delegating parental responsibilities

Nicole - posted on 01/24/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I have often heard people rant about how parents should be the ones directly caring for their kids because they gave birth to them. I’ve even heard this expressed to the extreme of, “I shouldn’t hire a babysitter, I choose to have kids, I shouldn’t put that burden on anyone else”.

Staying home and raising your children is nice and preferable for many people, but some people hire someone to do that for them, and go out and work. Is a mother a bad mother if she makes the decision to delegate some of her parental responsibilities to someone else?

IMO, some people are skilled at being teachers, nurses, actors, etc.; some people are skilled at being parents. I do not think it is necessary that the person who gave birth to a child be the one to look after their daily needs. If someone else (a father, a nanny, a grandmother) is better suited to do the job, while the mother goes out and works, this will be in the best interest of the entire family.

Parenting is hard work and while people can do it all alone, it is not the ideal way of doing things. No office is run by one person, who does every job. So why should a household be run that way?

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Tara - posted on 01/25/2011

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@Dawn,
I'm sure your friends who work in daycare 'think' there are kids there who would prefer the workers over their own parents, but I bet in reality that's not the case.
If one of those kids woke up at night with a fever, or a bad dream, and one of the day care workers walked into his room, I would bet all the tea in china, that kid would scream for his mother or father.
Just because someone has a career, and chooses to go to work, sometimes more often than they would like does not mean they shouldn't have had kids.
What about women ER doctors, who work crazy shifts, what about midwives who work around the clock, or all the other working women who actually love their chosen career field. Should they just simply not have kids cause at some point in their child's life they will have to return to work.
And if your argument is still "I don't see why people would choose to have kids only to let someone else raise them" what about school?? Do you kids go to school?
If they do or will, than you are essentially giving them to someone else to raise for a min. of 7 hours a day.
I don't get your logic Dawn.

Meghan - posted on 01/24/2011

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I don't think that a baby tied to their mom's back while she slings beers, argues in court, drives a police car through a high speed chase etc is good for a child either.

Sharon - posted on 01/24/2011

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People are full of shit.

Back in the day - moms did not stay home with their kids. They worked in the fields. Babies laying in blankets (if they were lucky) on a semi dry patch of mud nearby and the mother was trying to help her man harvest the crops and keep snakes away from the baby and bears from running off with the baby.

People swapped services, goods, this farmer planted wheat, that one planted gourds, they sold their extra and swapped with their neighbors. Someone watched their baby while they went to work.

someone has ALWAYS been doing these jobs, just on a smaller scale.

Things have evolved so that we don't lay our babies down on the grass for scorpions and spiders to bite them.

It is only modern mans' conceit to believe that a woman stayed in her home all day long "raising" her kids. BULLSHIT.

once the kids were mobile they were WORKING.

Unless your stupid ass was part of the inbred aristocracy - everyone fucking worked. Even toddlers were set to pick bad seeds out of the good seeds, churn butter and shit like that. 7 yr olds were set to beat the blankets with a stick trying to dislodge SOME of the vermin.

Shut the fuck up about "staying at home." That is a rich persons indugence. NOT the norm. It never has been.

[deleted account]

I see nothing wrong with having some help with the child care, if fact, I find it beneficial for all involved. Of course there are extremes--a mother who never leaves her child, and a mother who drops her kid in the care of another for 10-12 hours a day--and I find both extremes detrimental, but there are so many benefits to help in moderation.

I am a sahm, and even I delegate some of my child care duty on occasion. My husband and I have a date twice a month, we each have a night out with friends twice a month, and I let my son spend time with my mom or mil about twice a month each or more so that I can do things to make my self happy, like volunteering, spending adult time with my friends, and my hobbies.

When you become a mom, your child becomes the most important aspect of your life, but it should not become the ONLY aspect of your life.

Johnny - posted on 01/26/2011

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I work 2.5 days a week. My parents, mostly my dad, care for my daughter. When they travel, my husband and I arrange our vacation time to cover it. I used to feel guilty about not being her sole caregiver, mostly because of what other people had to say about it. Now that I see the huge benefits to her and to my parents, I know it was the right choice. She's going into a preschool/daycare full-time next fall, and my parents have asked me to put her on the part-time waiting lists so that they can still look after her a couple days a week. They do not want to break that special bond that they've formed, and she keeps their lives interesting. I know that having more than just Mommy in her life has been beneficial to my daughter as well. I am sad that I won't be home with her more starting in the fall, but it's more about me than her. I suspect she's going to really get a lot out of the program I am placing her in.

So I've gotten over the guilt. I do feel some sadness because I love being with her and doing stuff with her. Financially, I need to go back to work for at least a while full-time if we are going to try to have another child. We are hoping though that after that, I won't have to work full-time until they all get into elementary school. I will say though, that I am starting to think that if I had been home with her full-time, I might have held her back a bit. Her exposure to more caregivers and different people has been so positive. Even though I selfishly would love to have her all to myself, in her case, it probably wasn't in her best interests anyway.

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Meghan - posted on 01/26/2011

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I guess I just don't understand what is so bad about more peopling loving our kids...esp if you and your family could lose everything because our economy sucks, or you decided to try to get an education to help support the family or take a couple hours a week to yourself because you can't watch Toy Story one more time...all of this because you think you are the only person that should care for them?

*edit...You is general, not directed towards anyone specifically

[deleted account]

This is just my opinion, Tara. I don't see why someone who has such limited time on their hands, someone who has such heavy demands on their time would want to have kids. I never said they shouldn't. If I couldn't have spent as much time with them as I feel my children deserve, I wouldn't have had them at the time I did.
While I'm sure in many cases you're right, that sick child in the middle of the night will probably call for mommy or daddy, one of my friends has shared with me that the parent of one of her charges told her their child asked for Miss Robin when she was ill, not her mother, not her father. It can and does happen. Currently my children are not in school, they're too young. And I don't think school is equal to child rearing. A teacher's job is to educate. They shouldn't have to discipline children much at all if a parent is being a good parent at home. I knew how to act at school because my parents raised me to be a respectful person.

Tracey - posted on 01/25/2011

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My son's doctor told me that to be a good parent I had to take care of myself mentally & physically, and that meant having me time which includes having time away from my child to do things that interest me.

SO doctors orders have a few nights out and leave the child(ren) with a trusted babysitter and enjoy yourselves.

Nicole - posted on 01/24/2011

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I can only speak for myself. I love spending time with my children but without breaks for myself, I start getting grouchy. Also, when I go to my classes, I am doing something for me, having some adult time and working to build our future. Getting an education is the first step to getting a good job.



My daughter is in daycare while I am in classes and my son is with his dad or his grandma.



I do spend one full day each week with my children having one on one time(my son gets me all of Tuesday and my daughter gets me all of saturday)

[deleted account]

If a person doesn't want to spend a large amount of time with their children, I question why they had them in the first place. There are situations in which a person has to work, and can't spend as much time as he/she would like at home, but to want to work that much, and be completely comfortable with someone else raising your children, that I don't understand. I have several friends who work in daycares, and they have some kids that prefer the daycare workers to their own parents. I don't think I could handle that. I would feel like I was missing out on everything. That said, I do work part time, my husband full time, and we are lucky enough to have family take care of our girls when we can't be with them. And usually it's only about 3 or 4 hours a day. If I could take my kids to work with me, I would, and so would my husband. I don't think it's necessary for a mother to be the soul caretaker of a child, but I think she should want to be there a lot of the time, even if she can't be.

Stifler's - posted on 01/24/2011

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Back in the days people had real work to do in their house like boiling a copper to wash, growing their own food, looking after the farm, scrubbing the floors by hand. I think it's bullshit to say that we have it hard staying home we don't. Most stay at home mums I know push a vacuum around, mop, load the automatic washing machine and dishwasher, housework done. Most people lived near their family too. People have gotten into "they're MY kids I make all the choices... blah blah but please have my kids all weekend" and keep them away from family in the event that someone interferes. We have heaps more time to spend with our kids after work, before work, on the weekend than people back in the day did. Also this mommy martyr shit bothers me. As soon as kids could walk they were helping around the house in days gone by. Now it's "kids should be playing, mums should do everything". AHAHA fuck off. No wonder there's so many unhappy people.

Charlie - posted on 01/24/2011

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I think western civilization has completely thrown out the idea that it takes a town to raise a child and instead gone to the other extreme that they must be martyrs for their cause some people go to the even further extreme to not even allow the FATHER to parent their own child .

My mother has an incredibly close bond with my boys , they stay there once a week and she takes them outings often , I actually lived in my mothers village as a child where literally the whole village was one large family unit that raised the children , it was amazing and special to be loved by so many , to feel secure amongst so many , of course the bond between parent and child is always the closest but the entire village shared a bond through shared raising of children .

This is something I feel is important for my children , to have other people for which they have a bond , to find security in family not just as an occasional appearance in my children's life but as a solid fixture .

And IMO those who dismiss a perfectly able father of their duties because they feel THEY should be doing the parenting is only taking away from their child not adding to their life .

"back in the day " where my mother came from if the mother had to work in the plantation then there were plenty of people at home two or three of which would take all the kids in for the day and vice versa when they had to go work .

[deleted account]

IMO I think that if you want and do have a child you need to step up and be a parent. I don't think that just giving birth and going back to work a short time later while others take care of your child/children is good for the child. The child doesn't get the bonding with the mother the way they need to. Depending on the back ground of each person would depend on what mothers used to do. I know my ancestors actually wore their babies on their backs while they worked so their babies were still with them most of the time. I think all parents have responsibilities and always have. I also think they have changed but not lessened over the years. I do think that the expectations on children has lessened in most homes and I also believe that is why so many grandparents are having and volunteering to raise their grandkids.
IMO

Nicole - posted on 01/24/2011

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Do you think less is expected of children these days or that the expectations have changed?

Do you think parents had more responsibility "back in the day" or that their responsibilities have changed?

Nicole - posted on 01/24/2011

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It is a complicated topic indeed, especially when we are comparing parenting now to what it was like "back in the day". I hadn't planned to get that in depth with this topic.

April, it is so encouraging to hear how much you love being home with your kids.

Julianne I agree that there are many jobs where a child could stay with their mom safely, if it were socially accepted.

"Staying home can be seen a luxury to some and as a sacrifice to others."

Very good point.

Every family is different and there have been many changes to the family norm in the last century, never mind evolutionary history of humans.

My post was mainly about the guilt some moms experience when they need help. There is this over developed sense of responsibility that manifests as a tenacious independence. It’s a trait I’ve mainly noticed in single moms

Tara - posted on 01/24/2011

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Staying home can be seen a a luxury to some and as a sacrifice to others.
I would imagine that back in the day women would have been more than happy to send their kids to a babysitter so they could work the fields and milk the cows without having to worry about their kid getting in the way or being eaten by predators.
What was the norm in most families was lots of kids so that the older ones could help with the chores and the younger kids.
Kids raised themselves a large part. It wouldn't have been strange to leave a 9 year old in charge of the baby and getting dinner on the go while you threshed the went into the back forty with your hubby to cut wood.
But back to the op, I think some women are cut out to stay home and be happy with that life, and some are cut out to work and share more of their child care responsibilities with others. Some are cut out to do both at different times in their lives.
I know women that choose to work, while they don't have the financial need to, but want to for themselves.
I know others who choose to be frugal and stay home.

[deleted account]

Mothers did stay with their babies, they took them to work back in the old days, That would be awesome if it were still socially acceptable. To have your infant wrapped to you while you did your job. Things changed though. Plus mothers did "stay at home" back in the day, they just did things like stacking wood, making food, sewing, cleaning, milking cows etc etc....their infants just came with them....Wouldn't that be much better instead of letting someone else take care of your children? paying someone else to do it is the rich thing to do back in the day. Moms needed to work on their farms, clean their homes AND tend to their children all day long.

April - posted on 01/24/2011

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I've been working since I was 14, my daughter is now 19 months and a couple months ago I left my job to be home with her. I love it, she loves it and my husband loves it. I dont get to miss a thing with her now and i'm currently studying to open my own daycare facility.
I have never used a baby sitter and my daughter has never gone to daycare. Why? 1. because I couldn't afford it and 2. I didn't trust any of the ones that were around me. I dont bash anyone for having help, sometimes you need it.
I love the stay at home mommy/wife life.

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