Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Mommy Wars Strike Again: Childcare Woes

So I was fiddling around over on Facebook (read: wasting time), and ran across this question: Nanny, Daycare or Grandparent...and why? Here is my reply:
I think whatever works for your family, child and budget. As long as they are being nurtured, it doesn't really matter what someone else thinks. We did daycare when we had to and could afford it, now I stay home part time and we have a grandparent watch part time. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Both environments worked just fine for our kids. Why stress about it? Plus, not everyone would rather stay home, and that is okay. Know yourself and what will help your children thrive and go with it.
Photo Credit:
BrittanyBush on Flickr
Can I tell you how many of the responses were vitriolic? It was an honest question, but the trouble is that we cannot provide honest answers without a heaping dose of judgment. There were so many "mommy!" responses (hello, not one of the choices) and assumptions that every mother would naturally stay at home if she could. That just isn't true, and that is okay. Say it with me...your choices are okay as long as your child is being nurtured and loved by you. There were an equal number of emphatic replies for all the choices. 

I suppose my true question is this: can we have a discussion about the pros and cons of the different options out there with the assumption that parents will choose what is best for them, and ...wait for it...that it is OKAY if they choose differently from ourselves. It's a rough world out there in mommyland. I mean, you're up to your elbows in bodily fluids on just a few minutes of sleep for what seems like a few millenia - do we really need to belittle people on their choices of how they are going to make it through? 

Shouldn't we rather focus on building one another up and encouraging each other to fight the good fight even when it seems we cannot move one more muscle or keep that eyelid cracked open one more millisecond. When one more dirty diaper might throw us over the edge, is it really necessary to raise an eyebrow if I decide it is time to hire a sitter and save my children, not to mention my sanity? Are you seriously going to question whether I am being a good mother to my children? Bringing me a bottle of wine might actually go a lot further.

So long as I am giving of myself fully when I am with my family, does it matter who I decide will watch them if I feel called to work, or hey, have to work? Not everyone is privileged enough in this economy and culture to stay home. Shouldn't we be helping working moms and single moms fight the good fight without ripping open the wounds of doubt that deeply reside in every mother? Oh, and on that note, if I am not giving of myself completely, is it really your place as a nameless, faceless stranger to tell me so? 

Why, oh why, do we turn questions about options into platforms for pridefulness? If you want to know why we made the decisions we made, I will tell you. I don't owe you any explanations, of course, but my hope in sharing is that someone who finds themselves in a similar situation can glean something that will bring them a little peace and comfort...and by some miracle even a little guidance, though that would definitely be the Holy Spirit at work and not me.

Photo Credit: MonsieurLui on Flickr
So, before I stage my dismount from this here old soapbox, can we please.oh.please just end this whole mommy war nonsense? I know, it's been around for all the ages and is just getting more play via the interwebs and modern media. Here is the deal, ladies. It ain't what we're called to be as mothers. Life giving, ladies, life giving. Not just through ye olde birth canal (or uterus if you're a c-section repeat like me - tell me that doesn't open a whole can of judgmental worms!), but in our words, in our interactions, in our smiles and our sorrows...give life, not wounds. 

And now, with a double back flip pirouette, toes clearly perfectly pointed, off I go from this soapbox....THUD. Yeah, that'd be about right.

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