Okay, so I know that for those of you who regularly (or semi-regularly) read this blog I had promised to write about choosing quality childcare. I still think this is an absolutely critical subject and will be happy to write about it, but not today.
It is currently 3:33 a.m. and I am having a bout of sleeplessness. I am not employed currently, with it being summer and school out and all, so I have been looking for a good babysitting/nanny type thing to do to keep me busy and bring in a little extra money. In fact, it was this search that made me start writing about the whole quality childcare issue, because I saw so many parents posting on babysitting sites about needing a sitter TONIGHT. Huh? I have always considered myself an overprotective mother so maybe it's my Mama Bear coming out of its cage, but who in their right mind hires a babysitter the DAY THAT YOU NEED ONE? And you're hiring somebody off a babysitting board? HUH?
But I digress. There is another phenomenon out there that is just as shocking to me, and I'm willing to take the flack for it because I know this is incredibly un-PC to talk about. But I find myself shocked and even a bit disgusted at the number of parents willing to leave their babies with a caregiver for ten or twelve hours a day. Some of these infants are only two weeks old. Some of these parents want to pay fifty or sixty dollars a week. Let's see...ten hours a day times five days a week divided by fifty equals...one dollar an hour. To care for your CHILD.
This isn't the time to be thrifty, folks. I do understand there are some parents who absolutely must work to stay afloat. But I also know there are some parents who willingly choose to have the larger house, the more expensive cars, the incredible vacations, because a two-parent income will allow them that, especially if they can get by paying a low wage for their childcare provider. I also understand that some women would go nuts if they had to stay home all day, as would some men. But if that's the case, is there a reason you can't hire a babysitter part time for a decent wage and work part time, or better yet...volunteer for your community???
Here are my issues with this situation:
1. If you don't like babies, or children in general, why have them? There are excellent birth control methods on the market, and there's this thing called adoption, too. It may sound cold, but being a woman who is unable to conceive myself, I would have welcomed the opportunity to raise a healthy baby.
2. How in the world do you expect to get to know a person who spends the majority of his or her time with you while s/he's sleeping?
3. Since when did a big house signify excellence in parenting? Has anyone seen The Real Housewives? Come on, people. Stuff is just stuff, and is no sort of measure of anything, except one's ability to acquire it.
4. Speaking of Real Housewives and parents who just don't think they could handle being at home with their children, there are excellent parenting courses out there to help you manage your concerns and fears.
5. When you look back on your life do you really think you'd regret having spent more time with your children? Most people don't die saying, "I really wish I had finished that budgetary report in 2010."
Yes, in case you haven't figured it out I am a huge proponent for children being raised by, well, their parents. Parents who choose to have another person raise their children have no room to complain about nannies imparting different values to children, nor do they have a leg to stand on when their child cries for the nanny.
You conceived them. You wanted them. Please have enough long-term thinking to realize you'remaking a lifetime commitment.
Alcoholics Anonymous has a wonderful saying. Once you have gotten sober, get a plant. If the plant is still alive in one year, get a pet. If the pet is still alive in one year, get a significant other. I don't know where children fall in that, but I would imagine it falls much after the significant other.
People die every day with regrets of not spending enough time with loved ones. Don't be that person.