After working in three different child care centers across the country and as my first child grew, I understood more concretely how my decision to leave my child in the care of others would impact him. It is the personal choice of my husband and I to not use day care.
This choice does not mean that we think that parents who send their children to day care in homes or centers are bad parents. We just choose differently, and if you do too, you may relate to these reasons why I don’t use daycare.
‘Daycare kids’ can thrive and be successful. We just don’t want to risk missing anything or give parenting power to anyone other than ourselves.
My opposition to the use of daycare does not mean I want parents who utilize it to fail at parenting.
I certainly want all children to grow up to feel loved, supported (if they are choosing positive avenues to explore in life) and be successful. I want all parents to cherish their roles as parents and the time they have with their children. I want all parents to have a strong and positive relationship with their child throughout their lives.
Why I Don’t Use Daycare
1) I do not know the caregivers personally.
2) I would be teaching my child that trusting a stranger is acceptable and necessary.
My brother was a clerk for a State Supreme Court Justice out in Oregon. I mentioned to him that I felt like such an odd ball since I was the only mom I knew (in my circle of close friends) who had never placed my children in child care. He told me that my apprehension was warranted. Of all the child abuse cases that come across his desk, most involve a person who had easy contact with a child.
Check out these posts for more on each developmental stage:
Enjoy your time at home!
This was wonderfully said. I always felt strongly that I did not want to put my baby in daycare. Little Nolan is now 10 months old. Since he was at least 3 months old, I’ve been feeling pressure to place him in daycare, from family members, teachers, strangers, just from society. I’ve never wanted to, and expressed my hesitation to giving him away, and I’ve always gotten strange looks thrown my way, as if I’m going to be handicapping my baby. Basically a silent or not so silent form of mom shaming. I got it so often that it made me seriously second guess myself… Am I the problem? Is my attachment to my baby too strong that I’m keeping him from experiencing “great socializing experiences”? Am I being selfish and not thinking about him? Are the hormones getting the better of me?
Reading your article has reaffirmed my decision to not put him in day care. Fortunately, we are able to live well enough off of one income. So for me, it makes no sense to put him in day care just for someone/team of strsngers to take care of him, when I am capable of doing it myself.
I don’t want my baby to be without me. He needs his mama. I don’t want him crying in distress because I’m not there for him. I don’t want him getting hurt, especially by other children or adults. He needs to be comfortable and ready to “socialize” on his own time, or with me right there next to him guiding and helping him navigate. That’s what I see everytime he encounters something new, he looks to me for my reaction/guidance/approval. I don’t want a stranger to do that.
I’m confident that I can do enough with him, especially little excursions, so that he sees the world. We can go to children’s play corners, little libraries, baby pools etc where he may interact with others or simply look along. He will play with his older siblings (my bonus kiddos), visit grandma, aunties, cousins, uncles etc.
We won’t be rushed because society pressures us to part ways early. He will have to deal with society later. Let’s let our childhood be in peace. Thanks for helping me realize this and to trust my first instincts.
Jaimi Erickson says
I completely agree! You are strong to stick to your instincts and values. People will always have opinions to the contrary. I just nod and smile. 😉
Sarah Gibbson says
I think she has listed very valid points. Perhaps examine your resistance to them for a more balanced examination.
I have three children and I have never placed any of them in a daycare. I once did a report in a writing class about the dangers of daycares. But let’s be honest, leaving children with “trusted family members” can be just as dangerous. I couldn’t afford to quit my job, so my husband and I work opposite shifts so one of us can be with them.
I have 4 month old and a 2.5 year old. I have been debating whether to quit my new job so that I can stay home with my babies. I thought this job with the great schedule was the answer to my woes, but turns out I was wrong. They are in daycare right now, after reading this I think I've made up my mind. It kills me everyday to leave them there. I am so afraid of not being able to handle being a stay at home mom, my hubby thinks I'm going to let them watch TV all day. I'm glad I found your website, it makes me feel like I can do it.
First off, I am thrilled that my site here is encouraging you! If you are able to stop working, it is worth a try for your children and your family. My post above is really meant to be an inside story, and I hope it does encourage moms who are able to choose to stay home to at least try it. I think your children can only benefit. My mom had the tv on a lot when we were kids because she worked part time night shift and needed us occupied so she could sleep at times. My kids watch much less tv than I did as a child and you know what? I still got good grades, like to be social with friends, and don't appear to be too scarred from the experience. 😉 I think being a SAHM is intimidating just because you do have all day to be with your kids and often that means we feel like we have to do something with our children every moment-not true. Being at home is about building family connections, creating security, providing limited exposure to strangers and guiding children's behavior among many other things we do all day. You will be great! I hope you are able to give it a try-it will be an adjustment at first, but give yourself a few months to work through the new schedule and get your comfort level up. I wish you well. Stop back and let me know how it goes if you do decide to try it.
I wish there were more people like you in this world. We live in an economy, not a community sadly. The hold of money on us in this world is way too strong. People live and act from a fear that they are missing out. I am a single mother who could crtainly argue “i cant afford to stay at home” but i choose to make that financial/professional sacrifice knowing that these precious years of my toddlers rearing cannot be bought back. I have a long life ahead of me God willing, 1 or. 2 more years wont kill my career…
Jaimi Erickson says
You are inspiring! Thank you for sharing your thoughts here and for all you do for your family.
Georgia Home Health Care Agencies says
Really great read for me, Thanks for share…
I appreciate that. Thank you!
Congratulations on the baby! I had c-sections as well; it will get better as you are finding. Just enjoy your days and take one day at a time. I hope the walks will be great! I loved walking on the great trails on our last base. All the best as you sort it all out.
Marine Wife, Mommy & Life says
🙂 We went through all the finances last month before baby came and I would be working half of a month for day care expenses alone. It isn't a neccessity income wise, the military pays him well and I get disability from previous active duty service. More about, like you said, the identity portion of it all….. Sigh… 🙂 Our little man came on the 5th of April, and it has been wonderful being home with him. I've gotten a bit of cabin fever (mainly because of the c-section and not being abke to hardly move about the house at first). But now I'm mobile again and enjoying being home for the baby and picking up our oldest from school. Plus the trails on base will be seeing me and baby soon for some morning/afternoon walks. Still undecided, but honestly I come to tears when thinking of leaving him with someone else now…. We'll see. <3 Thank you for this post!
Mama! Me? Uh... says
I can understand your apprehension about putting your career on hold for a time. (Remember, it can be temporary-kids are not home forever.) It can be hard to let go of the identity we form through 'what we do.' I still consider myself a teacher even though I stay home now, and it was hard to have people ignore my expertise because I JUST (their word) stay home. It took a couple of years to get over what others thought of me due to my choice to stop working. Make a 'pros' and 'cons' list and get your home finances on Excel or a paper format to really see how much NEEDS to come in to cover what NEEDS to go out. If you'd like a template I can email it. Staying home will allow you to see everything and be the stability for your family. If you choose to work after all, like you mention, you always have that choice to serve your notice if the daily schedule does not suit you and your family. I truly wish you the best no matter which 'job' you choose!
Can I get this template please! thank you 🙂
Marine Wife, Mommy & Life says
I agree with many of your reasoning's. I too worked as a provider for two base CDC's (Child Development Center). With my oldest in a room over from mine at the first one. That portion was great. But now with another on the way and me having a different job on base I'm nervous about putting him in the CDC….. I know the managers and school age providers well but not the infant care providers…. I'm questioning going back to work at the end of May. Your number 3 reason is a major part of my husband's view point on it all. Me, I am scared to not have employment because I have been working for over 13 years…. We have talked about giving it a trial period, if it doesn't go smoothly the first couple weeks I have agreed to putting in my two weeks notice or finding a home provider…