Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » I just don’t understand this stuff…
  • I just don’t understand this stuff…

    Filed at 9:39 am under by Tim Haas

    More on daycare from a Canadian perspective:
    Two days ago, The Ottawa Citizen dedicated its entire Sunday Weekly section to the daycare initiative.
    There are multiple articles in the series, unfortunately only available to paid subscribers.
    I’ll excerpt my favorite bits, starting with columnist Shelley Page, who actually asks some very good questions:

    Are large institutions better than folksy, at-home care? Do children need to enter the mill so young? Will this be fair to parents, mostly mothers, who sacrifice a second income to be at home with their preschoolers? Why do they have to subsidize other people’s day care? Or is this a worthy sacrifice for the long-term good of the country?
    As the national plan pushes ahead, there are more questions. Will it be good quality? Who will care for our children when there’s a shortage of child-care workers? Would a national plan force more mothers to work because they feel obligated to use the system, for fear their children might fall behind?

    Who’s watching the kids? In Canada, the answer depends on income, access and luck
    Unfortunately, Shelley’s excellent questions are answered with the following series of articles:
    See mom, See mom work: A mother who dared leave home in the 60’s suggests we’ve come a long way (baby), but there’s still far to go

    In 1967, I felt guilty all the time: for leaving my son in less than perfect care; for all the times he cried and banged his head on the floor when I left; for missing the special “firsts” he instead shared with the sitter. And I was made to feel even guiltier when someone, usually a grey man in an expensive suit, said Canada couldn’t afford a day-care program because of other priorities like helicopters and tax cuts.

    I’m not sure how a universal day-care program is supposed to solve ANY of this. Care will still be less-than-perfect, children will still cry when you leave them (at least, you hope they will!), and you will still miss all of those “firsts”. Sometimes leaving your child in care is an unavoidable economic necessity. But don’t expect a universal day-care program to make it hurt any less.

    Flash forward 37 years: Despite all predictions, Glen turned out well. He and my daughter-in-law are great parents to their two-year-old and five-year-old daughters. And my life worked out – I’ve had a career I loved, doing work that mattered.

    Because I guess the work all those other women did in looking after your son just didn’t matter at all, right? Some people (men and women, both) have passions that take precedence over family. I have no problem with that, but I dislike the clear implication that the work other people do is somehow less worthy of admiration.

    Most educators recognize day care is about expanding young minds, not babysitting. And moms aren’t made to feel guilty because they want more to life than diapers and dishpans.

    No wonder we pay our childcare workers so little. If our daycare workers and sitters had any personal initiative they’d want more from life, too.

    I’m out of time at the moment, but I’ll share more of the joy later. 😉

    Courses like BH0-001 can be pretty hard if one does not have the basic knowledge of RH302 and 000-869 to his credit.

    3 Responses to “I just don’t understand this stuff…”

    Comment by
    November 30th, 2004
    at 12:32 pm

    If I find work that really really matters rather than simply matters, it would be worth it to have my child in boarding school during the year and hire a nanny during the summer. After all, it’s the work that matters.

    Comment by
    Daryl Cobranchi
    November 30th, 2004
    at 3:03 pm

    No– it’s the work that really, really matters.

    Comment by
    December 1st, 2004
    at 2:48 am

    I’m a musician, so often times I get the “well I’m doing real work” bit, and it really ticks me off. Well, if you don’t think my work is of some importance, why are you paying me to do it, a##hole?

    It takes all kinds, and work which is important to one person is meaningless to another, and I’d be willing to bet that the woman in the article is doing work far less important than raising a human being.