Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Staying home without penalty!

Recently I was faced with the decision to return to work full time after having Baby T. If I did not, then I took a huge pay cut. If I did, then I had to place my three-month-old son in a daycare. The choice was a no-brainer – I was going to take a huge pay cut.


During the process of resigning, I realized that there are mothers/fathers out there that do not have a choice. They are forced to take their child to a horrible daycare center for nine to twelve hour days. I know because when I was a single mom for a while, I had no choice but to send my kids to a daycare for eight hours a day. The horror stories made me take my mom up on her offer to take care of the kiddos. I thought the kids would get socialization skills, but instead they learned how to survive against the daycare workers. Granted anyone can act happy when the parents come around, an occurrence that happens many times in the public schools as well, but that is for another blog post. There was no way I could put a small baby that had no voice in the arms of a person that I could not trust.

When I had to make a decision to stay home or return to work, my teenagers begged me not to leave Baby T. They also pleaded for me to stay home because they missed me. This got me thinking that if my children are so against daycares and me returning to work, what about other people’s children? I have heard the following laments from parents who want to stay home:

     1. I would love to stay home with my children because I know it is best, but someone needs to bring home the money to pay the bills.

     2. It is hard to pump my milk (for breastfeeding mothers) at work and I really want to hold my baby in my arms.

     3. It feels so unnatural to drop my child off at daycare because children need their parent(s).

I have also heard complaints from my students over the years (before I resigned):

     1. My parents work late. When I get home, they don’t have time for me.

     2. My mom/dad works the night shift, so I’m coming home and she’s going to work.

     3. It gets lonely coming home to an empty house.

     4. If only my parents knew what I did after school before they came home from work.

For those who disagree with the quality of daycares or leaving your children home alone for long periods of time, please visit: http://www.daycaresdontcare.org/. Also, familiarize yourself with the brain studies in regards to children who attend daycare for more than 30 hours a week. This also applies to children who have parental depravation. However, it is not my desire to get into debates as to whether daycares or parental absences are horrible for children and detrimental to their health.

My mission is:

1. To help end the economic discrimination against traditional families because this will alleviate some of the financial burden placed upon parents who choose to stay home and raise their children. In addition, it will allow mothers who choose to breastfeed their child to do so without having to deal with the burden of pumping at work. Also, breastfeeding strengthens the bond between the mother and the child.

2. To help create a program that allows a parent to stay home with their children without penalty from their job. Granted, President Obama passed the Family and Medical Leave Act (2009) in which a parent has up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave time. UNPAID leave time? Who can afford that? Perhaps a program that allows a parent to stay home with their child for a year or two without penalty.

In order to make this possible for EVERY parent, I need your help. I want to help fight for the parents rights to stay at home with their children and raise them. Unless, having a stranger raise your child(ren) is what works for you – to each their own. If not, please contact your congressperson and let them know that you want better rights for parents who choose to stay home and raise their children.

As of now, the letter that includes all the important information can be found on the daycaresdontcare.org website. For a sample letter, please click here. Please help the hundreds of parents who long to be with their children, but cannot because they have no choice. Let’s unite and be the voice – one voice – that says “Parents need to stop being forced to make a decision of whether to stay at home with their children or go to work”.

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