Friday, September 26, 2008

Mem Fox gets controversial...and I say good for her

I was cruising my Google reader when I came across this interesting blog post. After what I went through with Eliza in day care I am not a huge supporter to say the least. This article responds to author Mem Fox calling full time daycare for infants child abuse.

Mem fox responds here on her website.

Do I think day care is child abuse? I am not sure if I would go that far but I definitely think it is terrible when a parent is unable to stay home with his/her child. I never wanted to put E in day care and would have loved to be home with her those months I was working- or would have loved for a caring family member of friend to have her.

Mem defends her position and I have to stay I think she should stand behind what she has said if she feels strongly on the issue. I don't see why she should back down...and I certainly don't think people should boycott her books because she has a strong opinion.

I know people often have no other choice than to put their babies into daycare. I was one of those moms. But maybe we as a country should be questioning this practice and making it possible for parents to spend more time with their children during those critical early months.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, that is such a hard subject. I know that there are some people that have to work to survive, so some sort of childcare is a must. It is too bad that most jobs only allow 12 weeks(?) of maternity leave which may or may not be paid. It forces those people who have to work to put their baby in someone elses hands at a very early age. The thing that frustrates me are the families who insist on living a certain lifestyle that requires two incomes (assuimg there are two parents that work). I even see it in some of my friends...they complain that they never get to see their kids, yet they carry around a Gucci purse. It seems as though they are willing to sacrafice the well-being of their child for material possesions. I don't love the idea of my child being with someone else for 40-50 hours a week, but if I had to I probably wouldn't choose daycare. I hope I am not too judgemental here, really not meaning to be!

Amanda-The Family News! said...

My kids are in daycare...i work full time out of the house. i wish i could stay home with them, but i am at least lucky to have a flexible job where i can on occassion work from home so i do get to spend more time with them than most..

H.E.Eigler said...

As a Canadian I was blessed to have a whole year of paid Mat leave (at 50% of my wage). I think it's very important for babies to be cared for my their mothers in the early months. I feel for parents who have to put their wee ones in a daycare center...it certainly isn't ideal and it was very stressful for me to put her in another's care at 12 months - I couldn't imagine at 2 months...I feel for what you went through at that time.

Christy said...

I definitely don't think it is child abuse, but I do think that it is sad. Moms and Dads are only seeing their children for 2 or 3 hours per day. That is disturbing. A stranger is raising their child.

But you have to do, what you have to do. If the only way a family can survive is for both parents to work full time, then they don't really have a choice.

Christine said...

I have to agree with her. I grew up as a latch key kid after I outgrew child care..... it was hard.

Dana said...

saying Daycare is child abuse is going a little far. You have to realize that not all parents are able to afford to stay at home when there children are young! So what are they suppossed to do? I'd say its child abuse if the parent puts there kid in daycare every day so they could have alnoe time or wanted to go to the mall every day! But not everyone is able to have their parents or inlaws stay home and babysit - those that do are lucky! So - abuse is a bit much!

Dana said...

their children, sorry - lol!

PletcherFamily said...

I agree that saying it is child abuse is too much. That is crazy. I can tell you that from being a nurse at a child care facility, these kids are well cared for and loved very much. There are a lot of families that don't have choices. They have to work to survive. That is a shame that this person would go so far to call something that is the only possible choice for a lot of families child abuse. That breaks my heart. I know a lot of wonderful families who love their kids very much where this is the only choice. Shame on this woman for being so harsh

Marni's Organized Mess said...

I stay at home because I love to. But I also have a MAJOR deal with saying I am the one who raised my kids.

BUT I don't think it's okay for anyone to bash someone who isn't home with their children. I know parents who work FULL TIME and are better parents (there for their childnre) than parents who do stay home.

I just have to ask... who's going to do all those jobs that need to be done if everyone with kids is HOME?

Missy said...

I definitely do not think it is child abuse - that is absurd. Neglecting or hurting your child is abuse - not leaving your child with a trusted adult while you make a living.
My daughter spent about 6 months in a daycare center, full-time until we moved down to S.C. and I was able to stay home with her. I hated the fact that I only got to see her awake for a couple of hours a day, and I am sad that I missed out on some of her babyhood. But, there was no way that I could afford to leave my job at that point, nor did I want to - I enjoyed working. And, I loved our daycare center - I know that she was loved and very well taken care of there.
Now that I have been home with her, and now her baby brother for the past 3 1/2 years, I feel that I am so blessed to be here - because so many moms CAN'T stay home.
Many countries do offer wonderful maternity leave time for new moms, which is great - and I would LOVE to see it happen in the US, but with as many other issues as we have going on right now, I am pretty sure it isn't even on the radar. :)

Pam said...

Wow! I have to admit that I have not read her article. But being a working mommy who does HAVE to work to pay bills- I am offended by her calling day care child abuse. I think that if I quit my job and don't make enough money to buy food or pay my electric bill- that is child abuse to me. If I can't feed my family or keep them warm, etc- then I am neglecting them and abusing them. Sending them to day care so we can afford food, heat, etc is just reality. Would I like to be home? Yes. Can I? No. And, honestly, for those moms who don't have to work but enjoy working- it isn't child abuse then either. They deserve to have the right to make that choice for themselves and not be judged for it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and each person has to do what is right for their own family. But for this woman to be so forceful is very upsetting to me. I already have enough mom guilt- I don't need someone making me feel worse.

Andrea said...

Yep...I agree with you completely! I am also not a huge fan of daycare, and honestly, I just cannot fathom why someone would put their kids in daycare when they could stay home with them. I understand why some people put their kids in daycare when they really have no other choice, but for me, I would choose staying home with my kids over working a paying job any day!!

MoziEsmé said...

Interesting topic. I'd say the ideal is for the mom to be home with the baby. And if not the mom, then some other loving caregiver who will be in the child's life for some time to come. I've just been reading on how those early months and years of life have a significant though often unconscious impact on how a person relates to people and the world in general for the rest of his life.

At the same time, I think it's wrong to lump all cases as child abuse. Sometimes day care is the best alternative to child abuse, as when a single mom raises a child alone rather than stays in an abusive relationship.

Jennifer said...

I've been thinking about this a lot. I guess I'm just odd or weird in some way because I actually think daycare is a huge positive for my family. Yes - I have to work. But you know what.... I'm glad. There I said it. Judge all you want, but my son absolutely adores his school with his friends. And I'm sorry but not every single mother was cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. I am one of them. He is getting much more focused attention and has so much more fun being around other kids than staying home all day with boring me. And our time together is so much more valuable. Every second is special and we enjoy each other so much more. I guess, I'm just tired of hearing "the ideal is for mothers to stay home". Maybe that is "ideal" for some mothers but not for all. And that's one thing I'm not feeling guilty about anymore. My child loves daycare, I like to work, and we also (shock) love and enjoy each other. And here's the real shocker - I can be a really good mom AND put my son in daycare.