Yesterday at church, when I dropped my daughter off in the nursery, her usual teachers weren’t there. There was a sub. She seemed nice and competent (and was) and Curly Haired Baby ran off to play. I went on my class.
A few minutes later, I heard her distinct screams. I waited it out, but she got louder. I was so far down the hall from the nursery that I knew she was loud for me to hear her. I couldn’t stand it and went to check on her. She and another little girl were upset, they weren’t sure why. So I stayed and figured I might as well help out while I was there. I work in the nursery once a month during the service, so some of the kids are comfortable with me. One little girl in particular, who’s older than Curly Haired Baby and can actually talk so you can understand her, kept asking me tearfully, “Where Miss Stevens? Where Miss Stevens?” Miss Stevens is the usual teacher.
I started thinking about it and I wondered if that’s why Curly Haired Baby and her friend got upset. They wanted their usual teacher. Yes, the sub was great, but she wasn’t Miss Stevens. That lead to me thinking about daycares. At most daycares, the workers have a high turnover. (You would too, if you’re paid the way most of them are.) This has got to be confusing and distressing to the kids. If kids get upset about a new teacher they only see once a week, the constant turnover at daily daycare has to be scary. Only most of them are too young to be able to verbalize it.
This is the part that frustrates me about being a SAHM. I’m supposed to turn my precious little one over to a revolving door of strangers who are considered more “expert” than me to care for my own child. Yes, there are good daycares. I’m not totally against other people caring for your child (I wouldn’t utilize the church nursery if I was), but all day, every day is a bit much. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. Why are we pretending? Why are we trying to convince ourselves that daycare is good for our kids? Yes, at times it may indeed be necessary, but that’s not the ideal. Why can’t we just admit that?
I realize we don’t live in a world where everyone can be a SAHM. But I do believe that a lot of working moms here in America can cut back at work, take a job with fewer hours, or even quit entirely. Not every mom. But most. At least consider it while your kids are preschool age. And for the record, we’re not rolling in dough ourselves. We have a hard time living on one salary, especially when Curly Haired Husband lost his job last year and was out of work for 7 months. But it’s important enough to us to have me at home that we’ve cut out things most families today take for granted. (That’s why it took me a year to get a working dishwasher.) Cars and toys and clothes are temporary. Kids are not.
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