Mommy Wars: Child Care

July 2, 2013

By now, we have established that despite the “ideal” place for a mother is being at home with her children, most women are now working. Not only are they working, they are enjoying it. So, what about the children? Surely the best environment for a child is at home with their mother to guide their development and instill confidence, right?

Well, that’s what the experts would have you believe. Diane Eyer states that the childcare experts “believe that ‘othercare’ is inferior to mothercare and mass along this message…to new mothers primed to accept it as gospel” (4).  Even Spock with his gender neutral language implies that a parent should stay home during the formative years – and of course that parent should be the mother. So, mothers who work cannot bond with their children, according to them, and this lack of a firm foundation sets them up for failure later in life. It is almost comical that they can turn right around and admonish stay at home moms for smothering their children because they have no other outlet for their energy.

Anything is better than putting your child into day care, though. People were wary of daycare when it first became popular during WWII, and after the war many women went back to relying on babysitters and family for child care. However, research conducted between the mid 1970s and the 1990s assured the mothers that their child would not be harmed in day care. However, the late 90’s saw a rise in fears that children who attend daycare will not properly bond with their mother, and therefore not be able to adjust (Chira 89-90). Actually, this is far from the truth; what really matters in a child’s development continues to be a myriad of factors, including family stability, education, class status. Besides, what about the father? If an infant truly needs to  create a bond with one person, why would it matter that the bond was created between father and baby instead of mother and baby? Why this focus on women?

Choosing Daycare: Finding the Perfect FitChoosing Daycare: Finding the Perfect Fit

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