Saturday, January 07, 2006

Daycare Follies

I have a friend who's about to have a baby, and I have a lot of concerns regarding that. I've written stuff inspired by converations with him before. Now, I've found out that his wife is quitting her job to take care of the baby. That's why I find this post by Bitch Ph. D. very appropriate. Her job isn't a typical nine-to-five. It seems to me that she could probably work out some flexibility into her schedule, and work at least a few days a week. And my friend and I work a twelve-hour rotating swing shift, so we only work 14 days every four weeks, although 7 of those are at night. And I can't imagine my buddy would balk at taking primary care of his new little one for a few hours on his days off. He's not the Parent-From-The-Couch type.

But she's pretty adamant about quitting her job, and she's claiming that it's a financial decision. But between the tax break for actually having the kid and the tax break for having the kid in day care, I find it hard to believe that they couldn't find affordable daycare. I mean, she's still working the same job that she was living off of when she met my buddy. It can't be that small a paycheck.

No, she may claim it's a financial decision, but it's really a Mystical Motherhood Experience decision. It's a "No one else is going to raise my baby" decision. It's a seemingly hysterical decision, judging from the way she snapped at me when I questioned her about it. In other words, it's a bullshit decision. I have seen the effects of daycare on a child. I used to work in a daycare myself. Most children just don't suffer for it.

Think about it for a second. What is kindergarten, but advanced learning daycare? And yet no one screams that sending kids to kindergarten is wrong. This carries on up to high school and beyond. Unless you want to keep your kids in a bubble, like Aradia's fundy friend is doing by homeschooling, then you're going to have to start giving your kid over to someone else's care eventually. And from observations of my "boring friends", Ranson and family, daycare doesn't cause a lack of parent-child bonding. Quite the reverse, as far as I can tell. That kid loves his mom and dad, not mention his grandparents and his aunts and uncles, real or honorary. And he's not the only one. Daycare is not evil. It's not even a necessary evil.

It is, however, sometimes a necessity, especially if women are going to equalize themselves in the power-politics of the economic world. I just wish my buddy's wife saw it that way.

1 Comments:

Anonymous R. said...

Ten to one she's back at work (at the very least part-time) within a year. She's just not going to be able to stay sane at home 24-7. I sure as hell couldn't. It would drive me buggy. By the end of my first maternity leave, I was more than ready to get out of the house regularly. I can't wait to hear her rationalizations then!

1:13 PM  

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