A Mommy and her boys

Playing, diapers, learning diapers, feeding, diapers and growing…one day at a time!

Rant. October 3, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — harrisonandmommy @ 1:42 pm

First off, I am well aware that I am going to probably get some hate mail from this post.  This is something that has been bugging me for about oh, let’s say a year and a half?  Yes, right around when we moved to Florida.  It didn’t really hit me, though, until the incident I describe below.  I don’t know much about women at home (Calgary) doing this, but if they are, you are included in this rant.

I know some of you moms out there have to work.  I understand the economy is down the toilet.  This is not directed towards you.  I get that moms have to work sometimes.  You have to do what you need to for your family.  Kudos to you for keeping your sanity working and being a mom!

Let the rant begin:

A lot of my friends have the opportunity to be Stay-At-Home Mothers from now on known as SAHM.  I too have this opportunity and I would not change it if I could.  My kids and my husband are my life.  I am blessed that I do not have to work.  I do some photography work, but it doesn’t even qualify as part-time yet it is so minimal right now.  I don’t consider myself a work-at-home mom, but some might.  Whatever you want to say is fine, it doesn’t affect this post.

I am a SAHM and damn proud of it.  Let me break down that for you I. stay. at. home. with. my. kids.  I am the one that changes their diapers.  I feed them.  I put them down for naps.  I teach them.  I play with them.  I change more diapers.  I teach them.  I am with them 99% of the time the other 1% is split between my husband and other family and sometimes friends that are gracious enough to watch them for me if I have an overlap of photography and when Brian can get home.  Harrison is almost 2-and-a-half and Sterling is 6-months old. 

Are you wondering where the rant is?  Here is where it started:  I was in Brian’s store one day with my kids, it was during the day.  I had stopped by there to grab a bite to eat on our way shopping.  There was a young girl, probably younger than me oohiing and awing over the boys.  Sterling was about 2-3 months old.  She was talking to Harrison and he was answering all of her questions: “What is your name?” and all that stuff and carrying on a great conversation.  Then she asks, “He’s so smart.  Does he go to school?”  LOL — he just told you he was 2.  No, he doesn’t go to school.  Last I checked, pre-school started around 4 and kindergarten around 5.  She thought he was smart because I sent him somewhere during the day?  No, my child is smart because he is with me all day.  She then proceeded to tell me that her almost-2-year-old was at school and he went every day — she was lucky enough to get him into an all-day Monday-Friday program.  WHAT?  She said it like she was proud of it.  She said that she was a SAHM with one child.  BACK THE GRAVY TRAIN UP — You are a SAHM and someone else is with your kid all day during the day?  I was so in shock I wasn’t sure what to say.  I wanted to scream at her.  WHAT ARE YOU DOING?  Does that make sense to you?  So that is where it all started. 

And then I started paying more attention to the women I talked to.  It is not uncommon here to send your kids to ‘school’ at 2 and 3.  You aren’t fooling anyone, ladies, it is part-time daycare.  Yes, they are learning social skills.  It is inevitable when your child is around other children, they will learn social skills.  So they may teach them their colors and counting there too — fabulous.  Oh, wait — you are a mom, right?  A stay-at-home mom at that — isn’t it YOUR job to teach your kids these things?  I can promise you this: your child will learn more with you at home every day than at ‘school’ if you try.  Okay, if you plop them in front of the TV all day then probably not BUT you are a SAHM…you are at home.  Teach them.  Play with them.  Sing with them.  Count with them.  Teach them about food when you are making it.  It isn’t hard.  

I do not understand SAHMs that say they are SAHMs but their kids go to ‘school’ at 1, 2 and3?  SCHOOL?  Give me a break — that is called daycare.  There, I said it.  It is out.  If you are a SAHM, why does someone else watch your kids during the day?  Okay, let me qualify some of this before too many people hate me.  Here is where I am confused: Why are you sending your child to pre-preschool?  Isn’t that what preschool is for, to prepare them for school?  Silly me, maybe I’m confused. 

Can I tell you what this looks like to me?  Oohhh…are you ready?  Here it comes…lazy parenting.  Oh, I can see some of you muttering to yourselves — oh, no she didn’t!  I thought part of the reason some moms stayed home was to save on daycare costs while they worked — hellllooooo…spending money for ‘school’/daycare when you are at home doesn’t make any sense either.  Some women say, well, I have a baby now, I need someone to occupy by 2- or 3-year-old.  They will have more fun in ‘school’/daycare anyway.  Possibly, if you aren’t the one entertaining them.  Yes, your child may be climging the walls, but find something for them to do.  I have a 2-year-old boy.  I understand.  In the half an hour it has taken me to try and write this, I have changed two diapers, got crayons for Harrison, got stickers for Harrison, put Sterling down for a nap, got playdough for Harrison and made snakes with him out of it, said our alphabet twice and counted to 20 once.  I UNDERSTAND what it is like to have a VERY active child.  I would say that maybe it comes down to some women can handle more than one child easier than others, but I see this ‘school’/daycare thing happening WAY too often down here to believe that is the case. 

People are already asking me what waiting lists I have Harrison on for pre-preschool.  They don’t call it pre-preschool here, I don’t remember what they call it.  He is not going on any lists.  In fact, some of you know this already, we have decided to homeschool our children.  This decision came about because of the ATROCIOUS public school system here and the outrageous costs for private school.  Let me tell you, though, that I have NEVER been an advocate of homeschooling.  I don’t want my kids to be socially awkward.  Yes, if I lived in the middle of nowhere, my children never interacted with other kids and if I don’t make an effort to socialize them, they will be socially awkward.  I’m smarter than that.  I know they need to interact with children their age.  Anyway, that is an entirely other post.

So, ladies, explain yourselves if your children are in ‘school’/daycare at 2 and 3 and you are a SAHM.  I just don’t get it.  It boggles my mind.

Let the hate mail begin.

——————————————————————————–

EDIT:  Nowhere did I say I disagree with preschool for a 4-year-old who will be going to school.  I get that.  That makes sense.  I also hadn’t planned on sending my children to preschool before we planned on homeschooling.  It was just something that I didn’t think my children needed.

Also, I’m not telling moms what to do, I’m asking you to explain why your 1- or 2- or 3-year-old is in daycare when you are a SAHM.

I love the idea of a program for parents and tots.  The ones I have looked into here are crazy priced here.  I plan on doing mom n tot things at my house with my friends that are SAHMs and have kids.  Makes more sense to me.

I see Kristi’s point too about using that time to rejuvinate mom.  You can’t be a great mom unless you have time to yourself.  I believe in that 100%.  I just don’t understand why kids at 3 need to be in ‘school’.  If that is the only time you get to yourself, maybe that’s why. 

I only received one hate mail that I didn’t post and it wasn’t directed at this post, it was indeed more of an attack on me basically telling me to grow up.  If she wanted to articulate her side of things more appropriately, I would have posted it.  I want both sides of this debate.  Don’t hate me, though, for pointing something out.  Articulate your side and let’s have a grown-up discussion about this. 

Oh, and I’ve been called judgmental about this — yes, my ‘lazy’ comment was judgmental.  Here is why I feel I can say these things — I am a SAHM and there are certain connotations that come along with that name.  I get offended as a SAHM when I find out that there area women out there that are supposed to be SAHMs but they aren’t actually at home with their kids. 

And, yes, I am moderarting comments, like I do on all of my posts.

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14 Responses to “Rant.”

  1. Sugar & Ice Says:

    Well, I’m a SAHM who does not use preschool or daycare, so I can’t really offer that perspective. Lila is home with me 99% of the time. She’s two and a half…she knows all her colors, can count to twenty, knows her ABCs, can identify some letters and numbers by sight, can count to ten in Spanish, can carry on a conversation like a five year old…she’s smart. I don’t necessarily think me being at home with her made her that way; I think she’s probably naturally smart.

    I have a lot of friends with kids Lila’s age because of our play group. None of them use a full time daycare of preschool. Some of them do use a Mother’s Day Out program one or two days a week for three or four hours. I have no problem with that…they use that time to let the kids play with other kids and it allows them to get errands done more easily…kind of a win/win situation. Of course, they don’t call it school, and it’s only for a short time each week. I do have friends that are planning on sending their kids to part time preschool at age four. I am considering that myself for Lila actually. I used to work at a preschool when I was in college, and I thought it was good for the kids. It would be either Mon., Wed., Fri., from 9-12 or Tues., Thurs. from 9-12. I think that’s a reasonable amount of time for a SAHM to send her four year old to school…plus it’ll give me some downtime with just the twins.

    I do have a problem with SAHMs sending kids to full time daycare and passing it off as necessary schooling. To me, if your kids aren’t actually home with you then you aren’t really a SAHM…you’re a housewife. I think they just try to make themselves feel better about the fact that they aren’t home with their kids by saying justifying how wonderful school is. I mean, I was a teacher myself (6th grade, not preschool…but I did work in preschools before graduating), and preschool is kind of looked at as a joke. Parents think it’s necessary, but most educators know it’s not. We used to have parents of kindergarteners come in to pick up younger siblings and tell us “Oh, Little Nate is doing so great in Kindergarten. His teach says he is so smart and so far ahead.”…then 1st grade rolls around and everyone has caught up to Little Nate and he’s no longer the smartest or so far ahead. I will say that preschool is a great idea for kids that are at risk. Preschools and Head Start programs for kids in lower income brackets or kids that are at risk for other reasons really do benefit from the structure.

    Anyway, like I said at the beginning…I’m not even who you were directing this at, but I thought I’d chime in anyway.

  2. Ailsynn and Bailey are 4, as you know. Jan through May of this year they were in a preschool that two of the women in our ward do. They were only there for 2 hours three days a week. It was great for them. They loved it. I still had the time with them that they needed. I was still able to be a SAHM to them. I love being a SAHM. I love teaching them and coloring with them and taking them to the zoo and to the museum. I completely agree with you about SAHM’s who have their kids in daycare for the whole day. We actually have some of them in our ward who do exactly that. My kids are at home with me now full time. I loved the preschool that they were in. I thought that it was the perfect amount of time for them to be around their friends and their teachers. They loved it. They learned some incredible things.

    I often have parents who ask me why they aren’t in preschool now, and aren’t I worried that they will not have the skills they need when they get into kindergarten. I am actually offended when asked this question. I feel like they are telling me that I can’t do a good enough job with my children. That I need someone else to teach them. We cannot afford preschool either. I have two that are the same age, and therefore double the price.

    I understand your rant. I completely agree. Sometimes it does take some scheduling. I usually do all the girls letters and numbers and coloring and things like that when Cecely is down for a nap. That gives me some good one on one time with them. They also enjoy that time with me. Anyway just thought I would give my opinion!!!

  3. Sandra Says:

    Yay!! I was so thrilled when you said you were going to homeschool. And yeah, that whole social issue thing… if you make the point to get them socialized it doesn’t become an issue. It’s only if you live the middle of a cornfield in po-dunkville that that happens. lol.. 🙂

    anyway, see you soon!

  4. shauna Says:

    No hatemail from this direction. You are awesome! Homeschool…been there…done that…might do it again with this new set of kiddos.

  5. Renee Says:

    I totally agree! Not to mention I probably wont be able to afford it anyway once Jonas gets to that age. But I was thinking maybe those moms just feel inadequate about teaching their kids… I know I do. Jonas is 20 months and he hasn’t said a word. He babbles a lot but anyway I feel like I don’t know howto entertasin him or teach him, like I’m not really cut out for it. Could you post about some of the activities you and Harrison would do? At his age now and younger? I feel like he hasn’t said anything yet because I can’t figure out howto get him interested. Anyway I totally agree but it’s hard I think when you feel like someone else could do it better. If that’s the case though you should get a job and be productive.

  6. mrsssg Says:

    good post! I am working 35 hours a week now and have BC in daycare while H goes to school – as soon as H gets a job I plan on cutting back my hours a bit – anyways, not the point – I struggle with BC In day care but know he is ok and in good hands – I still take most of my time at night to play and teach and talk with him both of us do – I don’t plan on sending him to pre school his day care has a teacher come in a few times a week and what he gets taught at home from us I am comfortable with for now. I thought you made great points, good post!

  7. Valerie Says:

    I am not a sahm yet, but I am a sahw…. I give you kuddos for stepping up and shouting this… I DITTO YOU!

  8. K.B. Says:

    I totally agree. I have found a “pre-school” type program for my oldest when he turns 3.5 but it is only three days a week. It is a nature program that is filled with outside activities, and, get this… THE PARENTS COME TOO! The whole time! I see it as a win/win/win. Kids get to be with kids. Parents get to be with Parents. Everyone gets to be with each other. And we get to do it outside. 😀

    Also, I have an almost 2.5 year old boy (June 20, 2006) and a 6 month old boy as well! (April 9, 2008) Weird, huh.

  9. Lowa Says:

    AMEN WOMAN!

    What is the point in having kids if you are going to have someone else raise them?? Seriously?? WHY HAVE THEM!?!? You miss out, they miss out, it does NO ONE any favours to ship them off somewhere else all day.

    I home school my four children. I am also from Canada and also can’t believe this education system here. I think even if I was fortunate enough to be able to raise my kids in Canada, I would still home school. It is WAY too much fun!

    We learn ALL DAY LONG. All kids do. Then suddenly, they are thrust into kindergarten or preschool and pretty instantly, they regress. Especially boys. Seriously. Look into it. Research. Find studies to read.

    I DO NOT understand the mentality that kids “learn” in school. There are some good teachers out there who do their best. I respect them. But what they learn in university is basically crowd control. It is not how to teach kids. Ya know why?? Kids teach themselves. We are there to guide and provide the opportunity and then we sit back and watch and marvel. Two of my boys taught themselves to read when they were 4. One was reading at a college level when he was 7. We never told HIM that though. We didn’t want him to expect too much of himself or think that we cared about things like that.

    I know SO MANY teachers who quit teaching, pulled their kids out and began to home school them. They couldn’t deal with the hoops to jump through and the red tape and useless meetings.

    Home schooled kids are not socially awkward. They THRIVE. When else are you EVER going to be stuck in some room or building with kids born around the same time as you?? NEVER. School doesn’t teach about real life. When your kids are with people of all ages 24/7, doing community work, learning from our senior citizens, helping in the soup kitchen, going to parks and museums, playing and being kids (which is the BEST way for kids to learn all kinds of math, critical thinking, science, etc, just be BEING KIDS), baking, reading, doing puzzles and making volcanoes with vinegar and baking soda…THAT is what childhood should be.

    Ok I could go on for hours. But I have a little one here begging me to do some science and asking me where her math pages are, she wants to do some MORE math! LOL I am SO GLAD that you are HSing your gorgeous boys. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t. If you need support, do not hesitate to contact me. I have been complimented on my kids so many times I cannot keep track. People marvel at how articulate they are, etc etc it goes on and on. And their eyes still light up, that is what I love. I honestly see the difference in the other poor kids who are shuffled away every day. Their eyes are different:( Makes me want to cry…sometimes I do cry for those kids.

  10. Kristi Says:

    Interesting rant. I went on your sight today and saw this and had to wonder what the big deal is about having a 2-4 years old go to preschool for a few hours a week. Seth goes 10 hours per week and loves it. If you plan on homeschooling, not doing preschool is probably going to be okay as long as you do home preschool and invite other children over weekly for playgroups etc. and do structured routine activites. If a person is sending their child to public or private school, it is proven best for the child to attend preschool so they can learn to cope with a class room environment and learn to sit still and listen. Children who do not go to preschool and then go on to public school often struggle with the classroom setting. Standards are much higher than they ever use to be. In Kindergarten they do not play around and class sizes are often large. Kids have to get with it right way or they are fall behind immediately (unless they are unique, extrememly bright etc.) All four of my children have attended preschool 3 mornings per week from ages 3-5 and they have profoundly benefited. Plus mom benefits because she can have a break and get rejuvinated. We are all at a different place with our parenting (like I have 2 teenages, 1 preteen, and 1 toodler). It is unreasonable that i not plan out my time so that everyone gets taken care of and I can be the best mom I can be.

  11. whimsicalchaos Says:

    People in this area do that too… I don’t get it… I really don’t get preschool either… or kindergarten for that matter… but then again I am leaning more and more to virtual charter school because quite frankly all the “good” school here SUCK!! And the private Christian schools are so behind it isn’t even funny… sorry if the kids go to a state school for college they will need to know things like Greek Myths etc… which all the Christian schools skip saying it is evil… it is also history and the base for all litature…

    Now I did think about doing a mommy and me class with Lorelei but after what I saw they were charging I say NO WAY! I did think about doing a one day a week class once she was 3 (that could be dance, tumbling, etc) if we do get lucky with a 2nd child… but I don’t have to wait on that till next year lol…

    And I know 100s of home schooled kids and none of them are socially awkward. My BIL nate was home schooled the whole time and graduated from college top of his class and now has an outside sales job for a company out of Harrisburg… almost all the homeschooled kids I know are way better at social stuff than the kids in public school that get harassed for everything or beaten up etc…

  12. Alison Says:

    I read your post and am sad at your attitude. This life isn’t a race or a contest with everyone starting at the same place. We never really know what life experiences others have had that influence the choices that they make, so we aren’t in a position to judge. As mothers, we need to be eachothers cheerleaders rather than telling others they need to march to the beat of our drum. Those are my two cents…..

  13. Lowa Says:

    Oh, I just had to add something to this. Even though we home school, we put our daughter in public school for her kindergarten year. She enjoyed it, as she is very social and loved being around other kids every day. But she was glad to be back at home the next year too. She still gets together with the friends she made, but she doesn’t have to get up early just to sit and be bored anymore, either.

    However, someone commented about kids needing structure and all this and how if you are HSing, then you need to do something structured and weekly in your home. This is not true at all. I can’t understand this view that kids NEED preschool or any of that to prepare them for kindergarten?? My daughter never went to pre school and she was totally fine in kindergarten. She had never been in a classroom setting in her life, except for sporadic trips to Sunday School. She had no adjustment time and did great immediately. My son also tried grade six. He had attended kindergarten also and then was HSed until he wanted to try grade six. He was a bit nervous, but I told him he would be fine.

    We had even been “unschooling” all those years. That means I did not use a curriculum and we did not sit and do “school” or “lessons”. We just lived our lives and went out in the world exploring. We played games, went to museums, baked, made crafts, read books, books and more books, etc etc. Interest led learning. What they are interested in, you guide and support and encourage. They end up learning all kinds of subjects without even knowing it and by just having fun! He was worried he would be “behind” especially in his math. He was ahead! LOL Even though the other kids had sat in there day after day for all those years while he was playing at home, HE was ahead of them. Proof that kids learn by just living and doing. His teachers had NO CLUE that he had even been home schooled, so there goes the silly idea that HSed kids are socially awkward. He fit in just fine and actually HELPED the other kids with their school work. He had an A average all through that year, which means NOTHING to me, I don’t care, but it meant something to the administration.

    No one is judging ANYONE. The mothers who stay home with our kids and interact and play with them are just saying we wonder why mothers claim to be SAHM and then send their kids away all day, that’s all. It is just foreign to us. We don’t understand what the point in having kids is. I would hate to miss out on all the fun I am having. They still get together with friends and go and do things without me. It is not like I hover and they have no time of their own, I make sure they get plenty of time with friends AND alone, private time. Everyone needs that. But to rush kids out of the nest and have little 3 and 4 (and even 7 and 8 year olds, in my mind) trust out of the house too early, only does damage. It breaks my heart when I hear stories of kids crying and not wanting to go to school and the mothers saying, “you have to honey!” NO THEY DON’T! WHY, do they have to?? WHO SAYS?? Ya see?? Don’t let society tell you what is best for your kids, only you know what is best. If school works and people are happy, learning and thriving, great. Mommy and her boys here is just saying that especially to send them somewhere day after day is too much and just for the mother. Not the kids. They tell themselves they are educating their kids and doing something for them, but they aren’t. it is about them. I sent my older two to pre school 2 mornings a week. They enjoyed it, but I couldn’t part with them for longer than that and I didn’t kid myself that they “needed” it. It was play time for them. Meeting other kids.

    Kids need the safety and comfort of Mummy’s lap and to know they can sleep when they need to and don’t have to be woken up and dressed quickly and rushed away when they are half asleep. People worry kids will be lazy and not show up for work on time one day or something and try and instill that in them when they are wee ones. Makes no sense. Just because your 7 year old sleeps until 8 or 9 AM ( or even 10 or 11!) , does not mean she will be a deadbeat and a mooch when she is an adult and go from job to job, always being fired for not showing up on time. Let kids be kids, there is plenty of time for responsibility!

    Ok, sorry I know I jumped all over. It just makes me so sad when kids are sent away so early and parents tell themselves it is for the kids. They are kidding themselves. I also know there are people who HAVE to work and send their kids to day care, etc. That may be true, but often time again, they are kidding themselves. We went without for YEARS, so that I could stay with the kids at home. There is a really great book called “The Two Income Trap”. Some people do not have a choice, but many people who think they have a choice, do. Again, no one is judging, we are just trying to help.

  14. Alyson Says:

    Tweedle 3 is so fun at 16 and 3/4 months i couldn’t imagine sending him off somewhere else. There is so much they learn at this age and i think I would be terribly sad if i missed all of his firsts (he is talking later than the other two)

    That being said here in calgary the waiting lists for 3 and 4 year old (3 hour/day, 2 or 3 times a week) are so long. I was informed that in order to get Tweedle 3 in to a program close by i need to have him on the list no for 3 years and they won’t accept 4 years unless they were 3 years with them.

    The older boys were not in preschool, due to the cost. I wish i had put Tweedle E in preschool because he has a hard time finding people to play with his age. I don’t know what i will do with Tweedle 3.


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