Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm sorry to sound like a whiney, self righteous, stay at home mom


but I have a bone to pick with Parade magazine and anyone else who wants to whine about so called "affordable, quality childcare." Did anyone else read this article on Sunday and feel that this term, or the goal of such, is a complete paradox? The story is that there is a new need in this country to provide, presumably from the government since that seems to be the way of things these days, all star child care that people can afford. Oh, so I, unlike everyone else in America, am one of the lucky few who can "afford" to take care of my child? I don't think so.

You cannot subcontract the care of children and expect that it will be affordable AND high quality. You must choose: Either you stay home with your kids, which involves all sorts of sacrifices and risks for a woman's career and is not at all "affordable;" or you pay dearly for someone who MIGHT teach your kids all of the things that you would in a given day, MIGHT feel sorry for the kid instead of herself while cleaning up poop and throw up, MIGHT like them but probably won't love them the way you do, and MIGHT decide to give up if it is too hard or you aren't paying him or her enough. That sounds risky too.

I think this might be the one industry where the employees have more control over their employers; people who need someone to watch their kids are a dime a dozen. Finding someone who will do it, and do it as well as you would for said dime is a lot harder. I shared my thoughts with Adam and he responded, "Yeah, you know, I really need to find an affordable Ferrari." Affordable Ferraris don't exist because the scope of quality (apparently...I wouldn't in fact know-this is Adam's testimony, not mine) isn't compatible with a low price. Affordable, quality childcare is like seeking an affordable CEO, or healthcare for that matter. They don't exist-correct me if I am wrong, but I will probably be inclined to think you are just fooling yourself.

Frankly, I am kind of insulted by this debate. I understand that there are a lot or people who must work and must place their children in daycare-I am not attacking people who do not have a choice. But for people who DO make the choice, to assume that you shouldn't have to give up on either quality or price for raising your freaking kids!!!! is ignorant, insulting to the people who do make the sacrifice one way or the other, and really really unfair to the children who are the subject of this debate.

Most of you know I have aspirations outside my home and that I struggle sometimes with how badly I still want to go to more school, work a little bit and progress intellectually. So stuff like this that undermines what I do everyday and argues that we should make it a national priority to easily AND cheaply outsource being a mother just bugs the hell out of me. Why, it makes me feel like a Detroit auto worker! Seriously though. I know I am doing the right thing for my children-but it is really hard for me sometimes. I love it. I know it is in their best interest. But it is not something that just comes naturally, easily, affordably or otherwise to me...that is not a pat on my own back; I am just enunciating why this article bugs me.

A few months ago I was at the dental clinic. One of the primary attendants that came to check off my treatment began to make small talk with me, asking me what I do and blah blah. I told her I stay home with my two year old son to which she replied, "Oh that is so lucky that that works out for you to do that. I wish I could." Lucky? Excuse me? Does going into hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt sound like it was just a lucky circumstance? Does giving up my own aspirations for the time being sound lucky? It's not just dumb luck or fortunate happenstance my friend. And it doesn't just work and fit into a neat little box. My husband and I make it work. And it is NOT affordable. So hopefully it is high quality. That remains to be seen. I won't jump right into putting myself in the Ferrari class of mothers. Not yet anyway. Let's be honest, probably not ever.

21 comments:

Lisa said...

Ashley you can always be counted on for a fresh perspective, you are a Ferrari friend.
I too feel that I have not made choices that come easily to me, but that I believe are the best for my family. I'm just not sure that I think people who make different choices are making worse choices. Like you though, I am most concerned with the person who does not have any real choices to make. For those people and their children I would hope that we can provide childcare that is safe and basically caring, though I guess we can't guarantee that for even the children with stay at home moms.

Audrey said...

Hey ashley. didn't we go to lakeridge together? And I think Adam went to mt.view! Anyway....just wanted to say hi! You have a cute family! take care!

Ashley Jane said...

This is Cameron by the way, and sorry, i was intrigued by the title, but disappointed there were no pictures. I hardly ever read a full post unless there are pictures attached, but from your viewpoint it sounds like you regret some decisions. Not a ferrari way to live your life. Never look back

AshleyS said...

Of all your posts, this is my favorite.

Britten & Chelsea Maughan said...

It's been a while since you've gotten this passionate-but a worthy argument I'd say! Was that a pregnancy hint with the "my children"? It's ok if you beat me, we can still be friends- or at least sisters!

Ashley said...

Actually Cam, no. That is not at all what I was saying.

I am just saying that I don't want it to be a national priority to subsidize the outsourcing of motherhood, which is a very important job, and we shouldn't pretend that full time childcare that is cheap and high quality is a right that should be offered with taxpayer money to every woman who wants or needs to work.

Every choice that any person makes necessarily excludes another choice. Sometimes you have to sacrifice things you want for things that are more important.

Ashley Jane said...

So are you saying that you didn't want Eli, he was just more important in the eternal scheme of things? Or you did want him? Oh and I think we want to come down for my fall break if things work out

Ashley said...

Seriously Cam?

Blogdor said...

Cam, I don't think you understand what she's saying. And jokingly inferring that a mother doesn't want her children isn't really that funny. Not wanting Eli doesn't figure into her post anywhere.

Ashley Jane said...

I had no intention for it to be funny, but the last paragraph about her conversation is what baffles me. There a thousands of moms who would do anything to stay home with their kids, debt or not! She has the opportunity, and going to into debt is the blessing. Look at it that way and don't post about it like it isn't what you want. Heavenly Father knows whats up, and debt is the last thing he cares about. I had 4 other people read it and they all felt the same way. So either we aren't very literate, or there are too many big words and no pictures so it was hard to follow along anyway. I have been called stupid by you guys before and I am sure it won't be the last.

Blogdor said...

On the other hand, there are thousands of moms who choose to work and put their children in daycare on a financially optional basis. Thousands of mothers choose that. There is sympathy for those that are situationally compelled to work. In addition, it was never said that our circumstances and our debt isn't a blessing. Was is being said is that families make sacrifices to make sure a parent stays at home because that is exactly what they want and what is most important. Our choice to have Eli was exactly what we wanted and it is the most important decision we've made. But that doesn't mean Ashley or I don't give up other wants to make our situation work. What Ashley is saying is that any way you slice it, raising a kid is costly. So either you pay for it by making it work and keeping one parent home, or you pay for expensive (and hopefully) adequate childcare. Either way don't assume you can get cheap, quality childcare. I'm still looking to trade in the Yaris for a Ferrari...

Do you disagree with that? I'm not understanding what your qualm with the post is.

Ashley Jane said...

The Yaris is like in the top 5 most ecofriendly cars out there. Why would you get rid of it. With Osama Obama at the helm you need to save money wherever you can!

Ashley said...

Cameron, when you have kids, you can come back and comment on this issue. Until then, you accomplished something that is rather hard to do: you really hurt my feelings.

Olivia said...

Wow. I read this when you first posted it and I really enjoyed it and wanted to comment, but didn't have time at that moment. So I came back to comment and I can't believe where the conversation has gone. I really don't want to get in the middle of anything. But, I do understand what you were saying Ashley and I agree. When I taught pre-school I had a mom who had a change in her financial situation mid school year and wasn't able to afford tuition unless she went back to work. She asked my opinion and I told her it would be much better for her to just take her son out of school and teach him things at home herself. It is so important for a mom to be at home. But a mom is a person to and has interests and aspirations. I know that you love Eli and love having him. I really admire that you recently gave up the possibility to live a dream of yours for the good of your child and husband. I hope that you will be able to still go back to school one day. You deserve it. For now, you are doing the most important thing and you are doing a great job at it. Your smart brain is being put to good use.

I hope that made sense. Love you guys!

3WimmerBoys said...

That is funny, Child Care Crisis, like it should be on the top of our list these days with all the other problems our government needs to solve. This one is easy, mothers take care of your kids. Solved! I do feel for those who don't have other options, that would just kill me.

Mcbride Family said...

HEY! linford is actually been my easiest child. ahhahaa, he doesn't cry about anything and never has. He was my earliest sleeper and has been my happiest child. I am afraid if I would have had him first I would have had 4 kids in 4 years!!!!

ALTHOUGH,My plan is to get pregnant in a year from next month and then I am 95% sure I will be done!!!

Cambrie said...

Amen Ashley. Amen.

I have the same exact feelings whenever I go to get my hair cut from random chicks and they same the same thing. "you are so lucky!" Uh hu.

Heather said...

Wow! I'm not sure I followed all the commenting. But I clearly remember Adam and Ashley having very passionate opinions about having kids before they actually did. It's funny how things change once we get a little life experience.
I'm sure Cam had no intention to hurt anyone's feelings. And it's Ashley's blog and she's entitled to write what she wants here. Can't we all just get along?

Ashley said...

Well Heather, I don't know to which passionate opinions you are referring, but if I ever made any offensive or inappropriate comments concerning your role as a mother or your priorities for your children, I sincerely apologize: I am sure Cam didn't mean to hurt my feelings and I never meant to hurt yours if I did.

Michelle Tolboe said...

All i have to say is, WOW. I, like Olivia wanted to comment when my husband and I first read this post but also didn't have time.
Who would have thought that a simple observation of a difference of opinion could have turned into this debacle? I must say that if I had my four friends read this post they would NOT have come to the same conclusion as some of your commenters.
No one in their right mind (not even a family member) would say that you didn't WANT the child you already have. Give me a break.
Ash I didn't know you were so good at writing subliminal messages in your posts that no one else caught on to except one person. And the Obama comment? Come on!

Sorry to interject...I couldn't help myself.

paulson family said...

Well. I was intrigued when I noticed the "20 comments" thingy, so I had to check it out. I must say, I agree with you, and your sentiments were well stated. And, I had the same question as Chelsea, when I read the "children" bit. But maybe you were just referring to the children you will someday have??