Who is "raising" your child- terminology that matters - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 12:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#2 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 12:55 PM
 
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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.
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#3 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 12:56 PM
 
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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.
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#4 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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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?

Mom to DS 5/05 and DD 9/08
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#5 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 01:54 PM
 
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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.
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#6 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 02:11 PM
 
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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!
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#7 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 02:18 PM
 
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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.

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#8 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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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.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#9 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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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.

Betsy, mama to beautiful, strong MZ twins Lillian and Kate, born 11 weeks early on January 10, 2006.
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#10 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 02:46 PM
 
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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.
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#11 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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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
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#12 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 03:23 PM
 
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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.
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#13 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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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.
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#14 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 03:55 PM
 
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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.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#15 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#16 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 04:05 PM
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#17 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 05:13 PM
 
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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.
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#18 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 05:24 PM
 
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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.

Texmati-- Knitter, Hindu, vegetarian, WOHM. Wife to superdadsuperhero.gif and mom to DS babyf.gif24 months, and DD boc.gif 8 months! .

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#19 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 05:41 PM
 
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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.
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#20 of 107 Old 02-07-2008, 11:17 PM
 
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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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#21 of 107 Old 02-08-2008, 12:08 AM
 
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Its funny, but I've been either a student or full time WOHM since dd was 3 weeks old and I have never had anyone say this to me (or at least to my face )

It so important when your life is hectic to surround yourself with positive energy and supportive people - dont feel like you have to justify who you are or what you do.
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#22 of 107 Old 02-08-2008, 12:09 AM
 
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We have always been blessed with consistent and loving home care providers for my three children. Each of my children has developed an attachment relationship with my dh and I, AND the child care provider. I like to think of it as a three legged stool, which is of course, more stable than a two legged stool. A loving dcp has insights into my child's behavior that I may not have thought of, or sometimes just a different way of thinking about things because the dcp is more objective. I have always learned so much from the dcp's views of each of my children. Sometimes these views have been reassuring, sometimes challenging (ex-"your dd is having trouble sharing"), but always enlightening. I feel an incredible benefit from this three way attachment relationship.

 
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#23 of 107 Old 02-08-2008, 12:51 AM
 
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Originally Posted by namellea View Post
I just bristle at the suggestion that somehow I am NOT (that it's an either/or).
This is the part about that statement that I bristle at the most.

I have no problem admitting that multiple people are providing support & guidance to my boys. I think it's a good thing, like many pp's have said. But, these other people are not a replacement for me as a parent. I actively chose each and every person who has an infuence in my kids' lives. Even public school teachers weren't accepted without consideration (and yes, I've moved DS1 out of a class with a teacher I didn't trust). I created the village we have and continue to evaluate it on a daily basis. Why? because I'm the PARENT. It's my job, not anyone else's. Over the past few years, it's become DP's job, as well, but the last time I checked we were the only 2 doing any "raising" around here.

Sometimes I think maybe "raising" means something different to me than people who use the phrase in the OP. To me, "raising" means to help a person make the full transition from infant to adult. As far as I'm concerned, unless something happens to me, I'll be the only one who will meet that definition. When the boys are adults, I'll be the one who was there from the beginning. Maybe "Ms. Polly" watched them for a few days a week when they were three and maybe "Mrs. Smith" was the best 7th grade teacher ever, but I'll be the one who raised them. Everyone else will be (hopefully) positive little additions to their lives.
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#24 of 107 Old 02-08-2008, 01:55 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Elvirnon View Post
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!


Me too.

And, honestly? I think that what would taint my kids for life would be ME raising them without any outside input. I can't even begin to list all the great things I have learned about parenting from our nanny and dd1's preschool teacher. It has made me a better mom. Well, that and the adult interaction I get by working.

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
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#25 of 107 Old 02-08-2008, 04:43 AM
 
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I went through this a couple of years ago with a sister of mine.

*sigh*

I won't go into the whole thing... you have all pretty much stated the situation.
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#26 of 107 Old 02-08-2008, 09:56 AM
 
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Honestly, Kailey's provided is not teaching her anything. If she suggests something to Kailey that we have taught her differently she actually says something to our provider.

But, Kailey is 7 and is with the sitter for about 4 hours a week. Dh and I am our family raise her and teaher her. If she were in FT daycare or preschool now that would be another story.

Her teacher- yes, in fact she IS helping to raise our daughter and I am extremely thankful for that.
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#27 of 107 Old 02-08-2008, 10:23 AM
 
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Me too.

And, honestly? I think that what would taint my kids for life would be ME raising them without any outside input. I can't even begin to list all the great things I have learned about parenting from our nanny and dd1's preschool teacher. It has made me a better mom. Well, that and the adult interaction I get by working.
Me too. This is actually what my mother tried (it's kind of good homeschooling wasn't in vogue then) and it was not a good thing.

~ Mum to Emily, March 12-16 2004, Noah, born Aug 2005, Liam, born January 2011, and wife to Carl since 1994. ~
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#28 of 107 Old 02-08-2008, 12:51 PM
 
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I created the village we have and continue to evaluate it on a daily basis.
I love that! I firmly believe in "it takes a village". I do have working mom's guilt, but every time that comes up, I remember how important these people are to my kids.
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#29 of 107 Old 02-08-2008, 01:14 PM
 
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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.
: I have worn many different labels WOHM,SAHM,WAHM but I was always my children's parent, but no matter where my children were? The more people that loved them and contributed to their wellbeing the better.
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#30 of 107 Old 02-08-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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I guess I don't find it offensive at all because I'm extremely happy that someone else is helping me raise my child and I always point this out. I honestly don't think most folks who make comments like that have ever stopped to think that it could be possive. It's simple logic to me - more adults who care for them = more opportunities for bonding and broadening their circle of understanding, caring and love. I don't think most ppl even stop to consider this aspect.
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