolute answer to any of this. And, I can imagine with more than one child, when you’ve been a stay home mum for 12 years with 3 toddlers that things might get a little antsy.

    Alison – Ya, I still arrange my work schedule so that I’m home just before my daughter (she has an after-school job, so it’s not too early) so I can make her supper and spend a little time with her before she has to get to homework.

    Friar – Ah, this old argument. Fact is that raising children IS more important than backpacking through Europe or learning to play the clavichord . Perhaps not on an individual basis, but on a societal basis. Looking after the well-being of children is a responsibility that extends beyond the home, which is why parents get a bit of a break in some workplaces — because society believes that it’s important for a child to have a good start in life and that this includes bonding with its parents during those first crucial weeks/months. If you chose not to take on the awesome responsibility of raising a child then you don’t need maternity leave or parental leave. Simple as that. You will have to go to work and you will likely get promoted over the mother who’s missed several years of work; who has to rush out of a meeting in the middle of the afternoon to pick up her sick kid from school; who isn’t free to travel to the all-important conferences and network with the big-wigs. You’ll get to use your vacation time to travel to Europe while the mom will use hers to get her housework done and renovate. Having said that, depending on where you work, there are often many other leave/sabbatical options available for employees to pursue other interests or just take a break. Did I come back to work after 5 years crying foul because a coworker who’d been at work all that time got promoted above me? No. That would be just as skewed as saying everyone should be allowed to take maternity leave whenever they want whether or not they have kids.

    Julie – Point taken and that was perhaps a poor choice in phrasing because that is, I suppose, how I perceive it. But I will acknowledge that my perceptions aren’t necessarily right. Still, I should have said “parents who choose to go back to work and place their children in daycare or with a nanny”

  21. I love to feel productive and I like working hard, but I’ve always found the idea of a career job entirely anathema. I’d stay at home with a wee one in a second, too.

  22. Jealous of mommybloggers?!? OMG, noooooo! That is practically all there is in the blogosphere and it drives me nuts. Mommybloggers are so mindnumbingly dull and self-absorbed. It is next to impossible to find blogs which aren’t filled with pictures of booger-smeared young ‘uns. I’m sure if it were my booger-smeared child, I’d think it was the best thing ever but seeing as how it is not, I can’t click back fast enough. Not.of.interest.

    That said, I think having a stay-at-home parent at least until the kid(s) go to school is the only way to go. Just don’t blog about it.

  23. It is indeed gr888 that u chose to do so.But, I guess it is up to each person.My mom had to go back to work 3 months after I was born, but don’t think I missed much. She still is the most important person in my life. Also had infinite nice little little moments with her as a child

  24. I’m totally with Julie on this.

    I know families where one parent (note parent not mom) stays at home with their children and who are do a god awful job. What those children need is socialization. (The people across the street homeschool, and my god the behaviour issues.) Just like I know people who work full time who spend time with their kids, who enjoy the time with their kids. It’s just that they work and aren’t there 9 to 5.

  25. Ellie – I probably shouldn’t admit this, but while my job is technically a “career”, it’s really just a job to me. When I’m not actually doing it, I very rarely think about it. I don’t worry about stuff that goes on there or lose any sleep over anything that may or may not happen. I do the best I can when I’m at it, but I’m there to earn money to live my life when all is said and done.

    Elaine – Well, that should endear you to a large portion of the blogosphere. I meant I was jealous of the time they’re spending with their kiddies in that it reminds me of those halcyon days. I’m not jealous of them as bloggers per se. I don’t even know where they find the time or energy to do all that blogging and photographing and organizing themselves into groups and having conventions and stuff. And yes, they are mocked and ridiculed by a lot of other bloggers, but they seem to love each other a lot. In many ways it’s a good support and information sharing forum.

    RR – You’re exactly right – everyone is different in what they feel they can and cannot do and everyone’s circumstances are different. I’m sure your case is not an exception and that it’s perfectly possible to have a good strong family even if they don’t spend 24-hours a day together. Thanks

    Nat – I don’t think anyone would disagree with you. There are good and bad examples from all camps. And homeschooling often gets a bad rap because there are so many very odd people who do it. Though there again, it can be a wonderful thing and has produced some really bright, creative and socially charming people. Julie was quite correct that my language was derogatory. Like you were thinking of the crazy homeschooling neighbours I was thinking of a workmate whose kids are at before-school are by 7:00 am and get picked up at 4:00 by a babysitter who feeds them, helps them with homework and gets them ready for bed. Mum sometimes makes it home before they fall asleep, but most often not. Weekends they have back-to-back lessons and sports. Holidays they get sent off to camp or to relatives. They do occasionally do family things, but she’s always completely frazzled before and after because the kids “drive her nuts”. I can’t help but wonder why she had them really.

  26. Well, for the record, my point was not that XUP shouldn’t use derogatory language — she is free to use whatever language she chooses!

    My point was that she seemed to claim not to be judging one side over the other (working versus stay-at-home), but very clearly was, as indicated in her language choice.

    Personally, I dislike “mommy wars” conversations and the derogatory language that goes along with it. The insinuation that a working mother treats her child as an animal (“farms”) is just as insulting as referring to the life of a stay-at-home mother as “boring” — suggesting that only the feeble-minded would choose such a societal role.

    As both XUP and Nat have suggested, the family dynamic is much more complicated than simply if one stays home or not. I have witnessed wonderful children emerge from both environments.

  27. i love you too. just sayin’.

    i love this post and i could not agree more with you staying at home while you could. those are moments that you’ll never get back and you both have them.

    i cannot imagine being bored and going back to work if i had the one year option, that is amazing. i love that one year off for having a baby. canada’s doing something right with that.

    i firmly believe that our kids benefit quite a bit by having parents close and not being raised in a daycare (if they can help it).

    i’d say your life is far richer in the good ways despite losing your place in the working world.

  28. Well since I didn’t write this, I feel free to judge and openly admit that I do. There are some circumstances where mommies must go back to work, and although I feel slightly sorry for them, in general I don’t. If their husband died or some other tragedy was the reason, I feel their pain. For the most part though, I just don’t think people should have children unless they’re willing and able to take care of them. The women who choose to go back to work early are at work because they chose to be. Simple as that. And I do feel that they “farm” their children out, I also believe that’s part of the reason the American society is so messed up today. Children are not at home with their parents being taught values and manners and respect. Any teacher will tell you he/she can point out all the day care kids in a class by their behavior. The whole “everything must be equal and fair” attitude that runs rampant in America stems from the fact that so many children are in day care where everything must be equal and fair. Life’s not fair. Raising children can be fun and rewarding, it can also be quite a trial, but if you have them, the rewards and trials should be your own. My sister in law once told me she could never stay home with her kids because she’d be bored in 15 minutes or less. My first thought was… then you shouldn’t have had them. Just sayin’.

  29. I have never had children and while there are times I think I missed out on something really special about being a woman I also believe I would have been what I consider a bad mother. Parenting in my opinion is the hardest job on this earth and people participate in it like it really isn’t all that important at all. Again in my opinion I think a child deserves to have a parent at home with them until they enter kindergarten. Why have children if you are going to let some total stranger or a fifteen year old babysitter raise your child during the most important years of their lives? I wouldn’t want to come home from work and have someone say to me, “Your child walked for the first time today.” Or worse yet, “Your child calls me momma.”

    I guess my question would be why do people have children if they really don’t want to spend any time with them and participate in their formative years? Seems like not only a disservice to the child, but to society on a whole.

    Yeah I have met lots of women that say they have to work and contribute to the household expenses and then I see their homes and they got a big ass house with all the trimmings, two cars, etc. so what this person is saying to me is their material possessions are what is important to them and their children are just part of that mix no more important than the wide screen T.V. of which they usually have more than one.

  30. Julie – I got your point anyway, and like I said, you were totally correct in making it.

    Leah – I agree with that too, except there are people who are not happy doing that. And if the parent who stays home is miserable and bored and pining for their office then they’re not doing anyone any favours anyway, right?

    Charlene – Well, you’re certainly not alone in this belief. In fact, a lot of people have been studying both sides of this question and many of them would agree with you too. Personally, I don’t understand how you can be bored staying home and raising your children, but there are people like that and yes, I don’t really understand why they had children then either.

    Cedar – It sounds like most of us are on the same page on this topic. I wonder if they’re studying the effects of daycare on society at all? I would be interested to know what the results are.

  31. I gotta say, as a mom of three who struggles every single day to balance working and mothering, I’m not feeling the love in this post. I totally agree with what Julie said.

    As for the comment “I have never understood why women go to all the physical trouble to have kids that they don’t want to take care of” — damn, you’re right, I spent more than six grand to conceive him, but I can’t be bothered to take care of him. Seriously? How does that help the conversation at all? And now I’ll shirk back into lurkdom and my own little “mindnumbingly dull and self-absorbed” mommyblog…

  32. Dani – This post wasn’t intended to frown on anyone about any decision they’ve made with respects to raising their children. I admit I made a very unfortunate choice in wording at one point, which Julie pointed out and which I willingly copped to. The difficulty comes when we talk in generalizations. Obviously everyone’s situation is different. We all have different needs and different reasons for making the choices we make. It is fair to say that not everyone will understand or appreciate the choices some people make. It is reasonable, in this context, for them to express that confusion or lack of understanding. But this doesn’t mean anyone is questioning your personal choices or your right to make them. At least, I hope not. I’m pretty sure most parents’ primary goal in life is to do the absolute best they can do for their children and there’s not reason why we should all have the same ideas on what that might be.

  33. XUP, I didn’t have a problem with your original post, outside of the language that Julie pointed out. I disagreed with you, but not enough to comment… but the other comments I noted just seemed unneccesarily judgemental. And then to get to the end and see the speculation about the effect of daycare on society? Not a lot there to make a working mother feel good about her choices either. Better that my kids are with a nanny who loves them a couple of days a week than having to visit the food bank to feed them, no?

    Anyway, I’ve got to find a way to reverse this habit of mine of only commenting on the posts that get a rise out of me…

  34. Dani – I meant that “effects of daycare on society” comment as in we should really know what we’re talking about before we just keep on talking about it. People speculate about what’s better for kids and have opinions and gut feelings, but it might be nice if we had some sort of science to put the speculation to rest.

  35. I just want to say that what Charlene and Cedar thought, is exactly what I think about this topic. I am a mother of a toddler and I chose to be a mother 24 hours of every single day!!!!. I also know that not all the circumstances are the same, but I also believe that bringing in the world a child (the most important person that a human being can have!!!, it is priceless!!!!), this is not a joke….and it should not be a joke either, nothing is more important to me than the happiness and the safety of my daughter, I might not work in peace (even a day) leaving my child with strangers, that does not mean that anything bad will happen to him being with me, but if something will happen I will be there for him. I do not believe that to make roll the defenseless children in day care by day care is anything good for them.