24 May 2012

A blog first


I have to say that my last post was the first time I have received a negative comment on my blog, and it's taken me some time to figure out how I wanted to respond. For those of you who don't read the comments – here it is, so that you know what I'm talking about:


Day care? Day care? DAY CARE for a 6 week old infant?!???
That is cruel! A baby deserves time to bond with its parents! Not to be banished to institutional care at the ripe old age of 40 days!!

I sure hope the first parents know you're doing this!! I cannot imagine any first mom would let an amom planning to dump a teeny-tiny baby in daycare!!!

I have a lot of things that I wish to say to this. Yes, I am going back to work after six weeks, which I don't think that anyone believes to be ideal, but in my household I am the primary breadwinner, and I don't have paid maternity leave. When I go back to work, my husband is staying home for two weeks, and then my mother-in-law will be here for the two days that I have to work the week of the fourth of July. This wasn't an easy decision for us, and there are many factors that come into play, like the fact that because of Jakobe's diabetes and the cost of health insurance, we can't afford for him to become a stay-at-home dad. Me being a stay-at-home mom was never an option, no matter how much I would like it to be. We are doing the best that we can.

As far as characterizing our daycare as “institutional care” I find it to be a gross mischaracterization of our plan, made by someone who has more politics than knowledge of our situation. The first parents know exactly what we are doing, as Niko will be attending the same in-home care as her first siblings.

Be outraged if you want. I am. I'm outraged that someone would come here, bringing the “mommy wars” with them, to tell me what a terrible mother I am before I've had even three weeks with my daughter. We all have to make choices and compromises.

Be outraged, I am. I am outraged that I live in one of the most advanced countries in the world, but I have no paid maternity leave. I am using every drop of my vacation and sick leave to stay at home as long as I can – and that's not right. Every other first world country has paid parental leave because they recognize the importance of family, and bonding, and how that makes for a stronger society, and most likely a more productive workforce whose mind is on their work while they are there, and not at home (or wherever their child is being cared for) with a child that the parents aren't ready to leave. So if I sound defensive, it's because I am. I want to stay at home longer, I want to be there with her, and I don't get to be. I can't imagine yet how hard it is going to be to go back to work. But, I don't really have a choice. Two rounds of IVF, and an adoption that fell in our lap from the gods have drained our savings, the money I had planned to use to cover the unpaid time off I wanted to take when I had a child. The short term disability policy that I've been paying for for years doesn't apply. Why? Because I'm not “recovering from childbirth.” The best laid plans, right?

So I guess what I am saying to StaN is: know what you're talking about before you make judgments. And if all else fails follow the golden rule. Or – just keep your damn mouth shut – you don't have the right to judge me.

To the rest of you: thanks for putting up with my rant, and maybe someday we can make a change to the family policies and politics of this country. Politicians like to say that family is central to our lived. Maybe it's time for them to put their votes where their mouth is.

10 comments:

  1. Omg I can't believe that commenter. What an ass. We all have to do what we can to get by - and the mommy wars need to end!!!

    Don't even get me started on the abysmal maternity leave in this country. And it is a travesty that you can't use short term disability. Complete bullshit!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Three cheers for Jenni! You tell 'em girl. It's just not right and I applaud you!

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  3. Yep, that's a shitty system. We get a year here in Canada. You are doing your est and your daughter knows that so staN can take a hike!

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  4. First of all, congrats! Second: needing daycare sucks, but as you mentioned, in our country it's a necessary evil. It actually has some benefits. I had to put my preemie son in daycare at 8 weeks, and I fought to be out that long, and took some of it unpaid. My kiddo was 3 weeks developmentally.

    Great post. And I agree, time for our country to put their votes to good use and remember how important family is.

    ReplyDelete
  5. First of all, congrats! Second: needing daycare sucks, but as you mentioned, in our country it's a necessary evil. It actually has some benefits. I had to put my preemie son in daycare at 8 weeks, and I fought to be out that long, and took some of it unpaid. My kiddo was 3 weeks developmentally.

    Great post. And I agree, time for our country to put their votes to good use and remember how important family is.

    ReplyDelete
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