5.8.10

Stay Home Mom not Watching her Own Child

Comments written by a reader: 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. 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.

Every parent is different. I would not send a child to preschool all day every day for this long if I were home, yet if I was working I would work to find somewhere my child enjoyed to spend his time. There are great programs all over.

My mom worked 2, sometimes 3 or 4 jobs at a time while I was little. I went to after school programs, babysitters, or whatever my mom arranged, and I was fine. I knew she needed to work for us. Kids adjust to all kinds of situations and we should find places where they will learn and grow as they mature. 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.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good morning, Carol.

I meant to email you a few weeks ago when you wrote the "lost time" column. I
was impressed that you wrote so candidly to the woman who seemed to think that
all day (literally) preschool was somehow beneficial to her daughter. Sadly,
our society has embraced the "self-centered", "it's all about me" concept, and
even parents seem to think they need to "get their life back" even while their
children are so young.

I have had the great pleasure of choosing to be with my daughters every day of
their life. I know at times, especially when they are young, that the days
can seem so long. My wise neighbor (ten years ago) told me to embrace the time
with my daughters because "even though the days may seem slow, the years go by
fast.." Her kids at the time were finishing college.

I am a "beyond" blessed mother to realize that even though I could have gone to
work (which was more predictable and, quite frankly, easier than trying to
understand what babies and toddlers needed) and left my children in the care of
others, that I truly made the better decision. My husband and I chose not to
indulge in material toys or vacations, etc. because we wanted at least one of us
to be home with our true treasures. The rewards are beyond what I could have
ever imagined. Yes, days and even weeks were challenging, but I truly know my
daughters and we embraced their childhood together. Now they are involved in so
many other activities that I wish I could return to the quieter days. I will
never get those back, but I have the blessed memories of experiencing real life
with them.

No mother will ever regret the days and years she spent truly spending time and
getting to know her most precious children. I do know mothers around me who
regret their choice to return to work or put their children in another's care.
They realize, now that it is too late, that they will never get that time back.

Thank you for your time and column.

Karen

Anonymous said...

Now you have me all paranoid because I am a stay at home mom who has two children (4.5 year old/2.5 year old) in preschool for three days a week (2.5 hours only)--I thought that it allowed them social play time with peers and also carefree messy painting/art time that they don't get at home all the time. I initially started off with only two days a week but both children wanted to go everyday which I refused so I opted for three days. Am I wrong to do this? I want what is best for my child. I did stop working so I could give them a strong nurturing home life and I do teach them about reading/math/science/art etc on days and times when they are not in the preschool. I try to run all my grocery store/cooking cleaning errands while they are in school so that I don't have to drag them around with me which they despise doing. Did I just shortchange my children by not keeping them home with me until Kindergarten??

Carol Veravanich said...

Sending your child to preschool is great. Two to three days a week for 2.5 hours is fine. That mother writing in sent her child out of the home all day till late in the evening...More than a full time job and she is at home not working. That is the sticking point for me. My mom worked and I went to child care. I am fine. All day is necessary for some families, and when it is necessary I really think it is different. When you do not need to send your child to child care and you do it anyway, that seems wrong to me. Just my opinion.

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