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Who is "raising" your child- terminology that matters

post #1 of 107
Thread Starter 
Okay, do you guys completely bristle when someone suggests that having your child in daycare is equivalent to someone else "raising" your child. I find myself full of rage when someone suggests this. It really deeply bothers me, when I really shouldn't care what others think of my situation.

Yes, I wish I had more hours to be with my daughter and fewer at work. (But dh was home with her part-time for the first 18 months!) But she is very attached to her teacher at daycare (she's been with the same teacher since three months old). And the older she gets the more comfortable and happy I am with my working situation.

Am I feeling working mom's guilt or is this really offensive to you guys too?
post #2 of 107
It does offend me. It makes me feel like I didn't want to raise my kids, so I work and pawn them off on someone who does.

In reality, I have to work, so I found someone who will take wonderful care of my kids while I do that and teach them lots of things that I couldn't.
post #3 of 107
I bristle at this as well.

On the one hand, I think, "yeah, ok, multiple people are raising my kid. My DH, my parents, his parents, the daycare teachers when he was younger (he also had the same teachers for 3.5 years!), the teachers at school, the parents of his friends, etc. are all raising him." And i think this is a good thing. This is a more "natural" form of child-rearing than one mom, kid or multiple kids, no one else. So I try to redirect these comments in a positive way (something I learned on MDC!) and respond with, "Yes, we're so lucky to have so many positive influences in DS's life"

However, as I said, I do bristle at it because, when it's said, it is almost always meant negatively. I also think it's hypocritical. I mean, are all the DH's out there who are working 60 hr. weeks not "raising" their kids? I've brought that up a few times when it is said to me and I never really get a satisfactory response.
post #4 of 107
It's extremely offensive. ITA with the statement about fathers who work a lot, why are they "raising" their kids but working moms aren't?
post #5 of 107
Yup. It is offensive.

I am a big believer in "it takes a village" and I absolutely need and use support and I think I'm a better mom for it. Not as much guilt now as I used to feel, mostly because DD is turning out so darn AWESOME that I have less worries that my time away has damaged her in some way. I think it's benefits have outweighted any negatives for our family.
post #6 of 107
It's highly obnoxious. I'd go postal (but in a very nurturing, attached way, I'm sure! ) if I were entirely responsible for providing every single value, viewpoint, learning experience, and shoulder-to-cry-on to my children for 20 years straight. Because yeah, God forbid anyone else on this planet contribute to the raising of my children. They'd be tainted for life!
post #7 of 107
I agree it's obnoxious and usually meant as a slam againt working parents. DS is not in childcare although both DH and I work fulltime out of the home. I have learned to be careful when I describe our situation so as not to offend those who do use childcare.
post #8 of 107
I think it's obnoxious but I too have learned from MDC to redirect/reframe it back as "yes, it's wonderful that Noah has so many people who love him."

I have to say that when I first went back to work full-time, that was when comments like that REALLY hurt and enraged me, probably because I was ambivalent about being away from my son. Now that I see how much "raising" I do, and how it really actually IS about more people involved, not me being UNinvolved, I still find it obnoxious but I'm a little bit more detached.

It's kind of humbling too to realize that although I am my child's best and only mother, I am not - nor ever will be - his everything in the way that it was when he was an infant. And that is natural as a progression.
post #9 of 107
I'm mostly a SAH (I freelance occasionally) but the suggestion that having a child in daycare means that the daycare providers are "raising" that child seems like it should be offensive to everyone. It's so disheartening to hear people say things like that.
post #10 of 107
I find it offensive as well. I raise my child, daycare is hired help that watches her for me when I have to work. She is instilled with my values, not theirs.
post #11 of 107
I find it offensive because Kailey's provider doesn't raise her. She watches her while DH and I work/attend classes. She doesn't teach her a value system or moral code. Does not instruct her in religion. The only things Kailey gets instruction on are social customs and use of language. Of course there are non-verbals lessons in body langauge, but we are the ones who are raising our daughter
post #12 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Potty Diva View Post
I find it offensive because Kailey's provider doesn't raise her. She watches her while DH and I work/attend classes. She doesn't teach her a value system or moral code. Does not instruct her in religion. The only things Kailey gets instruction on are social customs and use of language. Of course there are non-verbals lessons in body langauge, but we are the ones who are raising our daughter
Bolding mine.

Although I agree that this phrase is often used to belittle a WOH mother, I still must point out that a caregiver is most certainly teaching a value/moral system.

I work out of the home a few days a week caring for the children of a part-time WOHM. When I am caring for these children, I definitely teach them a moral/social/value system. This includes: conflict resolution, following their conscience, what respect means and how to show it to others, why it is important to be polite and not rude, appropriate decision making, etc. These are all important parts of a moral/value system.

So, although I agree that this phrase is being used inappropriately most of the time, I do think that there is some truth to it. The key here is to ask ourselves if this is really such a bad thing? I like how others have pointed out that having many loving people in their child's life is a GREAT thing. I agree.

I think that it is sad that people use this phrase as a weapon -- parenting is hard enough without such negativity.
post #13 of 107
I feel so sorry for the husbands of the smug sahms who say that they could never let someone else raise their kids. I guess the fathers don't raise them at all.
post #14 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I feel so sorry for the husbands of the smug sahms who say that they could never let someone else raise their kids. I guess the fathers don't raise them at all.
I think those families often *do* think that way. My MIL, for example, gets great pleasure out of talking about how little FIL did for their kids because he worked 70+ hours a week and traveled all the time. (They've somehow missed the boat that DH rearranging his schedule to be home more and SIL's kids having a SAHD suggests perhaps the kids weren't happy with that set-up.)

I think it gives her a lot of satisfaction to talk about raising the kids by herself. There's definitely an element of control there - as in she made all decisions regarding family, and FIL just had to go along because *she* was in charge of that part of their lives.
post #15 of 107
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I knew I could count on this group for some perspective. you are right, lots of people raise my daughter. I just bristle at the suggestion that somehow I am NOT (that it's an either/or). Now I have to move on and be the bigger person in this relationship.
post #16 of 107
post #17 of 107
It's hard not to be defensive. Here's a funny change in perspective though...

My SIL stays at home and she jokes about how the TV is raising her kids because she lets them watch too much. So, she can make the same joke at herself--I thought it was interesting to hear it applied to a sahm situation and the fact that she could actually joke about herself and her childrearing was IMPRESSIVE! And made me like her more.
post #18 of 107
I'm not a mom, but I lurk here sometimes. My mom was a "work outside of the home" mom. I was raised by my mom and my dad. It's horribly offensive to suggest otherwise.

I'm 26 and married, and I'm proud to say that most of my values and nearly all of my strength come from my parents. I think that most children from healthy families can say the same, regardless of where their mom was from 8-5.
post #19 of 107
I stay at home, sometimes working, and I find that phrase and the smug attitude behind it VERY offensive. I am so sick of the mommy wars. And you know, showing your kids that you are strong and capable and have a great job ARE a part of "raising" your kids. And seriously, what a slight on dads. My husband is very much raising our kids even though he leaves the home to go to work.
post #20 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
I think it's obnoxious but I too have learned from MDC to redirect/reframe it back as "yes, it's wonderful that Noah has so many people who love him."
:

Exactly what I was going to say.
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