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Do you really feel "someone else is raising your children"? - Page 3

post #41 of 88
BenjisMom's, you are right. Your village sucked. What an awful situation; I'm glad you were able to make such an awesome change. I hope you're not comparing your situation to everyone elses, though. It does not sound comparable at all.
post #42 of 88
I have never ever felt that someone else was raising my child (3 of them). I always felt that the attachment capacity for the child now included 3 (like a tripod) instead of 2 (a bipod [(is that a word?]) And that always felt incredibly valuable to me. As long as the 3rd caregiver is consistent and everyone takes this 3rd relationship very seriously (as in no hasty changes), I think this is fine.
post #43 of 88
hey there -
I am a SAHM, and most days I wish I could take a break and go back to work! Maybe you think I'm crazy in that sense.

The only reason I'm a SAHM is b/c daycare is super $ here and the waiting lists are long....plus, we're trying to move away asap. Wherever we move next (hopefully closer to folks), I plan on going back to work -- I want my child to have more interaction with the outside world!
post #44 of 88
I hope it is okay that I am also chiming in as a SAHM to say what a stupid statement I have always thought it was when I hear people imply that childcare or school takes away from "raising your own child". It is so insane and out-of-touch with the realities of what it means to be a parent and to have a parent that it makes me wonder if the folks who say it are really actualized as parents themselves.

BJ
Barney & Ben
post #45 of 88
Benji's Mom - I appreciate your honesty. If we can't be honest here what's the point. I wouldn't feel right if I went days without seeing my child awake. It's good that you were able to make a change. Obvisously, there are all different situatuations with working parents - number of hours, length of commute, number of hours your partner works etc.
post #46 of 88
No, I don't feel that way and anyone who says such a thing automatically ceases to exist in my consciousness.

But then, my philosophies about such things differ greatly from most people on these boards. We did a lot of things other people here do.. I bf'd until ds was 2 1/2, we slung and co-slept and didn't circ.. we GD and do alternative medicine, select vaxing and organic foods.. did no TV and only just allowed videos.. yet my parenting philosophies are very different in that I don't even like to use the phrase "raise" my children because I don't think that's a good definition of my job.

I think my job is to nurture, protect, teach and guide my child as he makes his own way out into the world. I do this by making major decisions about my child's care, seeing to his basic needs and setting his boundaries in the world until he is old enough to do those things himself. My job is to PARENT, and no one else can do that but me. But as the parent, I also seek out and share some tasks with many others, from family and friends to paid care providers.

Daycare providers do not parent.. they help me care for my child when I am providing financial support for my family. They are another source of love and teaching for my child and I value them very much.

I don't think my job is to make him a clone of me, to teach him to swallow my values whole and without question, to keep him from being exposed to viewpoints I disagree with, or keep him in MY presence 24-7. I do not think my job is to subsume my identity with his, or to make him the complete center of the universe. My job is to safeguard his health and well-being, to answer his questions, to show him unconditional love, to answer his questions honestly and to help him grow into himself. But it is also to respect his inner life and who he is becoming in the world.

And at 4, he already does have a life. He is already a whole person. He has thoughts, dreams, desires, hobbies and friends he likes to hang out with.
So having him in a pre-school I researched carefully and trust, interacting with care-givers he and I both like, and friends he enjoys.. is perfectly in keeping with my parenting philosophies.

And I give no energy at all to anyone who says I am "dumping him on strangers" or "letting strangers raise him." I simply refuse to acknowledge or engage with people who use that kind of divisive and unkind rhetoric. Though I do acknowledge people who feel that way about THEMSELVES.. as long as they don't put it on ME. Not my trip, so not my problem.

And the obligatory MDC disclaimer: none of the above is meant as a slam in any way at anyone who has made different choices or believes differently. I am speaking for myself and about myself and no one else.
post #47 of 88
Yes. I feel like the following people are raising my child(ren):

God
Me
My husband
My mom
My dad
My daughters help raise each other
My husband's mother
My husband's father who passed before either was born
My sisters
My nieces and nephews
My in-laws
My older daughter's teachers
My older daughter's friends
Disney
Advertising Companies
Our government

I am constantly surprised at how much my daughter (almost 5 y) is influenced by outside forces. I am a vehicle for my daughters. I don't own them, I don't need to be their entire world, nor do I want to be. I want to provide for them a loving and accepting, people they can trust, an understanding of things and a safe way to explore the world they live in.
post #48 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah View Post
No, I don't feel that way and anyone who says such a thing automatically ceases to exist in my consciousness.

But then, my philosophies about such things differ greatly from most people on these boards. We did a lot of things other people here do.. I bf'd until ds was 2 1/2, we slung and co-slept and didn't circ.. we GD and do alternative medicine, select vaxing and organic foods.. did no TV and only just allowed videos.. yet my parenting philosophies are very different in that I don't even like to use the phrase "raise" my children because I don't think that's a good definition of my job.

I think my job is to nurture, protect, teach and guide my child as he makes his own way out into the world. I do this by making major decisions about my child's care, seeing to his basic needs and setting his boundaries in the world until he is old enough to do those things himself. My job is to PARENT, and no one else can do that but me. But as the parent, I also seek out and share some tasks with many others, from family and friends to paid care providers.

Daycare providers do not parent.. they help me care for my child when I am providing financial support for my family. They are another source of love and teaching for my child and I value them very much.

I don't think my job is to make him a clone of me, to teach him to swallow my values whole and without question, to keep him from being exposed to viewpoints I disagree with, or keep him in MY presence 24-7. I do not think my job is to subsume my identity with his, or to make him the complete center of the universe. My job is to safeguard his health and well-being, to answer his questions, to show him unconditional love, to answer his questions honestly and to help him grow into himself. But it is also to respect his inner life and who he is becoming in the world.

And at 4, he already does have a life. He is already a whole person. He has thoughts, dreams, desires, hobbies and friends he likes to hang out with.
So having him in a pre-school I researched carefully and trust, interacting with care-givers he and I both like, and friends he enjoys.. is perfectly in keeping with my parenting philosophies.

And I give no energy at all to anyone who says I am "dumping him on strangers" or "letting strangers raise him." I simply refuse to acknowledge or engage with people who use that kind of divisive and unkind rhetoric. Though I do acknowledge people who feel that way about THEMSELVES.. as long as they don't put it on ME. Not my trip, so not my problem.

And the obligatory MDC disclaimer: none of the above is meant as a slam in any way at anyone who has made different choices or believes differently. I am speaking for myself and about myself and no one else.
Such a great post. I love what you have to say about how you seek to parent your son - really resonates with me.
post #49 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by deeporgarten View Post

Some parents do feel that having others take a major role in raising their children is a loss of something essential to their family and to parenting. That loss can be too great, and avoiding it can inspire extreme sacrifices to the family's financial security.

I felt that the school's staff were invading and altering our family drastically, and changing deeply the ways we were able to parent around that influence. I do feel that raising my children is my "territory" in which they did not belong, but were interfering in.

People have different comfort levels. A parent who stays home full time with their children should not feel they are superior to other parents who do not. They should not have the idea that they are making a "noble sacrifice" for their children in order to do what is right. It always amazes me how willing so many are to decide that what is right for themselves is right for others and to judge everyone around them in those terms.
I am taking my own quote out of context...

Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah
But then, my philosophies about such things differ greatly from most people on these boards. We did a lot of things other people here do.. I bf'd until ds was 2 1/2, we slung and co-slept and didn't circ.. we GD and do alternative medicine, select vaxing and organic foods.. did no TV and only just allowed videos.. yet my parenting philosophies are very different in that I don't even like to use the phrase "raise" my children because I don't think that's a good definition of my job.
Actually, I think "raising" is an odd term myself and do not think about it in that way either. But it was useful enough in this thread to serve my attempt to describe our perspective.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah
I think my job is to nurture, protect, teach and guide my child as he makes his own way out into the world. I do this by making major decisions about my child's care, seeing to his basic needs and setting his boundaries in the world until he is old enough to do those things himself. My job is to PARENT, and no one else can do that but me. But as the parent, I also seek out and share some tasks with many others, from family and friends to paid care providers.

Daycare providers do not parent.. they help me care for my child when I am providing financial support for my family. They are another source of love and teaching for my child and I value them very much.
I agree again. I have used child care and felt relatively comfortable with that in the past. However, my last experiences have been pretty bad with that. My special needs son was not and would not have been able to have his needs met (even though it was not a very difficult accomodation), and I had serious problems with the priorities and decision-making in his preschool. And it was the best option, nicest place in our little town.... I researched it carefully too, my dd had gone to the same center years before that and been fine, and the first teachers were impressive, but some left and others rotated and I had commitments and little voice in teacher-choosing. Things got worse--the teachers made all the difference--but nothing really seemed to be wrong yet. I certainly wasn't quitting my job at that point...

I had an almost-full-time job that I liked quite well and ultimately ended up pulling my three children out of preschool/day care. First, since they had been enrolled in school, I simply cancelled their afterschool care and worked my schedule around that. But ultimately we made the decision to homeschool. My 3yo stayed at the day care there for a while, but started hating it and crying all the time about going. Months later she told me her teacher had been pinching her arm when she would not do what she told her to, when she was entering a co-op program and was worried about it the teacher doing that to her too. Also despite the fact that she was 100% potty-independent, they reported to me that it was some kind of problem that she would not go when directed when they instructed her it was "potty time" WTF? That was when we stopped going.

School. I was very optimistic. Our oldest was then 11yo, ds6yo would have special services available, and I would be so happy to have my own time during the day and to see them when they arrived home. We had homeschooled before, briefly ps'd before also. Dd did great academically, but socially it made her unhappy and insecure and too much too even get into. She came home by choice after completing a full year. Now she is so much happier (again) --so much more herself-- so confident. And so independent.

Unfortunately the special education people didn't know much about my son's disability even though they pretended they did. He has Asperger's--he is very functional and he is not disruptive. I met them way beyond halfway, but they basically did what they could to avoid helping him at all and because he was academically ahead they didn't even continue follow-up observations. I was appalled. I could have legally made them provide specific services, but between that and the fact that the school is sensory overload and makes it even harder to learn, it slowly became clear that it was not worth it. I looked very carefully at the situation and what possible directions it could take in the school system--looked at the ways he may be functioning in that system in a year, two years, three years, ten years. I looked carefully and saw him floundering in that system even with substantial support.

My children used to visit my parents, but they were doing some things with my nephew that I considered violations of his rights and borderline abuse. My mother's husband repeatedly lost his temper with our son, who does not understand simple social things. He has threatened him twice with violence. I won't let them visit. Now they say I am overprotective and that I am making my son incompetent by sheltering him, and they want my oldest dd to still visit, since he doesn't yell at her. And they would like me to stop "holding a grudge" and act like it's not big deal.

My 12yo dd has made several out-of-state trips without us with a dance group, with a teen group and we love seeing her handle these so well... But my younger children are mainly at home. Even on outings and visits ds needs specific support from someone who knows him well. (Most of our visiting with other families has stopped because it went so badly due, sadly, primarily to how he acted--it is a strong tendency to drift away when the simplest relationships become so difficult.) His twin sister is just a super-shy introvert, and the little one 4yo didn't want to be in the co-op group because she very much preferred to stay with her older sister to play every day... (and remember things went a bit bad for her with the pinching teacher) So we are together--they are with me--things really haven't worked out well with me little village.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah
I don't think my job is to make him a clone of me, to teach him to swallow my values whole and without question, to keep him from being exposed to viewpoints I disagree with, or keep him in MY presence 24-7. I do not think my job is to subsume my identity with his, or to make him the complete center of the universe. My job is to safeguard his health and well-being, to answer his questions, to show him unconditional love, to answer his questions honestly and to help him grow into himself. But it is also to respect his inner life and who he is becoming in the world.
I can't help but feel a little annoyed by this, since I am only one of a very very few in this thread whose voice could have been interpreted to mean such things as those you speak against. And those are inflamatory words (whether you add a disclaimer or not)--just as inflammatory as having other people make the kind of comment this thread is about.

Our family just has different issues as far as what constitutes safeguarding health and well-being and support the developing independence of our children. I am happy with my children being exposed to viewpoints I disagree with, however some are not acceptable if they are engulfed by them. Like the things that make my daughter think things are wrong with her because she, at 11yo, does not have a steady boyfriend like everyone else (agonizing, virtually) and cause her to feel she has to hide her belly under huge baggy t-shirts (oh you could just watch her self-esteem dwindling)... I would think she needed to just work through it, except when she is no longer under that influence she is back to herself and comfortably being a good friend, entering puberty, comfortably thinking about boys, healthily becoming a competent teen with lots of great relationships with people of many ages that truly care about her and respect her. It's the "little" things sometimes, like the way the nurse acted when I explained to her quite respectfully why I had not and would not sign consent forms for "general" care because the items in the consent were not acceptable to us--like the way they act toward children when they disagree with those parental decisions. I don't need absolute control, and I am fairly tolerant, but only so many of our lines can only be crossed so much before there is a real threat to the integrity of our family.

I would actually like more time away from my children while knowing they are in a safe situation. But my life has changed a lot over the years--those safe situations just don't seem so prevalent these days. We have looked very carefully at who our children are and what shape our lives are, and what kind of support we have. And none of the systems available to us can give us sustained support in a way that even approximately fits our needs. I want some trustworthy help raising our children--or whatever we should call this thoughtful nurturing we do our best to do, but we are not really seeking help now--we are just trying to keep the bills paid, put food on the table, and treat one another in this family with respect and kindness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah
And at 4, he already does have a life. He is already a whole person. He has thoughts, dreams, desires, hobbies and friends he likes to hang out with.
So having him in a pre-school I researched carefully and trust, interacting with care-givers he and I both like, and friends he enjoys.. is perfectly in keeping with my parenting philosophies.
At 4, 7, 7, and 12 so do all my children. Ditto to the rest. (But how does that lead to preschool though? ) Do children who are not in day care not have parents who support their independent thoughts, dreams, desires, etc.? Is your child more free?

Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah
And I give no energy at all to anyone who says I am "dumping him on strangers" or "letting strangers raise him." I simply refuse to acknowledge or engage with people who use that kind of divisive and unkind rhetoric. Though I do acknowledge people who feel that way about THEMSELVES.. as long as they don't put it on ME. Not my trip, so not my problem.

Yep not mine either. Here's hoping you didn't *really* assume it was
post #50 of 88
I use to work since DS1 was 6 months old until a couple of years ago and will again here in a couple years so I will chime in. If my kids were in DC part time, probably not because they would still be spending at least half their time with DH or me but say if they were in DC 45 hours a week and I only got to see them maybe 2 waking hours a day and during that time I was not spending quality time with them but rather cooking and cleaning, then sure I probably would.

The bottom line though is that every family is different and have different comfort zones. DH and I have never been comfortable with the idea of leaving DS in anyones care but trusted family members.
post #51 of 88
When I was writing full time, deadlines and interviews kept me busy. I was worried about getting established and afraid to say no to any assignment. When I saw the toll it was taking on my family, I realized that even "stay-at-home" moms can be very unavailable and not very nurturing. Once I cut back, all of us enjoyed the benefits.

Now that all three kids are in school, I volunteer in each of the schools every week. My kids are spread out, so I have kids in all three levels. I volunteer several times a week for short periods of time in the elementary school, write their newsletter, chair a committee for the mid-school PTA, and relieve the high school receptionist once a week for her lunch hour.

On my youngest son's first day of school, one mother asked me what I did. When I told her I'd been staying at home for the past fourteen years, her comment really took me by surprise: she asked how I could stand wasting my life that way. I've never judged women who had to or chose to work. It was surprising to me to have someone so willing to judge my choices in such harsh terms.

I think for each of us -- whether we work or not -- it's about priorities and choosing to be available to our families. There are plenty of moms who don't work who spend their time ignoring the needs of their children, and there are plenty of moms who work who do the same. There are also moms on both side of the aisle who are very good moms - they're engaged in the process.

To me, that's the biggest difference.
post #52 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by deeporgarten View Post

I can't help but feel a little annoyed by this, since I am only one of a very very few in this thread whose voice could have been interpreted to mean such things as those you speak against. And those are inflamatory words (whether you add a disclaimer or not)--just as inflammatory as having other people make the kind of comment this thread is about.


At 4, 7, 7, and 12 so do all my children. Ditto to the rest. (But how does that lead to preschool though? ) Do children who are not in day care not have parents who support their independent thoughts, dreams, desires, etc.? Is your child more free?
Actually, I was not responding to you directly in any way, shape or form. I didn't even pay attention to who said what on this particular thread, I just shared my own thoughts, based on general observations.

I tried to do so honestly while being mindful of the impact of my words, knowing full well that SOMEONE was likely to take them personally, because that's how it goes on message boards, when such emotional issues are being discussed.

I was not trying to be inflammatory, and I am honestly sorry if my words caused you discomfort, but my disclamer was the honest truth. If I have something to say directly to someone, I have no trouble doing so. That was simply not the case here.

As for the last part of your response, well, I can't help but feel you are just looking for reasons to take issue with me, since my words "annoyed" you. I was simply trying to explain how and why pre-school was compatible with MY particular parenting philosophy, not trying to cast judgment on people who choose otherwise. Nowhere in my post did I say children HAD to go to daycare/preschool in order to individuate. Nowhere did I imply my children were more "free." That is you putting words in my mouth.

For the record, I think you can sahm, wahm OR wohm while allowing your child space and freedom to be who he/she is in the world. I think you can be a mindful parent who is respectful of a child's seperateness whether you use daycare or not.

But a lot of people ARE invested in "raising" a child to be this, that or the other thing. You hear it all the time. "I am raising my child to believe/be X." You hear parents who are totally identity-invested in the identities of their children. You hear parents who are totally identity-invested in their parenting choices to the exclusion of anything else, who need to cast those who choose differently in the role of the "wrong and bad other".. and in my experience, THOSE are the people who are going to fight the mommy wars, no matter which "side" they weigh in on. And a wohm can be just as guilty of this as a sahm. A daycare user can be just as guilty of it as a non daycare user. THOSE are the people who have a need to tell others they are "letting strangers raise their children."

It isn't ultimately about whether someone uses daycare or not, or whether they wahm, sahm or wohm. It is about how they view parenting, themselves and others. Again, I am not talking about anyone here specifically, though I am sure someone, somewhere will read these words and feel personally attacked. And I really can't control that, no matter how mindfully I try to speak my words.

AND, for the record, I think that a special needs child is a wholly different scenario. Obviously one is faced with a completely different set of issues there, and that is not a world I have walked in, so I wouldn't presume to judge anyone who has.
post #53 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by asherah View Post
It isn't ultimately about whether someone uses daycare or not, or whether they wahm, sahm or wohm. It is about how they view parenting, themselves and others.
This is pretty much it in a nutshell
post #54 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by abqmom View Post
I think for each of us -- whether we work or not -- it's about priorities and choosing to be available to our families. There are plenty of moms who don't work who spend their time ignoring the needs of their children, and there are plenty of moms who work who do the same. There are also moms on both side of the aisle who are very good moms - they're engaged in the process.

To me, that's the biggest difference.
I totally agree with this. Yes, there are probably some wohms whose dcps are "raising" their kids and there are probably some sahms whose kids are being "raised" by Barney, but it has almost nothing to do with the parents' work status and everything to do with their attitude towards parenting.

I don't feel like my dcp is "raising" my DS2, but his teacher is an influence on him. He likes going there and seeing her and playing with the other kids. He enjoys showing off his new toys and she genuinely likes to hear about his weekend and so forth. She's part of his life, yes, but she's not MOMMY, by any stretch of the imagination. She's a playmate and a guide; she's not a parent.
DS1 goes to my parents' after school, and YES, I definitely think that they are helping raise him. It's different than a dcp because they are family, but there is still a clear line between "parent" and "grandparent". DS still calls me to ask if he can go over to a friends' house or stay at grandma's for dinner, etc. He may be in the care of very trusted family members, but I'm always his MOM.
post #55 of 88
The concept of 'someone else raising your children' is so loaded because it implies they are raising them for you, not with you. Of course, the idea that parents (mothers) have to be the only ones raising their children 24/7 is a pretty modern one, and an ideological construct, nothing natural. Humans have always shared the task of childrearing communally.

I can't see anything wrong with people other than the parents having a hand in raising a child - the parents will almost always be the biggest influence ime. For example, I have a friend who is a nanny for a family and has been with them since the oldest of their three children was 6 months old - she cares for the kids 50+ hours a week, she loves them and they love her, she has a lot of input into issues of discipline, food, sleep etc. The children spend maybe an hour a day with their father and two hours with their mother during the week. But there's no doubt that the parents are totally involved, are the main influence in their children's lives, and have the first and last word on how their children are raised.
post #56 of 88
I've never felt this way with any of my children. My oldest two were in daycare for a few years before they started staying home all day with me and then our youngest is now in preschool but has attended daycare since she was 8 weeks old. So we've done a lot of different things over the last 12 years with our children.

It always bothers me when other people judge a mother for working and putting her child in daycare. I'm sure it is good for a baby/toddler to be at home with mom primarily those early years but not all families can do that. IMO why do people who keep children at home until they are 5 finally end up putting them in a school, usually where they have to ride a school bus to get there?? It wasn't okay for their child to go to a daycare or preschool before the age of 5 but all of a sudden it's okay to send them off to school.

It's all the same to me whether I dropped my kids off at daycare at 18 mos old or waited til they were 5 and dropped them at kinder. If someone doesn't choose to keep the kids home forever and homeschool then they are allowing someone else to care for their child all day as well once they hit 5 years old. It's all relative. Plus, I'm their mother and they know this and have always known this.
post #57 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by abqmom View Post
When I told her I'd been staying at home for the past fourteen years, her comment really took me by surprise: she asked how I could stand wasting my life that way..
Amazing. I'm embarrassed for her. And saddened. She apparently has no clue about where life finds real meaning.
post #58 of 88
A good friend of mine, who is a bit of a slob and had a wonderful very experienced nanny, joked once after we watched her kids come in the house, remove their shoes and hang up their coats, "That's what happens when you let strangers raise your children!" I always think of that when my ds does something that he learned at day care.

At the same time there is no comment that burns me more than that one.:

Liz
post #59 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Liz View Post
A good friend of mine, who is a bit of a slob and had a wonderful very experienced nanny, joked once after we watched her kids come in the house, remove their shoes and hang up their coats, "That's what happens when you let strangers raise your children!" I always think of that when my ds does something that he learned at day care.
That's an awesome attitude! Your friend brings up a great point. While it might not be true of all daycare situations, some can be wonderful additions to a child's life. They don't have to "compete" with the parents' contributions; they can be compliments that allow everyone in the family to live more enriched lives.

DS1 (who's 9) and I were talking about this on a walk we took this morning. We happened to go by his old preschool and he just mentioned that he's loved all of the places he's gone for daycare and preschool. We moved a lot when he was young and he went to several dcp. It was so great to hear that he had a positive experience with all of them. (It made me feel so much better about all of the time I spent choosing dcps for him). If you asked him "who raises(d) you?", he would probably look at you like : "Duh, my MOM does!!"
post #60 of 88
ds1 the other morning started singing a little song, pointing to the parts of my face (chin, nose, eyes, etc), saying each one - in Portuguese. He learned this from our Brazilian au pair. Ds2 understands the words "kiss", "bath", and "tickle" in portuguese.

My SIL is Brazilian and we became a lot closer because we are teaching the kids Portuguese. She sends them notes written in Portuguese which our au pair reads them.

So yeah, I definitely feel our kids are being raised a richer environment than either me or my husband could give them if we were to raise them alone.
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