The one working mother stereotype you are wrong about

Let’s talk about mis-perceptions and stereotypes about working mothers.  Here are a few stereotypes that are mostly wrong….

  • Working mothers don’t pay enough attention to their families
  • Working mothers only work because they want to avoid taking care of their children
  • Working mothers look down on stay-at-home mothers
  • It’s impossible to be a good mother and for a working mother be good at their job
  • Working mothers are only working because their husband doesn’t earn enough to let them stay at home

Are your eyes rolling yet??!

And it is this particular one that I want to talk about….

Working mothers must hate that someone else is raising their kid.

I don’t speak for all working mothers obviously, but for me this is very wrong.  Firstly, let’s talk about someone else ‘raising’ our kid.  Chris and I are BOTH raising Aviana, whereas the teachers at daycare are doing what they are good at…caring for and teaching our daughter.  Raising, teaching, caring for a child…they all sound very similar.  But there is a difference in these words, and saying that someone else is raising my daughter whilst I am work is simply wrong.  (Note, I am referencing here a teacher because that is what they are called at my daycare).

Would you compare a teacher to a parent?  No.  Would you compare a parent to a teacher? No.  Because parents don’t have qualifications and teachers do?  But just because a teacher has a qualification doesn’t make them a good teacher, just like there are many good and bad parents out there.  And, by the way, I am not saying that parenting skills aren’t transferable to teaching, they can be.  What I do believe is that we have chosen a care provider with teachers who are complimentary to the way that Chris and I raise Aviana.

I am not sure what “that way” is….I can’t label it as we are raising Aviana X way or Y way, but let’s just say it feels right.  Sometimes Chris and I talk about what is important to us in how we raise Aviana.  The values and beliefs that we cherish as a family.  I think we tested these out before we got married and we are quite compatible in our values in beliefs, although we don’t always have the same beliefs, we know generally what the differences are and why.  I am sure there are situations we haven’t thought of discussing and they may change in the future, ultimately if we keep the communication channels open between us we will figure it out.  That’s the only way to parent, right?! Because you don’t know until you are in that moment there and then. I digress…

As a working mother, I do not feel guilty or jealous that someone else is caring for my daughter whilst I work during the week.  I choose not to be a stay at home parent – if I had a job that barely covered child care costs then I may have chosen to be a stay at home parent if my job really sucked.  In my mind, being a stay at home parent is like a full time job…you just don’t get paid for it!  I also don’t have a choice to be a stay at home parent if we want to live here in the US because of my visa (but that’s another story).  The argument that we won’t be there to see her take her first step or say her first word is also not valid.  We won’t miss any of this, the moment will still be magical when she first does it for either of us.

Haha that reminds me…a side note…we did miss a funny ‘first’ new trick Aviana had yesterday.  When Chris picked her up from daycare yesterday the teacher told Chris Aviana’s new trick of the day – holding other babies hostage.  Apparently whilst Aviana was sat in her ‘throne of power’ two other babies crawled over to play with her and she grabbed both of them and wouldn’t let them go.  Not in an aggressive way because she is only 7 months old, she just didn’t want her class mates to leave her 😉

So all in all, I don’t hate that someone else is caring for my daughter 40 hours a week, I’m not jealous and I don’t feel guilty.  I also certainly do not believe that someone else is raising my daughter in those 40 hours, Chris and I are the ones doing that, aka – parenting.

 

 

 

 

Preparing for daycare

EEEEEEEK Aviana starts daycare next tuesday.  How are we here already?  The past few weeks Aviana has really been starting to enjoy playtime, and I have been enjoying playtime with her too.  She is really quite mellow and happy being independent playing on her own, but I have been having too much fun playing with her. This has meant that the past few weeks I have had little time to myself, but that is what maternity leave is all about?  Spending time nurturing your little one??!

A month ago if you asked me about whether I would miss maternity leave, I’d have said no, I was actually quite looking forward to going back to work. Now if you ask me, I’d probably be a bit hesitant.  I’m actually having a lot of fun with Aviana now and I love seeing her develop.  Just the other day she sat up on her ownfor the first time…it was fascinating to watch her figure it out! And just by coincidence I managed to video record it! I know there are many other firsts to come that I will miss now, but I am glad I have been lucky enough to have at least a few with her.

Having said all of this I’m looking forward to work.  Luckily I am easing myself back into it gently.  Here is the daycare transition plan:

  • Next week, the first week, Tuesday is her first day.  We will head there after her first nap of the day at home.  Arrive at daycare at about 9.30AM, I’ll breastfeed her there, play with her a bit, then I will go on the advice of the daycare staff what is the best way to do this transition!  But the plan is for her to spend just mornings there for the rest of the week.
  • Second week, plan is to arrive 9.30AM and pick her up 3PM-ish.  So shorter days.
  • Third week, plan is to put her in full time 7.30AM/8AM to 5PM-ish.
  • Fourth week I start work and travel to Brussels so Chris is on his own with Aviana!

Aviana has been good at taking the bottle and doesn’t seem to have a problem with it, and she still likes the boob, so no fear of a nursing strike just yet.  But it is a genuine fear I have.  I am also nervous about her overeating.  We still have yet to figure out how we are going to do a routine once I am properly back at work, but hopefully we will get a feel for it in the third week.

Right…now all I have to do now is go and label all her clothes!!!

Do you have any tips for transitioning an infant to daycare?  What was your experience? How did you feel?