My newest revelation began with my phone ringing. It was my childcare provider with some sad news. A woman who decided against taking her child to their in-home daycare made an elitist decision. Ms. Elitist, who apparently works on the legal team of Nike (which is why I label her as an elitist), heard something about my childcare providers from another mom. This mom shares a play date group with Elitist Mom. Last fall, a mom who now states she thinks she was suffering from post-partum depression, sent out a concerned, but respectful, e-mail to the moms of the children who go to my childcare provider. Play Date Group Mom happened to be on this e-mail list because she had taken her child there a couple times, but opted out due to the long drive and toll it took on her little one. By the time Post-partum Mom sent this e-mail, Play Group Mom had been long gone. The e-mail stated our childcare providers believe in a philosophy about tapping fingers with a ruler and spanking for willful defiance. As a mom, I felt totally freaked out and immediately asked my daughter, a little over 2.5 years old at the time, what she had seen and experienced. In doing a personal investigation, none of the kids had been getting spanked or hit, which our childcare providers already knew was not okay with us. Our childcare providers, an older, retired couple who love babies, were hurt and saddened. None of the parents took their kids out of their childcare because we all knew our kids were safe and loved. Now fast forward 10 months to present time, and unfortunately, Elitist Mom turns them in. The state came out and told them they were in trouble and it was their first warning. Not because the kids were being abused, but because they had too many kids. And that phone call was the start to a roller coaster of emotions. “Suzanne, I’m sorry but we can’t watch your kids anymore.”
Our childcare providers came over this last weekend to refund the rest of the month. They were in their Sunday best, I’m assuming they’d just come from church. They told their story about what had happened, what the woman had told them, and how when she left, the woman had given a hug and apologized. She told her, if she wants to care for children under two, she has to take a class and get licensed. And she has to have two exits in each room. And, she cannot have more than two infants per adult, once she is licensed. I felt bad. These are people who truly love to care for infants.
As a parent, I am mad. I am angry that the state dictates the ability workers have to provide care for the young based on a ratio. Most in-home daycares are disgusting. The ones that are not disgusting are costly. As a parent I should be able to assess the competency of the caregivers to my children and not let it be defined by a ratio.
I’m even more mad when I think about how this effects the working mom. I am forced by the state to pay for a ratio of one adult per two infants. So, if I a woman has twins, she is really f’ed because working full-time means paying somebody else’s full-time wage to watch her infants. A working mom has to make lots of money in order to be able to afford to work. This makes no sense.
I’m not having it anymore. Working full-time, I make enough to pay for childcare, pay my student loans, and pay some bills. If I don’t work, I can defer student loans and save on childcare. However, we’d be stuck with lots of utilities. There has to be an easier way. I’m done with missing my kids after working 40 hours, sometimes more, each week. I’m done with paying out a bunch of money every month to have someone else watch and teach my kids, the job I want to be doing. I’m done with working in a stressful environment where I’m not getting the vacation time and salary I need to be able to relax and enjoy life with my kids. I’m done with being so emotionally spent at the end of the day that I don’t have the energy to give my kids the attention they deserve.
I’m not going to just up and quit my job. I really do love the work I do and the team I work with. But I’m getting things in motion so that I will be able to work less. In a year from now, the goal is to be working less and making more. The purpose of anger is to provide the motivation to make a change. I guess I owe Elitist Mom some gratitude for the motivation boost.