Friday, March 20, 2009

An open letter to parents who send their kids to daycare

Dear moms and dads:

I’m a working mom of two well-adjusted kids who went to daycare from the time they were babies. I have never regretted sending them and I want to share some things I’ve learned.

Most people I know took grief from their own parents for sending their kids to daycare. They will tell you that your kid will love the babysitter more than you and think she’s her mother (this never happens.) They may act as if they are embarrassed to tell their friends their grandchild goes to daycare. They will question every aspect of the care your kid is receiving – from the frequency of diaper changing to the quality of food.

You need to blow off grandma and grandpa on this one. There’s a new sheriff in town. YOU are the parent. If having a career is something will make you feel fulfilled, then you will be a better parent by having a career – oh, and kids have fun at daycare, by the way.

And if you choose to stay home – do it without apologies. You’re not lazy. You don’t lack ambition. You made a choice. Own it.

There’s a lot of pressure on parents these days to be perfect. There’s a lot of guilt trips being flung around. Let your kid ride his bike around the block alone? You’re putting him at risk of being abducted and raped. Don’t want to watch soccer practice (not the game, the practice), because it bores you out of your skull? How could you? They’re only young once. Make your daughter buy her lunch every day because you’re sick of making PB&J? You scoundrel!

Just remember some advice I read in a book by Vicki Iovine – you don’t have to be perfect, just good enough.


Jennifer Chronicles ( said...

Somedays, I think my kids were better off in daycare. They only got 30 minutes of TV a day; they didn't snack all day long and they had lots of little friends. SAHMs and others who degrade working parents for putting their kids in daycare are clueless about the benefits AND the blessings of daycare.

Kristina said...


Other parents are sometimes baffled that my youngest is in day care even though I show up every day to drop the oldest off in school wearing jeans and sneakers, not dressed for a "real" job.

Working at home mom, staying at home mom, outside-the-home mom...part-time working mom...

Women of all generations really need to give each other a break on all the judgment.

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