Where do our Children fit?
October 1, 2014
You have to go back to work. You have to find childcare. Insert panic here. But wait, who, other than you, is going to be affected by this decision? Your child.
I feel, sometimes, that the pressure of our 21st century world forces us back to work without allowing us to stop and think about what is best for our children. Perhaps, just maybe, heading back into that 9-5, full time, full stress, full intensity job is not what is best for our kids. Maybe there is another way.
As I have referred to quite a lot in the last little while, the data is irrefutable. Our children between the ages of 0-5 are not thriving and succeeding nearly as much as we would expect or like them to. And maybe, this is because we parents are not the people raising our children. As my son’s grade 3 teacher reminded me, she sees more of him during the week than I do. And now I think back to when he was a toddler, and a preschooler. On a day when I worked all day, he was with his caregiver from 8 – 5. This is a 9 hour day! Realistically, I got him home, fed him supper, did bed and bath routine, and was lights out by 7:30. So, if I get him up at 7am, my influence on him was a grande total of 3 1/2 hours for the day. That is only 1/3 of what his caregiver had with him. A sobering thought indeed.
On the other hand, we parents have dreams, goals, careers we want to see move forward. We put hours and $$ into education, training, advancement. We don’t want to throw that all away either.
This is a brutally tough decision. What to do.
This, I think, is where we need to start thinking outside the box. Not just as parents, but as a community/city/province/country. Allow parents to work part-time and/or job share so they can have large chunks of time with their children. Allow businesses to have in-house childcare, so parents can visit their children during coffee break, lunch hour, or just because both parties need a hug. This option also takes away the hours of commuting which only takes parent and child away from each other for even longer. Allow parents, when and where possible, to work from home. Maybe even just a couple days a week. This kind of flexibility is huge!
We need to change the definition of a “working parent”. I am a working parent, but since my children were born, I have chosen to work part time. And this year, I have chosen to step away from my “job”, and work entirely from home. Even with my children both in school, I cannot believe the difference. I am less tired, have way more patience, and have much more to give them at the end of each day. As a result, my kids are happier. My daughter asked me the other day, “Mom, when are you going back to work?” “Why”, I replied, “do you want me to?” “No, mommy, I never want you to go back to work”
A parent who is worrying about how their child is doing at their dayhome/daycare is not a 100% productive employee! I know I have managed to be WAY more productive in the 2 hours my child was napping than I was at work thinking about my children, and wishing I was with them. I know of many parents, particularly mothers, who have started and run very successful companies, all while managing to stay at home and be THE primary influence in their childs’ lives.
With the regular influence of parents, and the support of the rest of society, we can help our children to become much more confident and well adjusted. Remember, these children of today are the adults and leaders of tomorrow – this is a worthwhile investment. We parents may find we are more confident and well adjusted too!
If starting your own dayhome is the right option for you to stay home with your children, while still contributing to your family, contact us today about our Dayhome Starter Package!