Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Biting kids is a real job.

I'm back at work now, 30ish hours/ week.  Monster will be in a daycare 2 days/ week, while I work evenings and days around my husband's schedule.

And I feel like a terrible mother. 

When Brat was a baby, I stayed home full time days with her, worked evenings and weekends (when my husband could be home from work). She didn't enter a day care until she was almost 3. I was tired. All the time. But I LOVED being able to be the full time care giver. I think a large majority of society's issues stem from a lack of parenting- yeah, I said it.

And I think in part this is due to women leaving the 'kitchen' to be a part of the work force. Yeah, I said that too.

I'm not a feminist. I'm a humanist. I think humanity suffers when we forget that our kids should come first. Yes, women can do (almost) anything a man can do.  Yes. We can: work; build families; have lives; be superheros. But should we be doing those things when our kids are less than two years old? When they haven't learned to talk yet?

I think we need to recognize that since women have entered the workforce and become more fulfilled as people, we've let go of 'family first'.  Society is falling apart. And it's because we are too busy working to be parenting.

Reality is that the world has changed. Is still changing. It's expensive to live. Very few families can have only 1 full time worker. Most of us cannot afford to stay home from work to raise our children- even if we wish we could. And by the time we're done working 40 hours/ week; doing the housework; the laundry; the chores; and, personal hygiene- we're too tired to cook nutritious meals, too tired to nag the kids to make their beds, too tired to make our kids tell us about their day, lecture them for poor behaviour, bad manners, and irresponsible actions.

We tell ourselves they'll figure it out. But how? Who is teaching our kids that stealing is wrong? That lying is unacceptable? That being polite is an important life skill?

The day care workers? The two ladies who have twenty kids under 5 to supervise? Sure. They're just trying to keep the stupid kid from snorting a rail of sand and eating handfuls of rocks. They are awfully busy for us to be asking that they also instill values in our toddlers.

With the right to be paid workers; to demand equal pay for equal work; to be put on an even keel with men- we've given up something I believe is more important. We've given up the chance to be the ones to teach our children right from wrong. The chance to be a positive influence these first years of life. Many children go into grade 1 unable to differentiate between letters- let alone sound words out or read. We gave that up too.

We gave up our responsibilities to our kids. We handed it off to someone else for $30/ day. For $600.00 a month in day care fees. And on the day your two year old bites the day care worker during a temper tantrum; the day care worker isn't going to bite your child back- that was supposed to be YOUR job. My job. I am giving away the most important job on earth. Biting my child. Yes, you read that right.

But when will someone stop and say, "Being a stay at home mom is more important than being an employee. I'll go back to work when my children no longer need me to teach them not to bite." I wish it could be me saying it.

I understand that there are times when being a stay at home parent is completely impossible. Nothing is free. And single parents simply don't have that luxury at all.

But I still feel terrible that Monster is going to be in daycare 2 days a week. I hope that the other 5 days are enough for me to teach her all the things she needs to know.

So, if you see my kids acting like dicks- yell at them. Because I'm not always here to do it myself.  And I promise, if I see your kids acting like A-holes, I'll yell at them for you in return.


  1. I read all the comments on facebook & think they are rather harsh. You are absolutely right in your beliefs. Who is raising our children? You said it, someone that is looking after multiple children doesn't have the time to teach our children values. Applause for you, Sarah for saying what you believe.

  2. Thank you. I don't think the people who commented had actually read the entire post. I think they only read as far as "I'm not a feminist"- because if they'd read the entire post, they'd have realized what I was getting at is this and only this (which has very little to do with feminism and everything to do with being a guilt ridden mother):

    Gender equality/ work place equality came at too high a price- whether you agree or not, that is what I believe. It's a price we HAVE to pay, if we want our families to be financially stable. But I still believe the price is too high. I have no choice but to pay the price.

    I pay the price because while I wish I could spend all my time/ energy being the best mother I can be, I want my daughters to know that if they choose to be doctors, lawyers, mathematicians or even stay at home mothers- that's their RIGHT to choose.

    So, yes, the cost is a society with less children being parented as best they could be, and more women being CEO's. That's an extremely high price to my mind.


Feel free to share comments. If I find your comment offensive- which is pretty hard since I am *almost* unoffendable- I won't publish it.