The blogger (we'll call him "Bob") takes a selective quote from a post of mine from a few weeks back:
Bob claims that if he were a parent he'd be ashamed to admit such information. He goes on to say that obviously I just wanted a "toy kid so that she can play mother", that I am willing to treat my "kid like an animal", and that if he were my husband, he'd be a stay-at-home dad. Bob admits that he is neither married or a parent.
"Finding a home-based daycare (or any care, for that matter) on two weeks notice is *tough*. I called ~10 places this morning and found four *big* centers with openings. We’re touring them this week. We might just have to settle on something for now and continue to look for a smaller, better place as we can."
Well, Bob, you admit you don't know what you are talking about, so why do it?
But since you did, here's my reply:
- If I wanted to "play" mother, I wouldn't have tried for 17 months to conceive, given birth without drugs, worked part time for the past six months, had no more than 2 consecutive hours of sleep for the last six+ months, or agonized quite so much about not being able to find the perfect childcare. (All of these stories can be found in my blog archives.) I love my daughter more than words can describe, more than I ever thought possible.
- You assume that sending daycares treat kids like animals. Maybe the one your mom sent you to did, but the good daycares try really hard to give kids individual attention and love. They have well-trained staff, lots of toys, outdoor playtime, etc. It's hardly like throwing your child in a playpen for 8 hours a day.
- You also implicitly assume that staying home with a child is the best care a kid can receive. And I think that I give my daughter pretty darn good care. But what about the 60% of 3 month olds who regularly watch TV or videos, despite the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of no TV until age 2? Those kids aren't watching TV in a daycare (it's usually against regulations); they're watching it at home.
- You seem to fault me for settling on the best daycare I can find now, and continuing to look for a better place. What am I supposed to do? Ask the university to nicely push back the academic calendar because I haven't found a competent, experienced, loving nanny willing to work for less than a living wage?
- You fault my husband for not staying home, because he's not "subservient enough" or we're not willing to "do without" [luxuries]. Both my husband and I are required to work by economic dictates; neither of us makes enough to support the whole family. We're not taking luxury cruises or buying new Mercedes; we're just talking about paying the mortgage and buying groceries.
- When you fault my husband for not being subservient enough to be a stay-at-home dad, what you are really saying is that I, as the woman, should be subservient to my husband's career and should stay home with the kids. Barefoot and pregnant, I presume?
- I can turn the other cheek, Bob, when you pronounce that I haven't got a shot at tenure because I'm a mother and I don't want to work more than 60 hours per week. But I can't stand that you would dare to assert that my husband and I don't have our daughter's best interests at heart when we make the agonizing decision over who to trust her with for 6-7 hours a day.