Saturday, June 18, 2016

Daycare is not raising my kids

I recently had a conversation with someone about the work decision mothers face when maternity leave is coming to a close. The phrase "but do you really want someone else raising your kids" was casually thrown out in reference to making the choice whether or not to send children to daycare. I quickly retorted that daycare is not raising my children; that I am raising my children.

But it stuck with me. For a long time. A really long time.

Because what that statement, that very commonly used statement implies, is that by sending my children to daycare, I am not raising them. And that my friends, is bullshit.

Daycare is an amazing place and this post is not intended to diminish the roles those kind, strong, smart women play in my village. Because that's what this is - a village. Daycare is one part of my village which is made up of grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, parents of friends, and neighbours. These are all the people who are helping me to raise our children.

Can we just stop? Stop saying that sending children to daycare is having someone else raise them. I am waking up with my kids in the middle of the night when someone throws up. My husband is calming nightmares, braiding hair and matching cardigans to dresses like nobody's business. We are doing crafts with them on the weekend, talking about days over dinner, and wiping snotty noses all the damned time.

We are raising our children.

The decision to return to work is not an easy one for many mothers. The schedule is daunting, dinnertime is horrific (for me at least), and when you're at work all you can think is,

"Are the kids okay?
I'm sure the kids are good.
I need to focus on work!
I missed my job.
Mmmmm hot coffee.
Oh god, is that daycare calling?
Did someone throw up?
I hope she didn't bite someone (again)."

And when you add into the mix that people are judging you, thinking you're not raising your kids? It can become too much. It makes you question yourself, it makes you wonder. It makes me wonder. But then I remind myself that this is just an outdated idea. And that I don't need to worry about my kids.

Because between midnight - 9 a.m. they have their dad.*
Because between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. they have the staff at daycare.
Because between 5 p.m. and midnight they have me and their dad.
Because on many weekends they have their Papa & Memere.
Because some nights they have their Nana, their Gramma or their favourite babysitter.
*(Let's be honest, he's the one getting up in the night whenever they wake up)

And the kids are alright.

~ H


  1. well said Heather! You and Jake are doing an amazing job with both your girls. (my beautiful granddaughters). And you have found the BEST DayCare Provider! Love you all! <3 <3 <3 <3

  2. I really appreciate this article! Well written and to the point. We ARE still raising our own kids Heather. I recently read an article in BC parents (or something of the like) that discussed quantity vs quality time spent with kids. Similar points to yours. Made me feel much better about my decision to have my kids in daycare. The (almost) daily separation is for the most part, positivity for all invoked. When I am home I try to make a point to spend some QT with them. But even that doesn't always happen.

    1. I'm glad it resonates! Everyone makes their own choices in regard to work and daycare and we're all just doing the best we can.