No matter what kind of child care arrangement you've got, it isn't easy, and you might feel guilty about it. Maybe you worry about your kids getting enough attention or catching germs. Maybe you wonder if your kids are neglected when you stick them in front of the TV so you can send those urgent emails. I bet there are some SAHMs who feel like they haven't got it figured out, either.
Is day care all bad? All good? A necessary evil? A great way to educate your children? I don't think there's a simple answer because there are so many variables. So much depends on the age of your kids, on the teachers at the school, the teacher to child ratios, the pay rate of the teachers, the quality of the facility, the curriculum....I could go on.
Obviously, some families have little choice. And sometimes it's a matter of doing what works for everyone, not just whether or not children are starving. What's best for each family can only be determined by each family.
That's why I think we need to be careful with how we speak about child care. I'm not sure if I picked this up from someone else or from my own opinions, but I used to believe that putting kids in daycare was akin to entrusting them to Satan. If you were a mother and you dropped those kids off with someone else, that innocent-looking daycare provider would start growing horns and carrying a pitchfork as soon as your back was turned. Before you knew it, your child would forget who you were, scream when you came to pick him up, and beg to join a Satanic cult as soon as he was old enough to talk.
This, of course, was all your fault as your mother, even if it wasn't. Because all people who put their kids in daycare had their priorities out of whack.
Now that I'm a mother, I see things differently. Not because I think kids aren't as important as work, but because I've learned, as a parent, how much I don't know. What works for me doesn't always work for everyone else. Family time is vital (hence my website), but other things matter, too.
Do you love your children's day care/ preschool/ babysitter? Are you happy with how things worked out or would you do it differently if you had a choice?