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.