Thursday, September 27, 2007

Why aren't you home?

I have an unpopular view about having children. It's gaining in recent popularity, but it's not the most popular choice: stay home with your child. How can anyone think their child is getting better care than they could give? Most mothers or fathers will give their own children better care than anyone.

I worked for a short time in a so called good daycare in a upscale area of Denver, CO. It was a horrible sight. The older children all seemed to have fun doing activities, but if you were in diapers you fell into a whole different lesser class category. Diapers left unchanged, thick green boogers on children's faces and dripping out of their noses, bottles propped up. Confused babies crying, the one year olds walking around aimlessly. They can say they hand-feed each baby their bottle but what if 4 or 5 need to eat all at once? Hand-feed a baby? What are they animals? "This is little Johnny and we hand-feed him on a daily basis, that's what makes him so tame."

I know some women need to work. But, in the same way that some women can't breastfeed. People need to be honest with themselves though. How hard is it to stay home and care for your baby? I'd file for assistance, cut cable off, turn my cell phone off, and quit eating out and work an alternate schedule than of my husband if it meant my kids didn't have to go to daycare. Many parent's find that a moms job isn't making a sufficient income to pay for daycare. It's sad parents don't get a tax break for staying home, but they do if they pay someone else [insert dumbfounded look here] but if you are lower income you might qualify for heating assistance, electric assistance, a food card, Medicaid. I'm not loving people who mooch the system, but if it's to stay home with a baby I'm all for it and it's not mooching.

What is the worst though are the newborns in daycare. Why did you even have children then? The detachment is crazy. I'm sorry if I've offended someone reading this but you can't argue, home is where the heart is...
Link...Newborn Found with Pacifier Taped in Mouth, Nursery Shutdown


Anonymous said...

i think the nation would go poor having to support that many stay at home moms. why not work from home? i don't know how people did it back in the day when the man was the sole support.... money just isn't being made like that anymore.

Birth and Motherhood Shaunablog said...

The nation doesn’t go poor by giving families child care tax credits. I deserve the same tax credit as a stay at home mother.

I am not socialist, I do not think the country should support stay at home moms. I do not believe in the current welfare situation, including Medicaid. I am also not for nation-wide health care. Given our current system though mothers should seek out assistance in order to stay home. I know dozens of families where the man IS the sole support, it is being done by parents who do want the best for their children and they are not on welfare. I also know families that work hard on keeping their kids out of daycare, or only do daycare part time. At least it's effort.

I’ve been a stay at home mother for 11 years. The key is to downsize. Do we really all need the newest of ipods and cell phones? Clothes from the Gap? New cars and big trucks? I know many families that make really good money but the moms don't stay at home and "have" to work because of their 1000 dollar a month car /truck payments etc. Those are called choices. If driving a mini van that has 112,000 miles on it means I get to stay home and homeschool my kids then so be it.

Clearly not every one can stay home, but is not impossible.

The work at home mother typically does not make very much money, and most jobs are not legitimate and cost money. If it was that easy everyone would do it. I did babysitt in my home for years for extra income, which is a great idea. That was when I didn't have 5 kids though. Now I have enough to do :)

Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely! :)

I'm a stay at home mom and would do anything and everything in order to stay home with my daughter.

I've also seen first hand the "nice" daycares and they echoed the exact conditions you mentioned. I told my husband when we got married that if I had to put my child in daycare, I wouldn't have children.

No one knows how to raise my child but *me*.

Thanks so much for your post. It really made my day. :)

Anonymous said...

I see both sides. What about single moms? When I was single and on welfare, they put time limits on how long I could be, they forced me to get FULL TIME employment. It was either that or have no income.

Also.......I would love to have your life. I wish I could move to another part of the country where it was economically reasonable to only have one of us work. I think that people in other parts of the country just don't *get* what it's like to live in the more expensive areas. By all means, I think we are freaking insane to live here.....but sometimes people have no choice. It's kind of like saying to all immigrants "LEARN THE LANGUAGE, THERE ARE FREE CLASSES DAMNIT". True, but there are also transportant issues, family issues, work ignores the bigger picture.

I don't disagree with you........I just think there are bigger social issues that need to be addressed.

I do know one blogger mom who constantly blogs about how she's missed so much of the first year of her childs life due to her work, and THAT pisses me off because she is a high paid marketing executive...sell your fucking house, and stop buying coach purses for gods sake. But.....I don't know.......are women like THAT the majority of working moms, or are women like ME the majority of working moms? Given the high volume of female-headed single parent households in our country, I'm thinking it's the later.

Birth and Motherhood Shaunablog said...

There are a few points I wanted to touch on in response to your comment. I’m going to ramble a bit...:)

After my ex husband decided he didn’t want a family (his words) I was a single mom. As the months and years went by as a single mom I fell more and more into debt. I lived on credit cards for food not to mention I was left with ALL the bills, responsibility, and credit cards. (Including a mortgage). I came to a very difficult choice to go into debt instead of going to work. I had a nursing baby and I had no intentions of not being a stay at home mom.

For part of my single mom years I lived in Denver with a baby Charlotte and Sage, which is a pricey place to live. I made it living day by day and struggled as I worked 3 nights a week. I was lucky because I has a serious boyfriend that watched the kids and paid the living expenses (we lived together). It was tough though. There were times that I fed my children rice mixed with butter and syrup for dinner. (Actually very tasty and more nutritious than it sounds. The butter was vegan earth balance packed with omega 3's, the syrup was not sugar but pure grade A which has minerals.) Sometimes we had potatoes for dinner and that was it. I knew I had to stay home with my kids and I made it work. I wished I would have applied for assistance, but I didn’t. My point is I know it’s hard I was a single mom, and there are circumstances beyond some peoples control which force women to work. More often though it’s a lifestyle choice, one which women are to detached to make.

Cash assistance is hard to get and there is a limit like you said. I looked into it when my ex abandoned Charlotte and Sage. Food isn’t that hard to apply for and get though. (There is no limits on how long you receive some things like food benefits or to apply yearly for local heat/cooling programs.)

Sure I live in a cheap part of the country but in California min. wage is 7.50 (will go to 8.00 Jan 1, 2008) but here the min. wadge is 6.50. There aren’t a lot of jobs either. That’s what happens when you live in a population 1429 town where the median FAMILY income is 26,000. When Ricky gets his graduate degree we have to move so he can work. It’s a painful reality I’m having to face. When we do move we will be making a lot more money, but live in a more expensive place. Right now we have no income as we live on student loans. Last year our family of 7 lived just under the median income for our area. The average kids for a family in the area is 1-2.
Anyway, I understand there are other issues but people can make their own choices and decide what is important. I do feel people shouldn't have babies unless they stay home with their babies. 4 week olds in daycare is disturbing.

I hope we will not move somewhere expensive because I hate the idea of spending so much on living expenses I'd rather live cheap and stay home to do more things with my kids.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, because I do love you, I think you're missing my point.

I think sadly women like you and I are few and far between. I think it's unreasonable to expect all single moms to do what you (or I) did. If you want to talk about birth, I could launch a similar lecture on how I am able to do it, on how I was able to educate myself and get midwives and whatnot while I was a single mom on welfare.

But I think it's overly dismissive of what the majority of people in poverty deal with today.

You're theory, people shouldn't have babies if they can't stay home with them. But often life gets the better of us and I don't think it's fair of us to judge that.

I think it's kicking people when they are down to critisize poor women who don't or can't know any better. The real problem, in this issue, to me, is women who have the benefits of partners and families and money and chose to work for no real reason other than buying $400 bags and $700 shoes. I don't see the benefit in criticizing poor single women.

Birth and Motherhood Shaunablog said...

I’m confused what point I’m missing here, so yes I’m missing it! I was talking about single moms and struggles, in addition to lifestyle choices (and you brought up cost of living). I was also relating personal experience because I was there and I know what’s it’s like to be a single mom. Everyone has struggles and money issues but I think that more woman should stay home, period. Just my opinion. I even said, “there are circumstances beyond some peoples control which force women to work. More often though it’s a lifestyle choice, one which women are to detached to make.”

So I don’t know how I am kicking anyone poor and single down (nor married with money for that matter). I have friends both on LJ and in "real life" that read this blog whom work part time (or full) and have kids of all ages. Some are single, work and homeschool! Which is VERY admierable! I am not being offensive. I'm simply stating I disagree with people who take off 2, 4, 6 after having a baby and then hand their baby to daycare. It doesn't mean I think they are bad moms. But I disagree with it and think as a society we have a detachment issue with our kids. I also think more moms would stay home if there was a tax benefit to it. Why do I not get a tax credit for taking care of my own child when it takes my time and expense and is better for my child which in turn is better for society. But if I pay someone to watch my child I get a child care tax credit?

If you are referring to my statement to not have babies unless you are going to stay home and 4 week olds being in daycare is disturbing, it is. It’s messed up. I can make a statement like women should breast-fed but I can’t say women should stay home?

I’m not exactly saying women need to be career moms either. I don't think I'm the best because I stay home and homeschool.

I'm not going to make excuses for why some women don't stay home with babies. ("they don't know any better") everyone has their own life to lead and I'm not victimizing the poor. I happen to think when it comes to kids people should think more about what's best and how short of a time babies are babies.