January 22, 2007

One of the eighty billion things I love about this blog is how I can ask for a salon recommendation and half a day later I have twenty different personally-endorsed businesses to choose from. You guys are awesome.

I called the Bellevue salon, Obadiah, and ended up getting an appointment TODAY, which was incredibly cool and JB grudgingly conceded to pick up Riley only after being promised a sexual favor of the oral variety gallantly volunteered to get the boy so I could make it to the salon after work.

Verdict: well, I liked the salon and the adorable pixie-like girl who cut my hair (she was so tiny and cute, I kept imagining her in a snowglobe, wielding a flatiron and surrounded by falling glitter), but my hair is very short now. Very very short. Shorter than I expected or asked for, and I am pretty sure I was clear on the length I wanted.

However, all the damaged frizzy crappy hair is now gone, and even though I feel a little…nude, like a freshly shorn sheep, it’s nice to be wearing a clean slate on my head. Plus, it’s going to be a breeze, ha ha haaaaaa, to blow-dry this do:

12207_hair.jpg

Pardon the dorkiness of the photo, I haven’t quite mastered the Artistic Mirror Self Portrait pose. I actually took one picture with my eyes crossed because I thought it would be funny, but I was so horrified by my missing-link appearance (seriously, it was…deeply disturbing) I deleted it, then emptied the trash for good measure.

Anyway, I’m generally pleased with the salon, the cut feels good even though it’s a bit more dramatic than what I had planned, and I got to park in a nice big garage and avoid the U-Village mall rats, so thumbs up on Obadiah.

And now the topic will change! The changing of the topic is now!

So, I recently read someone’s blog where she announced her decision to quit her job and be a stay-at-home mom, and someone in her comments stated how glad she was to hear the news, because she’d always wondered why people even have kids if they’re ‘just going to let someone else raise them’.

(I may not be quoting the commenter word for word, but I believe I am capturing the sentiment accurately.)

It’s not the first time I’ve encountered that particular point of view, although it’s been thankfully rare. I know we live in a world of diverse opinions and it’s okay to disagree and it’s all a rich tapestry blah blah blah acceptance-cakes but can someone explain to me just how the hell a person comes to see a working mother as someone who does not raise her own fucking children?

God, it makes me angry. It makes me angry that as parents we are so quick to judge one another’s choices. It makes me angry that someone out there believes I provide Riley with a sub-standard childhood because he goes to a dynamic, loving childcare environment for part of the week. It makes me wonder just how much crack someone has to smoke to believe that mothers and fathers who work outside the home somehow escape the responsibilities of parenting — the joys, the burdens, the whole rollercoaster.

Well! That was ranty. Since I don’t want to end this entry on such a grouchy note, here are a few recent pictures that make me smile:

12207_bird.jpg
A little bird, hanging out on our fence.

12207_boy.jpg
The boy, who would like to know why in hell we haven’t put away the Christmas tree stand. Also could someone get some Windex over here? Thanks.

12207_teeter.jpg
JB and Riley, teetering.

12207_mirror.jpg
Another lame photo taken in a mirror but since it’s a vanity mirror that makes it okay. Right?

12207_dork.jpg
May I present…the suctopus. “What up ladies?”

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Sara
15 years ago

Cute hair! I’m biased on the short hair, since mine is super-short. I hope you won’t miss the longer locks — are you a hair clip kinda gal?
I think people’s “support” of stay-at-home moms can be misguided, hence the nasty comments. My daughter has always love the person or people taking care of her; now she goes to a Montessori pre-preschool that she loves. She gets a lot out of it, just as I find joy in my work. I will soon be working 5 days a week, and has she gotten older I have been feeling a little more torn about her being away from me so much. Everything changes!

Jacqueline
15 years ago

Your hair looks lovely! :D

I wonder why I bothered getting married given my husband and I hardly spend any time together during the work week since we both work full time… [that was sarcastic]

I’m a school teacher. Teachers spend up to 7 hours a day with their students. We are no more raising these kids than wolves are. [Aside: why have kids only to send them off to school all day and let someone else take care of them? yeah, more sarcasm] Parents have the strongest link for and are the biggest influence in a child’s life. Interestingly, women get this complaint levelled against them while men are mercifully let off.

I shrug off that comment by saying that I am better suited to looking after older kids while others are better suited to toddlers.

Mary O
Mary O
15 years ago

Yay! I’m glad you liked Obadiah. It’s the number one thing I miss about living in Seattle. And your new cut is so darn cute. You can really pull off the short hair!

Sonia
15 years ago

I think your hair looks really good!
Ugh on the judgypants parent debate. Can’t we all just get along? I’ve done both the sahm and working mom thing. Neither is better than the other. They both have upsides and downsides. What ever works for you and your family is what you should do, I say.

Mama Ritchie
15 years ago

Parents who judge other parents will unfortunately never go away. You should hear the comments I get from both stay at homers AND worker bees when they hear I work from home 8 hours a day AND take care of my kid full-time. You would think they would be standing in awe and amazement, wondering just how do I do it? I mean, I deserve a medal, right? Instead, I get a confused look, like, “Why would you do something as stupid as that?” Believe me, days like today I ask myself the same question.

Anyway, we just have to support one another and even though I made different choices than you, it’s not better or worse. Just not the same. And when someone judges us, we can call each other and talk about them behind their backs!

Your hair looks FAB! I like the dark shades for winter. And I love your blog too – I got myself a lead on a salon in Shoreline! Thanks Sundry Readers!!!

deanna
15 years ago

i am a 25 year old, single, childless woman [who actually works in pediatrics]and therefore knows something about child development], so i dont know if i can fully comment on the whole parenting thing….BUT i will say that my mom worked part-time while i was growing up and i have some FABULOUS memories of going to a neighbors house a few days a week while she was at work. i LOVED being with the other kids there, but it is clear that my parents raised me and not some daycare/babysitter. i work with a woman who homeschools her two boys, and as per her comments in discussions theyre missing out on a lot of socialization because they spend ALL DAY with her. [not that i have anything against homeschooling per se, but there are some drawbacks…] so i say, dont let those other stupid people bother you. judgemental idiots.

as for the hair….SHORTER the BETTER and it looks fabulous. [however i might be somewhat biased since i sport a pixie cut myself and havent touched a blowdryer or even a brush in years….] did she shape the bottom with a razor? it looks GREAT.

Miranda
Miranda
15 years ago

First of all, LOVE the hair! Love!

Secondly, I’m in my twenties and don’t have any kids, but my mom worked full-time and went to school a night from the time I was two until I was a sophomore in high school. And you know what? I turned out fine. My relationship with my mom is and always has been terrific. We value and cherish our time together. To top it off, I have an honest and solid relationship with my dad since we spent a lot of time together when I was young. Being a working mom doesn’t mean you can’t be a great parent (or a great wife).

angela
15 years ago

“What up ladies?” Heeee.

Alex
15 years ago

Random question: do you and JB not wear wedding rings? Or was yours just off just cuz? I have an odd fascination with people choosing whether or not to wear rings.

Cute do. Definitely shorter than usual, but like someone else mentioned, you pull it off beautifully.

Lesley
Lesley
15 years ago

Your hair (cut and colour) is cute and it suits you, because you’re pretty adorable.

Re because she’d always wondered why people even have kids if they’re ‘just going to let someone else raise them’. Can’t the Dr. Laura bots make an effort to paraphrase her slogans? Really, all these one dimensional home schooling evolution trashing drones do ever do is mimick Dr. Laura speak like good little parrots.

You know, in some ways I can see the point of view (cuz some daycares, like some parents, suck) but what children need is TLC and in their life-time they are going to get that from all kinds of people, many of whom won’t be relatives.

hello insomnia
15 years ago

You are totally rocking that bob. I wish I could do that. I once had a boy-cut and ended up looking like a guy and since then, anything above the shoulders makes me nervous.

Melissa
15 years ago

I rock the same shorter cut as you, and every damn time I go to the salon I feel like there’s just a tad too much neck exposed, and maybe I should give up on the hip short hair and grow it down to my ass, split ends and all. And then 3-7 days pass and I have the most glorious hair in the world. It’s as if the hairs have to get over the trauma and relax and not be all shrunken up into your head. I get your meaning on the “it feels short” thing anyway. It looks cute though…and trust me, it will feel AWESOME by this time next week.

Laura H
15 years ago

When I was a working single mom I was berated for leaving my daughter for “someone else to raise” (not to mention the not being married part). When I was married and loving staying home with my son I was questioned as to whether I was “stunting” him or “smothering” him by not letting him have the preschool experience. Both of my children are bright, happy, and engaging children (I’ve been told). I guess I owe it to someone else in my daughter’s case and just got lucky with my son. /sarcasm.

Jacqueline-do not sell yourself short as a teacher. I truly DO believe it “takes a village” (even though I’m campaigning for John Edwards ;) ) and I do think we owe teachers a huge debt of gratitude for the care and time they spend with our children each day. If not for Mrs. Baker my son would never have come out of his shell in Kindergarten, and boy did he ever.

Swistle
15 years ago

I’ve noticed that hair always feels way shorter than it looks. Like, I get two inches off when I wanted only one off, and I feel like I’m BALD or a BOY, and everyone else doesn’t even notice I got it cut. To me, your hair looks shorter but not way shorter, and it looks totally gorgeous and sleek. You look like some sort of exotic animal to be harvested for its pelt.

Niki P.
Niki P.
15 years ago

The cut is very healthy looking and it really makes your eyes look bigger and brighter. The pixie girl did a good thing!
We always did the split shift thing when the boys were babies. They went to daycare for an hour and a half a day. It was good socialization for them. I know a lot of moms who would be happier if they got out to work for at least a few hours a day. It’s good for the brain.

mrscrumley
15 years ago

I recently announced that I am leaving my job to stay at home, but no one in my comments section made that kind comment. But if they did, then I would have jumped on them and fought back. Being a working mom never made me less of a mom and I don’t think staying home will make me more of a mom. I will just be a different kind of a mom and I am looking forward to finding out who that is.

Love your hair cut. I need one.

Swistle
15 years ago

Shoot, I got distracted by your hair gorgeousness and forgot to comment on the stay-at-home mom remark someone made, which is the kind of comment that makes me feel like GETTING A JOB. I hate it when someone makes me turn against my own decisions by stating their own opinions in a way that makes me want to disassociate with the whole way of life.

Emily
15 years ago

I like the short hair; it makes your highlights look brighter and stuff. That’s only my technical opinion, of course.

warcrygirl
15 years ago

I can’t do short hair of any kind as I have a big, fat, round head so I’m no expert BUT that cut looks cute. Maybe she cut it so short to give you all new, fresh, non-frizzy hair to grow out and nurture and love?

Okay, that made no sense. You look good, woman!

Kristen Voskuil
15 years ago

Regarding the woman who said she doesn’t understand why moms would work: It always surprises me when people publicly brag about ignorance as if they’re proud of it. I wonder if she has the same trouble understanding why fathers would work rather than rearing their children.

Jessie
15 years ago

Re: the rant; I don’t understand why women can say those things about other women, but what about men, do they not feel the same about the men? Because I would think that if you’re going to be that annoying you’d throw the fathers in there too.

Oprah is doing a “mommy wars” show sometime soon (I think this week), and it promises to be incredibly uncomfortable for all involved.

Em
Em
15 years ago

Wow! Your hair looks awesome. That is the hair I’ve always wanted. My super curly hair has always prevented me from having sideswiping bangs, or short hair (exception, afro), but I feel OK living vicariously though others on the internet.

…and, while I know nothing of being a mother, I plan on being a working one someday, and I’m glad to know that it can be done with so much grace and panache.

Frank
Frank
15 years ago

The hair came out looking pretty cute!

Kaire
15 years ago

My mom was a stay at home mom. Before anyone cheers that decision, let me say that being a stay at home mother DIDN’T mean she paid attention to me or my brothers. She didn’t play with me. She didn’t welcome me home from school with a big hug and a “how was your day?” She admits that it was FAR more important to her to have a clean house than to “bother” with us. It’s not just the time you spend with your kids, it’s the QUALITY of the time you spend. I’d be far better mentally if I could say “my mom worked and STILL found time to do things with me.” Instead I can say “my mom was a stay at home mother, kept the cleanest house in the world, but couldn’t be bothered with me.” So to that debate, I say “what the fuck ever.”

Emblita
15 years ago

Okey, first- Hair- totally awesome, the cut looks fabulous on you!
Secondly the whole stay at home-vs. working thing is, well, stupid. We should all do what works for us. Like say our family here, I’m on maternity leave until April 15th (7,5months)and then I’m going to work part-time and my husband is going on paternity leave from March 1st until April 2008! I’d love to stay home too for the first year- but we can’t afford that. But the kid is still going to be sent to playschool for part of the day- because playing with other kids is such an important socialization exercise (and you know, fun). That works for us… other people do it differently.

Zoot
Zoot
15 years ago

Yeah. Those people piss me off too. My favorite, “So – essentially you only see your daughter about three hours a day?” Yes. And I spend those three hours ignoring her because I’m an awful mother.

And I like your hair, but I too have had the “OH MY GOD HOW DO YOU SEE THAT AS HALF AN INCH?” type of post-salon freakout. But my hair looked like shit. Yours looks very cool.

LisaL
15 years ago

Great hair!
I’ve never understood why moms criticize each other–and sometimes viciously–instead of supporting each other. I mean, aren’t we all in the same boat, trying to raise our kids the best way we can in a sometimes scary world?
That last picture of Riley is a hoot! :)

Carrie
15 years ago

I love new salons. Even when I love the one I am going to, I always feel like I might be missing out on something. I like the new haircut, it seems nice and flippy? So not the right word. It seems light and has movement? Something like that, not heavy. Pretty! I can’t talk about the stay at home mom thing right now as I have a pissy attitude and would seem very ungrateful for my wonderful child. My daycare? I’m pretty sure they earn every penny.

Karla
15 years ago

My goodness – you, your hair and your whole family are so entirely adorable!

kendra!
15 years ago

Ooh gurl, I dig the new shorn ‘do. I always feel my wishes a bit compromised by m’hairdresser (snowglobestress and otherwise) but then after a couple of days, I realize that she totally knew what she was doing cutting off the dried out locks and, frankly, she HAD to do it. She had to go the half inch shorter. Otherwise, it’d be totally counterproductive and I would enjoy half an inch less of the hair ogling once I got to the office.

Insert Topic Change here –> I’m glad you mentioned “dynamic” among the adjectives used to describe the suctopus’ daycare. I was shuttled in and out of the homes of babysitters (mean, molestacious ones and lovely ones who put perfume on my wrists before I went to school so I wouldn’t smell like their cats) and into a couple of more institutionalized ones. The daycares were not as cozy as home, but they certainly were built-in playgroups and have helped me to be more independent and fight for my right to another proverbial graham cracker at lunch. I don’t regret that my parents chose to put their chilluns in daycare. It made me me. It was pretty fun, too. I’m really thankful, in fact, that my parents cared enough to pay the bucks to put me into nice places with better toys than we had at home. Hats off, is what I’m saying.

Anne Glamore
15 years ago

Hey- give the short hair a couple of days and you’ll die when you figure out all the cool things you can do with it with bobby pins and blowing it out straight, or not, etc. It looks fabulous.

I think surely the days of people criticizing mothers’ work at home or at the office or stay at home or any variation thereof has got to be almost over, doesn’t it? Because we’ve been over it time and time again, we’re all doing the best we can, and frankly, the topic is getting tired. That lady is about 8 years behind the times in terms of comments.

Keep on w/ your bad self!

kara marie
15 years ago

I like the short hair. Sometimes to get rid of all the damaged stuff you lose more than you expect, I think. Look how cute! Look how shiny!

Ang
Ang
15 years ago

Love the hair! I frames your face nicely.

Melanie
Melanie
15 years ago

Can I just tell you that on the SAHM nonsense I have to deal mostly with my mother in law. She doesn’t understand how I could work. She actually told my husband that I probably wasn’t prepared or eager to be a mother if I wasn’t willing to quit my job and stay home and raise my kid. Also, daycare breeds illness and ADHD didn’t exist until the masculinization of women in the 80s when all kinds of crazy feminists felt like they had to work to be fulfilled and family be damned. First of all, I make more money than my husband. Not a lot more, but still more. So our income would be cut by more than half. Also, I carry our health insurance. So if I did leave my job we would be in dire straights, and excuse me if I think keeping my daughter in milk and raisins is more important. Not to mention the fact that I love my job. I love working. The thing is that I also understand the other side of it. My sister stays home with her two kids and loves it. I read an article, I think in the New Yorker, but I don’t remember, about the competitive mommies, all “My way is right. You must quit your job/co-sleep/breastfeed/baby-wear/etc. It was really disturbing. I would never tell another mommy that she should work and I don’t like being told I should stay home.

Stephanie Brown
Stephanie Brown
15 years ago

i cannot get over the cuteness that is your child!!! he is just the perfect mix of you and JB. and your hair? very nice :) I think it looks great!

Karen
15 years ago

Your hair looks great; your pictures made me smile, too!

I am a SAHM, and I also cringe whenever I hear that same attitude. I also get the backlash of these Other People’s attitudes myself. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had hostile comments thrown my way from highly defensive working mothers, such as, “I’m a BETTER MOM for working.”
Reason A: “We cannot afford the LUXURY of me staying home. We would be broke and my kids would suffer for it. I can’t be that selfish.” (So it’s assumed that we can “afford” my staying home with the kids. And? I’m also selfish. Hmm.)
Reason B: “I want my kids to go to college, so I have to work.” (Ah, yes. My kids will be going to vocational schools because I chose to stay home with them. Because you’re obviously a horrible parent if you can’t come up with $50 grand in cash to send your kid to school. And I’m guessing at how much it will cost in 2018 — could be much more.)
Reason C: “My kids learn more in preschool (a.k.a. daycare, as far as I’m concerned, when they’re only, like, 12 months old) than I could teach them by staying home with them.” (Of course, if I let them out of the closet for more than meals and potty training, I could spending more time playing with them and teaching them things, but then when would I have time for watching my soaps and eating my bonbons?)

Well! THAT was a ranty, too! Don’t get me wrong — you have a legitimate complaint, because I am deeply annoyed by the comments you’re describing, too. Why can’t people just be happy with their own choices of parenting? Because that’s exactly what the rude comments are all about: feeling inadequate and unsure of your decisions as parents. I have never questioned anyone else’s choices, because I assume they made the best choice for their family based on their own circumstances. I feel sorry for the defensive and judgmental parents, because I can only assume they chose to do what THEY wanted to do rather than what is best for their family. And feeling guilty sucks.

Sorry for the length. This is a biggie for me. Also, I’ve had too much coffee…

Lawyerish
15 years ago

Ok, I saw the comment you’re referring to (not that it was the first of its kind), and I about lost it as well. Of all the rhetoric people drag out on both sides of the working/at-home mom issue, this is the one that blinds me with rage. It’s just so…so….ABSURD.

Similarly, a few years ago I was in a conversation with a few women of varying ages and marital…er, stati? One of them had two grown children, and she and her husband had both worked full-time from the time their kids were born on up, so they had a live-in nanny until the kids were in high school. The woman was talking about how it worked for them, not in a boastful way but just in a “here’s what we did and how we made it work” way, and this other woman, who was not married and did not have children (not that it matters, but just FYI), said, “I would never do that. You pay someone to clean your toilet; you don’t pay someone to raise your children.”

It was such an astonishingly rude (and misguided) thing to say that I just about fell out of my chair.

Why, WHY can women not just support each other and acknowledge that what works for them doesn’t work for everyone?

Ack.

And your hair? Awesome. I love it.

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

I assume that if someone believes using childcare equals not raising your kids, that someone will be homeschooling their own kids. Until they’re 18. I mean, that’s a parent’s job, right? What, are you going to let TEACHERS raise your children during their formative teenage years?

Also, lovely haircut. Whenever I’m shocked at how short my cut is, I always feel better about it in three or four days.

Caitlin
Caitlin
15 years ago

Oooh, I like the darker and shorter–definitely not too short at all, it looks very elegant and sophisticated indeed.

jonniker
15 years ago

I, too, saw the comment in question, or at least one similar to it, and had a similar reaction. It’s just such a stupid thing to say, and reminds me of the time Mimi Smartypants answered someone who said this with, “You’re right, oh my God, I’m not sure Nora even knows who I am. Good thing you pointed that out!”

Working moms are moms, and good goddamn, it’s just as hard and just as valid as a SAHM, it’s just DIFFERENT. On the other hand, I’m bothered by the rhetoric on the other side that implies that mothers should *only* work, because SAHMs are marshmallows who do nothing but focus on their children in an unhealthy way and working moms are great, because they have LIVES, unlike those pesky, fat, slobby SAHMs.

So many of these comments are derived from people’s own defensiveness about their mothering choices, and it sucks. Working moms are defensive because they’re attacked for “letting other people raise their kids” and SAHMs are constantly defending against attacks that they are raising self-centered, unsocialized brats and are losing their sense of self-worth and squelching feminism at every possible moment. Neither is true. Both are valid, enviable choices for different reasons, and each person has to decide what works for them, and for their family.

The judgment, oh, it makes me crazy.

April
April
15 years ago

the hair looks cute! i love the pic of riley in the mirror, suspicious as usual.

thanks for the nikon advice! really appreciate it.

that comment is awful – I just don’t get people that judge, judge, judge…. you can’t say anything unless you are in that person’s shoes. No wonder so many are so very worried about their parenting choices – you feel like if you do something minorly wrong that everyone is going to jump your case.

along the same lines re:judgemental mother comments – stephanie klein has had some hella mean commenters since she had her babies, i pretty much just read her posts and don’t read her comments anymore. I just wonder where these people come from? Stepford?

whoorl
15 years ago

I remember the comment. I also remember thinking something along the lines of “HOLY FUCK” when I read it. Can I just jump on Jonniker’s bandwagon? True that, Jonniker. True that.

And your hair looks pretty damn good, if you ask me.

Swistle
15 years ago

Karen (comment XXXVI), I have gotten the same kind of thing. I think staying home is good, I think working is good, I think a combination of both is good, and I never try to tell anyone that my way is better than their way, and yet I can’t count how many times I’ve been told that another mom wished she had the “luxury” of staying home, as if I am lounging around in piles of money, or as if being at home all day with the kids feels even remotely like the word “luxury.” Before she says it, I feel nothing about her choices, I don’t even think about them; after she says it, I start eyeing her expensive car, her house that’s way better than mine with way newer furniture, and I start wanting to fight. It’s so dumb, because defensiveness in either direction just causes these violent feelings that didn’t exist before. I think we’d probably all get along better if there wasn’t so much talk about Mommy Wars. I saw an article in a magazine about it recently, and I just skipped the entire thing, and then skipped the letters section in the next issue. I don’t want to hear EITHER “SIDE” bitching about the other “side.” I think both “sides” are right, because both choices are right.

And Jessie (comment XXI), also totally right: Why aren’t there Daddy Wars about whether fathers “choose” to stay at home or to go to work?

Joanne
15 years ago

I think your hair looks terrific (Gee, your hair looks terrific – or are you not old enough to remember that ad?). Anyway, it looks great and sometimes a severe chop chop is necessary after a long time – in your case it seems to be working.

I have to say that sometimes I feel that way about parents who have their kids in day care. BUT I never say it to anyone except my husband is that okay? I used to work in a private school that had a program for three year olds and a lot of those three year olds were there from when Beforecare opened (6:00) and stayed until Aftercare closed (6:00). Sometimes those three year old kids were seen for ‘discipline’ problems because they were ‘acting out’ and I would think, man, maybe they’re just TIRED – they had longer days than I did! And they were three years old! Anyway, I do feel that some people, in my experience (I am loathe to say mothers although we are always the ones that get blamed, aren’t we?) do seem bugged by the amount of time that it takes to raise their children. I have a friend who told me she didn’t intend to breastfeed because she felt it made the baby too ‘dependent’ on her. I don’t think the experience of raising up a baby is the same for mothers who work outside the home as it is for mothers that stay at home. If there are 24 hours in the day and you spend 10 of them at work or going to work, you are not watching your child as much. I used to think it was so much easier for moms who worked outside the home but now I think it’s hard no matter what you do. I try hard to not judge anyone, especially women for the choices they make regarding childcare. But I’m sure I’m on the defensive most of the time, since I rarely hear anyone taking up for the Stay at Home Mother the way they do for the Working Mother. I literally can’t count the amount of times over the last 19 months that someone has asked me when I am ‘going back’ to work. Many people have told me that they would ‘love’ to stay home but they need more ‘intellectual stimulation’ than staying home could give them. It’s annoying and defeating and has a lot to do, in my experience, with the ‘Mommy Wars’.

Sara I.
15 years ago

Mixed Chicks products stop frizzy hair.

JMH
JMH
15 years ago

Ok, many comments and not much time.

I am a teacher, so thanks to all of you who have acknowledged all of our hard work in your comments. Since I am a teacher, I feel very blessed because I get to be a working mom 9 months of the year and a SAHM during the summer. I guess I get “the best of both worlds”. When I had baby #1, I REALLY resented going back to work. I felt terrible leaving MY baby to go to work and teach other people’s children. But, due to our financial situation at the time, I had to work. When I had Baby #2, I was able to take a 4 month (PAID!) leave of absence before I had to return to work. That worked out very well for me. Now that my kids our older (5 ys. and 3 yrs) I realize that I was not meant to be a SAHM. I love it in the summer, but to be honest, I an READY to go back to work wach fall. IN MY OPINION, I am a better mom because I work AND I am a better teacher beacuse I am a mom. Anyway, it works for me. And whatever works for you is great and I will support you 100%!!!

JMH
JMH
15 years ago

oops! That sentence was supposed to say “I am ready to go back to work each fall” So much for spell check!!

Scott
15 years ago

I like the new hair, but I’m a guy, so no one asked me.

I will echo the other 17,000 people on the day care thing. First of all, Sofia loves day care. She loves her teachers, she loves the activities they do, and she loves playing with other kids. It’s not like they dump her in a coal bin and feed her bread crusts.

Second: if I am a bad parent, it’s because I don’t take her to day care enough. That place puts us to shame. Whenever we’re home with Sofia, we’re always cleaning the house or doing dishes or trying to figure out why none of our light bulbs fit in any of our lights. This doesn’t leave us a lot of time to schedule scintillating fun for the child.

At day care they have activities, education, and games every minute of the day. Last night when I picked her up from day care, they were using shaving cream to write numbers and decorate plastic animals. (“Zebra,” Sofia informed me when I arrived. “Zebra.”) Would we ever think to do a fun activity like that, much less unleash Sofia with a can of shaving cream? Hellz no. Day care is way more fun than being at home. Sometimes I worry that Child Services is going to show up and award permanent custody to the day care center.

Finally, let me say this: children learn by watching what their parents do. If parents enjoy their jobs, are mentally (or physically) engaged in what they do, and have a good balance of family time and work, might that just teach their children a few things about being a healthy adult? My dad is a doctor and worked crazy hours when I was a kid, which meant that he wasn’t always around. That taught me a few things: about finding a job that you love, about being dedicated to what you do, and about using your talents to the fullest. He also spent a lot of time with us, and knowing how hard he worked made that mean even more, because we knew what an effort he had to make to get to soccer practice on time.

I’m not saying that all jobs are necessarily good for parents, nor am I saying that two working parents necessarily make a healthy family. I’m sure there are a lot of lousy parents who also send their kids to day care, and I’m sure there are some good parents whose kids aren’t well-served by day care. But just saying that day care == bad is reductive and silly. I guess we already knew that.