Thursday, August 12, 2010

Stay At Home Doesn't Mean Do Nothing

The Orange County Register has a feature called "Ask the Teacher". This edition was of interest to me. The "question" this time is really a statement:

I'll have you know my child loves going to preschool, and I send her from 8 to 530 all summer long, even though I am home.
This first sentence alone brings several things to mind.

Children like all sorts of things that we either keep them from, or limit.

There is a possibility that the child knows that her mother wants to hear her say she likes it.

Maybe the child just wants to get out of the house and play with other kids. But she can do so with her mother. There's nothing positive going on at this day orphanage that can't be provided by the mother.

Why bother having and retaining custody of kids if you're going to have other people raise them?
Would she be happy if she was able to say, "My husband loves paying to hang out with the guys nine and a half hours a day when he could be spending that time with me."?

I think she will benefit from it, and I do enjoy the time to myself. I still think my child is a 'gift' and I do not think I am escaping my responsibilities by finding somewhere for her to go that she likes.
This can all be distilled down to "I enjoy the time to myself." The rest is fluff, meant to bury any feelings of guilt. This woman is not sending her girl to be in someone else's care for what is likely more than half of that girl's waking hours because she "has to".

Which brings me to the fact that it must be nice for her husband to go out and earn the income and take on an enormous financial risk - the risk that she will divorce him, and he will be obligated to pay her more because she didn't work – while she has every day to herself. When a husband agrees to be the breadwinner, it generally isn't so his wife and indulge herself day in and day out. It is so that she can take care of things like… raising the children. Imagine if the sexes were reversed and she was going out to work all day while her husband dumped the kid on others every day so he could have ten hours to himself?

Looks like the columnist, Carol Veravanich, wasn't happy with the woman's actions, but didn't want to be too strong about it.

I would not send a child to preschool all day every day for this long if I were home, although if I were working then I would work to find somewhere my child enjoyed to spend his time.
But, if you are home and not watching your child, then I think that is sad. The program you found may be best since they will welcome her in each day. You will not get this time back, however, and just because there is somewhere for her to go, that does not mean she should leave.
Poor kid.

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