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6 Responses

  1. mk
    mk May 7, 2013 at 9:30 am |

    I was just listening to a story on NPR this morning about Germany’s childcare system and whether it actually supports working mothers. (Consensus among the women interviewed seemed to be that it didn’t, although I tuned in partway through the story.)

    Childcare wasn’t a big part of my own upbringing–I grew up on a farm, so even though both of my parents worked they also stayed home with us, particularly my mom–and I’m amazed at how much that has influenced my ideals now that I’m thinking about having kids of my own. Even though I’ve never judged (or thought I never judged, anyway) the families I know or the kids I grew up with who relied more heavily on childcare, some part of my brain short circuits at the thought of my future kids not having at least one stay-at-home parent.

    But I love my job, and can’t see myself rerouting my whole career to stay at home with a kid or two, so round and round I go. I feel like a buttered cat.

  2. Ashleigh
    Ashleigh May 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm |

    I really love this post because it shifts the perspective on child care in such a positive and truthful direction. Even many progressive folks sometimes view childcare as an important and necessary right for those who need it, but not necessarily as a benefit to children, and certainly not as a lucky opportunity. Thanks for writing!

  3. MH
    MH May 7, 2013 at 2:08 pm |

    I love this post! I feel very similarly, but am not nearly so articulate. I grew up in a two-career household and was fortunate enough to also have some very great childcare experiences. My mother was (and is) an amazing role model. Though she was never in my exact position, I think her having had a career all those years makes it so much easier for her to give good advice to me now. I also think having parents who were always there when it really counted, but who sometimes had to say “No, we cannot go to/take you to XYZ” also helped me to have a healthy sense of reality and decrease the overly grandiose sense of entitlement that some say is symptomatic of my generation.

  4. theresa
    theresa May 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm |

    Thank you; this was such a great post. I shared this on my own FB to honor the people who have helped me mother my child (specifically, my mom, aunt, and two of her preschool teachers).

    Speaking as a mom, I had a lot of guilt when I had my first daughter and had to go back to work, but throughout her life, childcare has really helped her grow and thrive and connect with other people, and she’s had some wonderful experiences and made great friends that she never would have gotten otherwise. When we moved across country and away from my extended family, having her in preschool also helped us grow our chosen family — her preschool teachers have become great friends of ours and even our emergency contacts. I work from home now and am with my younger daughter almost all the time, but I know she will be in good hands when it’s time (really, when our older kid goes to kinder and we can afford it) to put her in preschool. And having such great support has enabled my partner and I to provide for our family and be happy in our own careers. It really does take more than a village!

  5. Natalia
    Natalia May 8, 2013 at 6:48 am |

    Yes, thank you for this.

    We live in a world where good childcare can also be a matter of life and death. It’s not a “sexy” topic – and yet the country would be so much better off if we prioritized it more.

  6. Rachel Q
    Rachel Q May 11, 2013 at 11:32 pm |

    Erin, what a clear, thoughtful and truthful piece. You capture the importance of having quality childcare, no matter if it comes from our parents or other adults in our lives. I know I was blessed to have a great daycare provider pretty much from birth because my mother and father both worked. I appreciate your recognition that strong women can be mothers, leaders, workers, caregivers–and often many of these things all at once.

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