Friday, June 24, 2011

this moment

asleep at daycare

This moment I wasn’t there for – a midday nap at day care. This among many other moments I have missed while I go to work and my little ones go about their own daily routines.

Whist the picture is black and white my feelings about sending my children to daycare aren’t. I would like to write that they’d be better off staying at home with me all day, but that is not true. Nor is going to daycare better than spending the day with me at home. There are good bits about both.

So many friends have been made and so much confidence and independence developed from going to daycare. Meal times at the end of the day are also more interesting because we all have our own ‘news’ to share. Other families’ values are also introduced to our children and this can be both a good and bad thing. New words and behaviours are learnt there and as such boundaries at home become clearer.

Australia has one of the oldest traditions of formal structured childcare in the world. Whilst the women convicts laboured officer’s wives “re-educated” their children. To this day educational outcomes are linked to childcare in this country.

What are your views and thoughts about childcare?


  1. I used to be a Family Day Care mum so I can see both sides of the could be opening up a can of worms here ;-)

  2. Haha - this could get interesting. I might come back later with some popcorn.

    I agree, there are pros and cons for both sides. I don't think it has to be an either/or thing though.

    I am at home with the kids because that is what we feel is right for this family.

    I have heard crap like "I didn't have kids for someone else to raise them" and "People who stay at home are lazy dole-bludgers" but I think both of these views are very narrow-minded.

  3. Mummies (and families) simply need to made a decision about child care that is right for them. And regardless of the choice to either stay home or to put children in care we should respect, support and honour the choices of others.

    Oh - and remember that in many, many cases there is no 'choice'. I am a single mum (not by choice) so the buck stops with me to work and provide for me and my son. I just do my best to make good decisions about the care he receives, and to remain as involved as I can with his care providers.

    I'm with you Sally - there are good bits about both.

  4. Childcare makes me a better mum and like you say, give the kids time to learn and interact with other non-family people.

  5. Firstly, I LOVE that photo, it's sooo cute!
    Secondly childcare is a HOT issue and a deeply personal one. Yes I agree education in based on childcare and I love that because I know with my own kids they have really enjoyed the learning aspect of childcare and I think that the structure of childcare now is so holistic, from Aboriginal culture, to marine life, to pollution to writing your name - there is so much to education and toddlers suck it up like a sponge. That being said Eva in care 2 days (and 3 days next semester) is enough for me, I miss her and she misses me, and since it's school next year I am loving the extra time we have together. I am one of the lucky ones where childcare is a choice, It would be heartbreaking to have to work if what you really wanted was to be with your kids. Mothering is the hardest job in the world and you have to do what is best for your own family.

  6. Daycare works for us, I have tried working PT out of the house as well as PT for DH business. We are in a position now to ditch daycare in favour of C&K but we are very conflicted as Miss K has made some beautiful friendships with both kids and teachers at her centre.

    One thing I dont like about daycare is the sickness... Week after week we have something coming through and it is horrible :(

    I say whatever works for each family, having been on all sides of working mum / SAHM / WAHM I can definitely say you dont know what its like on the other side until you've been there. hats off to ALL women with kids!

  7. Pre-school, as it is here, is great. I miss the kids heaps though and I wouldn't mind having one more day with them per week. Funnily enough I have every right to drop my hours, but having the right legally doesn't help the fact that if I do, my colleagues will have to wear the burden of it, and that would make me feel too guilty. They learn heaps there, they always have new things to share and always come home having learned something new. In a week however I have 6 weeks annual hols and FT home with the kids, and I am not sure how I will cope going back to that. Working FT has been like a huge break in a way.

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  9. Its one of the hardest things leaving your baby with someone you dont really know. After trying almost everything I think I have resigned myself to the fact that I will feel guilty and like I am missing out no matter what I do, work or stay at home :)

  10. Well, it just is what it is. Like many things in our lives. I think we overthink so many things! Choices that we agonise over are really just the fabric of our children's lives in all life's pros and cons. Daycare is just what we do two days a week around here and has been since my babes were very young. Good / bad, it is what it is. x

  11. I think the value and importance of childcare varies among families and among children - and also from time to time. My daughter has always loved childcare and I'm often amazed by what she learns there. That said, there definitely is a limit. She's currently going five days for just a few months. It's WAAY too much and any benefit is lost. She loves it and has fun and still begs to be the last one picked up, but her behavior and manners are influenced more by other people than us. She's happy - but I'm miserable. I guess childcare is like anything, it's about balance.

  12. We all know that RITE AID is implicated with TEXAS U!

  13. Fuck off Carmen.
    We know who you are!
    Six blogs trailing you for two years is enough of your " ass".

  14. Monty?
    Remy - El Salvador?
    Yon - Louisiana - Bee?

  15. Hi Sally,,i loved you bath sweet. How exciting to have a baby fluttering around in your tummy. Child care centres give me the shivers...i cant help but feel sorry for the kids in there..but maybe some of them are better off there than at home?
    I hope you get some more relaxing time with your tiny one.
    manda x

  16. I can offer you a perspective as the mother of teenagers. I personally think it is better to work part time if you can afford to. That way you can keep your foot in a career, maintain some financial benefits and still have time and energy with your kids. I did't work when my kids were young and now it is very hard to get part time work with no experience. We have enough to live on but no extras for say a game of mini golf etc. The plus side is I have 3 wonderful teens (and an 11 year old) who have never given us a day of trouble. Their friends who sometimes stay here whose parents both work full time tell them they wish their homes were the same as ours. Interesting those friends have anything that could be bought.

  17. Hey there, I'm new to your blog. Thought I would respond to the childcare post because I am currently dealing with this myself. I had my first baby, a daughter, in May. As a teacher, I have had a wonderful summer "off" with her, but have to go back to work in a couple of weeks. Sadly, we can not afford for me to stay home. I do NOT want to send her to daycare, BUT.... 1)She will have access to more toys/interesting things than we could ever afford to buy. 2)She will meet and be around new people. 3)I get to rush in and pick her up every afternoon =) and cherish even more the time we spend together in the evenings and on weekends. 4)Finally, I will be contributing to the financial stability of our little family so that we can provide better for her.

    Sorry...hope that wasn't too rambly.

  18. My own thoughts are to be gentle on yourself, allow yourself time to work out by trialling things what works for you all and to try to trust no matter what circumstances/arrangements your family uses that they'll be okay. xo kate Beautiful photo too...

  19. It is really interesting reading all the posts as I used to be the SAHM for 4 years, to now have swapped it and is now the FT worker mum with 6 weeks off a year for quality time, plus weekends of course :) The comments reflect the daycare and work issue in Australia quite well and I can relate to everyone's comments thinking back to Australia, but in a Swedish setting many of the issues no longer applies to me. I have no qualms leaving them with people I do not know, as us parents spend the first full week with the children at the daycare/preschool to get to know the staff, the other children and the other parents. I miss them, but I also know that they are learning lots of things, this as the daycare here has a lesson plan just like a school does, it is not just a holding place for my kids while I am at work. they are there to learn. My kids are also now at an age that before they even started daycare they already had most of their values installed by us, the parents, so the influences from others are not as strong. I do get annoyed that my youngest 2yo forgets his manners, and that it is not encouraged at daycare for him to use it (language barrier), but we still get enough time at home to remind and explain that part.


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