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wrtaway
11-03-2009, 04:24 PM
Hi everyone -
I've been managing writing plus taking care of my son at home, but now that he's almost 2 and not napping much anymore, it's getting harder to balance.

I'm thinking about putting him into a nearby daycare setting so that I can write, and also so that he can get some more of the structure and socialization with other kids that he's starting to need more of.

For some reason I'm feeling terribly guilty about this. I wouldn't hesitate to put him in daycare if I had a "normal" office job, and I am making a (sort of, barely) living as a writer now. I guess that part of me feels like I could be accused of choosing writing over being a mom -- which is definitely NOT the case!! Part of me also feels like I SHOULD be able to do it all myself.

Has anyone else put kids in daycare so that you could write? Or, do you think it sounds awful? FWIW, the fewest number of hours per day that they allow is 6 hours per day.

KTC
11-03-2009, 04:28 PM
I think you have to get over the guilty feeling. If you can afford it, it's a great idea. It shows YOURSELF that you are really taking your writing seriously. It will, as you say, give your son some excellent socializing time prior to kindergarten. It's all good. It's a big commitment to your writing. You should not feel guilty about giving that kind of focus to your work.

Alpha Echo
11-03-2009, 04:36 PM
I agree with KTC. If you can afford it, you don't have a regular day job all ready - why not? I think it's a great idea.

MarkEsq
11-03-2009, 05:04 PM
Agreed. One of the most wonderful things we've found having our kids in day care is the friends they make. After a weekend, sometimes they hound us on Monday morning to hurry up and take them in!

So, don't feel guilty, it will be good for both of you!

mscelina
11-03-2009, 05:08 PM
When my daughters were little, I was a professional actress. They spent a LOT of time in daycare or at the nanny's. A LOT.

Just because you're a mom doesn't mean you don't warrant some ME time. If the little tyke is hard to juggle when you're writing, take him to daycare with his sippy cup and some snacks and let him have some fun with kids his own age. You need to write. He needs to grow. It's a perfect compromise.

James81
11-03-2009, 06:00 PM
I don't think it's a big deal. If you have the money for it, go for it.

Be prepared for people to judge you though (which might be some of the reservation you are having about this). Not that that should stop you, but it's probably something that will happen and it'll make it easier if you are aware that it will happen so that you can work through the guilt of it and know you are doing the right thing BEFORE anybody says anything to you.

But, no, I see nothing wrong with putting your child in daycare for 6 hours so that you can write. Hell, I see nothing wrong with putting them in daycare so that you can get some time to yourself. I mean, yeah, you need to spend time with your kids and be there for them and all that jazz, but not at the expense of your own life. Being a parent doesn't require you to sacrifice every waking moment of your life. It just means being there for them and loving them and taking care of them.

But you're still your own person. You still need some time to yourself. And if you can do this and can afford the costs, more power to you.

icerose
11-03-2009, 06:07 PM
I couldn't afford daycare or a babysitter or anything like that. I would schedule a time with my kids that was their independant play time and would write then. I would also write after they went to bed. Sometimes it worked sometimes it didn't but I did make progress.

As long as your kid enjoys it and makes some friends I don't see why it would be a big deal.

Maryn
11-03-2009, 06:14 PM
Oh, do it. Not only does it let you write--or nap, or color your hair, or go to a museum, or have an uninterrupted conversation with an adult--but it's good for him. This is where he'll learn the necessary skills for dealing with people who don't already adore him.

No guilt involved in doing what's best for your child, right?

Maryn, whose kids had day care hours for their benefit, not hers

MGraybosch
11-03-2009, 06:31 PM
If you've got the money and the kids aren't too little, then stick 'em in day care so you can write. Or hire a nanny. Do whatever you have to do in order to carve out some writing time.

Clair Dickson
11-03-2009, 07:02 PM
I don't know the cost difference, but you might alleviate some guilt by only putting the kid in day care part time. Two or three days a week instead of all five. Still gives you time to write (and if you're that type of person, the pressure to get the writing done since the kid-free time is limited) and also gives you time with the kid. It may not be much of a cost savings, but it's an idea.

ishtar'sgate
11-03-2009, 08:03 PM
Hi everyone -
I've been managing writing plus taking care of my son at home, but now that he's almost 2 and not napping much anymore, it's getting harder to balance.

I'm thinking about putting him into a nearby daycare setting so that I can write, and also so that he can get some more of the structure and socialization with other kids that he's starting to need more of.

For some reason I'm feeling terribly guilty about this.
If that's the only way you can find that will allow you to do what you need to for your own mental health and his need to interact with other kids then don't feel guilty. Depending on your situation there are other alternatives too. If you're a morning person you could try getting up an hour earlier. My son woke up around 7:00am so I'd get up as early as 4:00am some days. He wasn't a napper either so my days were usually shot. If you're a night person then you can grab an hour or two in the evening after he's gone to bed.
I know an author who had the best of both worlds. One year she was contracted to Harlequin to complete 4 novels in that year and was a single mom with two little girls at home. She was able to hire a sitter to stay in the home with the girls while she worked downstairs. She'd come up for lunch with her girls and spend a little time with them then go back to her 'office' to work. It was a terrific alternative to daycare. The sitter took the girls to the park and to visit friends. The kids had a full life and she got to do her writing.

backslashbaby
11-03-2009, 08:13 PM
I think it's very good for kids to spend time away from the family bubble at that age. They learn a ton and really enjoy the other kids :) It's extraordinary. Go for it!

[No, I'm not a parent but I spent years as a nanny ;)]

Jamesaritchie
11-03-2009, 08:43 PM
I wouldn't say it's wrong to put your child in daycare, but I will say those first years are precious and vanish all too fast. It won't be long before your child is in pre-school, kindergarten, and then school, and there will never, ever be a time in later years when you wish you had spent more time writing and less time with your child.

happywritermom
11-03-2009, 08:43 PM
That was the idea when we started sending my twins to a sitter's (a neighbor's nanny) three days a week for three hours. Unfortunately, with two older kids and a husband was travels a lot, it seems I spend a lot of that time cleaning or running errands. But still, it frees me up to write at night.

There is no way I could have written my first novel with a sitter. I had a sitter some twice a week for my two older kids for four hours at a time while I went to a library and wrote.

Your son will be much happier playing with other kids while you write than he would be just trying to entertain himself. So I say go for it. You don't have to send him to day care. Just find a sitter who can take him for a few hours here and there. It'll be great for both of you. Then, in another year, he can go to preschool and that can be your writing time.

ishtar'sgate
11-03-2009, 09:08 PM
In the end you have to do what works for you. If you spend your time fretting instead of writing you won't get much accomplished. We have all tried various things and no two women are ever in the exact same situation. At one point (I went back to work part-time) I chose a sitter with children of her own. At 2 years old it can be pretty overwhelming to be in a large group every day. One of my children would have been fine with that but not the other.
One thing. Don't be surprised if your son breaks into tears when you come to pick him up. At that age they can be totally engrossed in what they're doing but when they see you and realize you haven't been with them all day they start to cry. My son never did that but my daughter did it for a long time. I can still remember trying to break up and rinse lettuce in the sink with one arm while holding her in the other as she sobbed and sobbed. It was very upsetting. I couldn't figure it out. I thought she didn't want me taking her away from the sitters. But it wasn't that. Just a kind of delayed separation thing. By the time I'd finished preparing supper she was fine again. Great timing.:D

wrtaway
11-03-2009, 09:40 PM
I actually tried the sitter in the house thing, but my son is SUCH a mommy's boy that no matter what the sitter did to try to occupy him, he kept running back to the room where I was working and crying outside the door. Plus, every time I heard him so much as whimper, my thoughts were on "what's wrong with my baby?" instead of on my book.

I wish that I could find a daycare that would take him for just 4 hours, but that doesn't seem to exist in my area.

timewaster
11-03-2009, 10:10 PM
I wrote when my kids were small. For years I had someone come in once a week and I would do a bit of writing then. Day care wouldn't have worked for me as I have four kids - it was more cost effective to have an au pair who helped out for a limited number of hours a week. Writing is a job, you have to treat it like one.

happywritermom
11-03-2009, 11:19 PM
It never worked for me to stay home either and write either.
I had to take my laptop and go to the library or Starbucks or Panera.
Have you tried asking around? Asking other parents for suggestions?
I have the ultimate situation and I found it just when I was about to give up. I mentioned to a neighbor that I needed someone to take my twins just a few hours a week, but that I felt they were too young for day care and that I'd interview six people who provided day care in their homes with no luck (I specifically requested nonsmokers with no pools and no gun. Almost all of the people who responded had pools or smoked. One, who seemed promising, had the filthiest house I've ever seen!).
As it happened, that particular neighbor had just hired a nanny/former preschool director for her two children. She was sure the woman would be happy to take on the twins as well as long as it was just a few hours. I interviewed her and she was awesome. Now, I just have to take the kids a few houses down. They've been with her for a year and they shove me out of the house when I drop them off. They adore her!
So give word-of-mouth a try. You never know.

BenPanced
11-04-2009, 02:36 AM
It's not like you're selling them to the local cotton mill or soap factory (hey...there's an idea...)

Wordwrestler
11-04-2009, 05:00 AM
Just to offer a bit of a different experience, I wrote with my kids at home. I still write with my kids at home. My oldest, a son, was such an active toddler/ preschooler that other mothers of boys his age would gasp and complete strangers would express their sympathy. He was a daredevil who, before he was two, would try to find the highest possible object and climb it just to jump off. He didn't nap, not even as an infant. He was a lot of work. At the same time, he was, and still is incredible fun.

That crazy toddler phase is really so short, and I'm glad I was there to ride that roller-coaster with him.

While kids can enjoy a good daycare experience and make friends, kids who stay home don't exactly turn out friendless or lacking social skills either. This is not to criticize those who utilize daycare, just to say that those who don't aren't necessarily depriving their children of an experience that's necessary to their development by keeping them home.

Others here had positive experiences with daycare. My kids and I had a positive experience without it.

This is such a touchy subject for mothers and a very personal decision only you and your family can make. Only you know yourself and your child. I just wanted to share that it can be done. It's hard, but in my experience, rewarding. I can write under all kinds of circumstances, and being home with my kids (though it didn't seem like it at the time) helped me grow as a writer.

jennontheisland
11-04-2009, 05:19 AM
It's not like you're selling them to the local cotton mill or soap factory (hey...there's an idea...)
Salt mines!

You could always rent an office to go to. Give yourself a "normal office job". ;)

You'd probably be feeling the guilt even if you did have the normal job. I think that's just part of the process for most people. If you think you and your kid would both benefit from it, I see no reason not to.

kdbeaar
11-04-2009, 05:32 AM
Writing is your job and you certainly deserve time to do it in peace and quiet. But if it were me...I'd look for something less than 6 hours a day. That's an awfully long time for such a young child. If you can afford the daycare...I hate to say this but...could you pay for the whole day, but take your son out after only a partial day? That would give you the flexibility to leave him there for as many hours as you needed on any given day. Sure, it's a waste of money, but...

Are you affiliated with a church? Most of the churches around here offer a 2- or 3-hour daycare several days a week. Do you have that option?

Good luck! What a hard decision, I don't envy you!

wrtaway
11-04-2009, 12:52 PM
Wordwrestler - your son sounds just like mine! He's hilarious and wonderful, but he is also SUCH a maniac! The amount of energy in my child's body is limitless, I swear.

kdbeaar - I think that you've hit on the nerve of my angst over this decision. 6 hours seems like a lot to me, too. The daycare requests that parents not pick children up earlier, though, because they have a very structured schedule, and they say that kids coming and going at off times upsets the other children (all the kids are under 3 at this facility).

I think that I'm going to give it a try, and occasionally keep my son home for "mommy time" days. I'm going to give myself a time limit (not sure what - maybe two months) to prove to myself that I can use this time to write productively, and to sell my next project.

I know so many parents whose kids are thriving in daycare; I really do think that my son will benefit from the socialization and structure. I think the fact that so many people can and do write with kids, though, puts an added element of angst in my decision to try it. Like - if they can do it, why can't I?

Anyway, I'm pleased with the level of support here for the idea; it makes me feel a little more comfortable with the concept!

fringle
11-04-2009, 01:19 PM
Why don't you start off with dropping him off for only a couple of hours twice a week? If you need some quiet time to yourself, this could be a good starting point for you. I have my 4yo in school morning for 3 hours and she loves it. She paints, dances, sings and does basic reading and math. For her it's a lot more fun than hanging around the house all day.

Apsu
11-04-2009, 01:34 PM
This is the lone voice in favor of putting personal responsibility ahead of dreams, life goals, and even careers hiding in shame rather than stand up to the overwhelming majority opinion.

Umm... I hate cheap beer.

Does that make me popular again?

Was I ever popular?

/em goes off to cry alone in a corner.

kaitie
11-04-2009, 04:18 PM
I haven't, but if I had money to afford it I would. Probably would feel a bit guilty about it, but this isn't as common as you'd think. And you don't need to do it for a full day. Half day or a couple of hours, or maybe a couple of times a week, would probably give you time. I have known a couple of stay-at-home moms who did this sort of thing, though not for writing purposes. I wouldn't want to have my kids in daycare full-time unless there was no other option, but I also think part-time would be fine, and also probably help with building social skills.

Another option, obviously, would be to find out about getting a sitter for certain times, or perhaps if you have a friend you can do it with, taking turns babysitting a couple of times a week.

James81
11-04-2009, 05:37 PM
This is the lone voice in favor of putting personal responsibility ahead of dreams, life goals, and even careers hiding in shame rather than stand up to the overwhelming majority opinion.



I just don't understand why it's ok for kids to go off to school for 6 or 7 hours a day, and that's not looked down on, but if they are younger than that they can't go to daycare for a couple hours a day.

I'll agree that 6 hours seems long if the child is really young. But even 4 hours a day wouldn't be that bad.

Plus, "personal responsibility" does not mean you have to devote every waking moment of your life to the child. I honestly feel like I'm a far better father now that I don't even live with my children than I ever was when I did.

Jamesaritchie
11-04-2009, 05:55 PM
I just don't understand why it's ok for kids to go off to school for 6 or 7 hours a day, and that's not looked down on, but if they are younger than that they can't go to daycare for a couple hours a day.

I'll agree that 6 hours seems long if the child is really young. But even 4 hours a day wouldn't be that bad.

Plus, "personal responsibility" does not mean you have to devote every waking moment of your life to the child. I honestly feel like I'm a far better father now that I don't even live with my children than I ever was when I did.

Well, there's a perceived difference between sending kids off for your own gain, and sending them off for tehir education.

And going to school is the law, not a choice.

You may feel you're a better father, but how will you kids feel about it ten or fifteen years from now. No one is better parent by being absent. Too much of this world is about "I", and too little about the kids.

James81
11-04-2009, 06:08 PM
Well, there's a perceived difference between sending kids off for your own gain, and sending them off for tehir education.

And going to school is the law, not a choice.

You may feel you're a better father, but how will you kids feel about it ten or fifteen years from now. No one is better parent by being absent. Too much of this world is about "I", and too little about the kids.

But a lot of people see daycare as a good thing for kids. Personally, I've come to believe that it's a good transition from the home to school, helping them build some social skills and get used to the idea of being away from home. I like the idea of starting small and then working them up to school. Like, starting them in daycare for 3 or 4 hours a day and working up from there.

And yes, I can say with no doubts, that I am a better parent now than I was when they lived with me. When they were around all the time, I took them for granted and actually spent less time with them (if you can believe that) than I do now. And I think that by being "absent", I've come to appreciate the time we have together. And I'm not sure that if they came to live with me again that I wouldn't start taking it for granted again. I'd like to think I wouldn't, but I dunno. I'm a different person now than I was when I lived with them, so it's hard to say.

happywritermom
11-04-2009, 06:27 PM
Apsu, no reason to slink away. Hopefully, we're all grown ups here and can embrace different opinions. Though I couldn't see my kids in a day care setting, I also know that a happy mom is a good mom. I'm not sure that I would be as calm and as patient as I am with my kids if I didn't have my 6 to 9 hours a week (sometimes zero if either our boys or the other kids are sick) to write/clean/run errands. For me, that's just right. I am very fortunate to have found a good situation. It's more like a three-hour playdate for the twins and I don't pay if they don't go.
By the way, I hate cheap beer too.

icerose
11-04-2009, 06:51 PM
I am one of those that wrote with my kids home. When they got past nap times I would use their self entertainment time to write. Every day I would also give them one movie to watch and sometimes I would sit right next to them, pop in some headphones and write while they cuddled with me and watched the movie. Sometimes I got a lot done, sometimes I didn't.

I didn't have the option of day care as we never had enough money, so I had to get creative about it. It worked for me and my kids, it might not work for everyone. When I was growing up my mom got with a group of other four other moms and they each took a day of the week and watched all the kids. And so I was watched for 3 hours every day by a different mom and got to play with a lot of kids. I was three at the time and it was a whole lot of fun, not to mention 4/5 days of the week my mom got a 3 hour break along with all the other moms.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure it works for both you and your son. There's a lot of options out there.

maestrowork
11-04-2009, 07:09 PM
I spent a lot of time in daycare while my parents both worked (sometimes double shifts). I loved it. I loved my friends at daycare. We're still friends with my nanny's family.

My mom would have gone crazy if she had to give up her job and take care of us kids 24/7. She needed the job not only for money, but for self-esteem and balance. Trust me -- even as a kid, I knew it was good for her, and for us kids.

Don't feel guilty -- and the fact that you're feeling guilty means you're a good mother; you care.

Writing IS A JOB (whether you're being paid now or not). Just remember that when you tearfully send your kid to daycare. You're doing a good thing.... or else you may end up feeling resentful because you feel like you have to "give up writing" in order to be a good mom. It's so unnecessary.

heyjude
11-04-2009, 07:14 PM
I'm another mom who writes with active young ones. I'm in the opposite position as the OP. It may be that, for reasons that would probably bore you, I have to take one kid out of school and homeschool him for a year. This would definitely put a crimp in the old writing schedule, but I'm going to do what's best for the kid. Yes, it'll slow me up, but I figure I'll make it up after that. :)

icerose
11-04-2009, 07:19 PM
I'm another mom who writes with active young ones. I'm in the opposite position as the OP. It may be that, for reasons that would probably bore you, I have to take one kid out of school and homeschool him for a year. This would definitely put a crimp in the old writing schedule, but I'm going to do what's best for the kid. Yes, it'll slow me up, but I figure I'll make it up after that. :)

My mom homeschooled me for a year. I wish it could have been longer because we went so quickly. We could get every subject done plus extras done in two hours. While your child is doing silent reading or working on homework and what not, work on your writing. Get a laptop if you don't have one and work right there with your child. Just think of it as reversing to toddler status only with a more grown up and independant kiddo. :D

maestrowork
11-04-2009, 07:22 PM
I'm going to do what's best for the kid.

Obviously, I'll have to say that's the #1 criteria anyway. Some kids really do need their parent(s) for whatever reasons; and it would be cruel to leave the child with some strangers.

I was an independent kid even at a very young age, and I suspect many children are like I was -- they'd be perfectly fine in daycare for a few hours. In that case, I really don't see any harm or to feel guilty over.

maestrowork
11-04-2009, 07:22 PM
My mom homeschooled me for a year. I wish it could have been longer because we went so quickly. We could get every subject done plus extras done in two hours. While your child is doing silent reading or working on homework and what not, work on your writing. Get a laptop if you don't have one and work right there with your child. Just think of it as reversing to toddler status only with a more grown up and independant kiddo. :D

The OP's son is 2 years old.

Wordwrestler
11-04-2009, 07:34 PM
And going to school is the law, not a choice.



Actually, in the United States, it is a choice. You can homeschool.

icerose
11-04-2009, 07:38 PM
The OP's son is 2 years old.

I get that. I was replying to this which I quoted:


I'm another mom who writes with active young ones. I'm in the opposite position as the OP. It may be that, for reasons that would probably bore you, I have to take one kid out of school and homeschool him for a year. This would definitely put a crimp in the old writing schedule, but I'm going to do what's best for the kid. Yes, it'll slow me up, but I figure I'll make it up after that. :)

Bolding and underlining mine.

Dicentra P
11-04-2009, 07:39 PM
First -- Daycare is not evil. It is not for everyone but if it is the best thing for your family go for it. Weigh your options carefully and find a spot that is a good fit for your son. Keep in mind that all anecdotes about people who had no problem with their kids home are about kids other than your own. YMMV and only you know whether that is a workable solution for you or not.

Take comfort knowing that the "daycare is bad" study a few years back that got a lot of press determined that ANY caregiver other than the mother had the same effect. So leaving your son at daycare is as damaging as leaving him with a loving caring grandmother, or even his father. (My toddler is splitting her days between her dad and daycare right now. She's doomed.)

Remember that until recent history, except the upper class minority, a SAHM had lot less time to spend with her kids than you do. She had bread to bake, laundry to do, the garden to tend, chickens to feed, cows to milk. You'll probably get a lot more one on one time even with him in daycare.

Finally -- its gonna be hard no matter what. Be prepared for tears on both sides. Good luck.

maestrowork
11-04-2009, 07:44 PM
Finally -- its gonna be hard no matter what. Be prepared for tears on both sides. Good luck.

I honestly don't remember ever crying going to daycare. I probably did, but at age 2 or 3 or even 5, you don't remember much. I don't remember my mom crying either, but maybe she did and she remembers it. But anyway, I think the "hurt" is more for the parents than then kids -- kids are very resilient, and once they make new friends, they forget the parents even exist! :)

Like I said, I LOVED daycare because I had so many friends, and so much play time/nap time, etc. I was never bored. Staying at home with only my mom would probably drive me up the wall -- I was kind of an unruly child. I needed the social structure and interactions.

Wordwrestler
11-04-2009, 07:46 PM
The OP's son is 2 years old.

I think she was responding to Heyjude.

And I'll respond to you, too, Jude. I homeschool while writing. The aforementioned son is now ten and brilliant (of course, being my offspring. ;)) I can get about a thousand words a day done while my kids work at the same table. I'd get more done if we didn't have to share a laptop or if I didn't require my oldest to practice typing and use it to write his papers.

I'd get more done if my evenings weren't taken up with volunteer work, and I do get more done if I get up early, and if I write during other non-school times, but I like to take the kids out and have playdates, etc. when they're done with work & chores.

So, sorry to derail, but being a homeschooling mom has actually enabled my writing habit. It works beautifully for us.

Dicentra P
11-04-2009, 07:50 PM
I honestly don't remember ever crying going to daycare. I probably did, but at age 2 or 3 or even 5, you don't remember much. I don't remember my mom crying either, but maybe she did and she remembers it. But anyway, I think the "hurt" is more for the parents than then kids -- kids are very resilient, and once they make new friends, they forget the parents even exist! :)

Like I said, I LOVED daycare because I had so many friends, and so much play time/nap time, etc. I was never bored. Staying at home with only my mom would probably drive me up the wall -- I was kind of an unruly child.

It is harder on the parents -- we second guess ourselves and I never really feel like my girls are safe unless I can check on them. I added this because it was easier the second time because I expected it and had already learned to deal with it. My older girl used to fling herself on the floor and cry when dropped off and then do the same when picked up (she's still not great with transitions)

maestrowork
11-04-2009, 07:56 PM
I think it helps to get the right people and know who is taking care of your kids. Like I said, my family is still good friends with my nanny's family, after so many years. They are really great people and they took great care of my brother and me. Sometimes when you get good people, it makes everything worthwhile.

Dicentra P
11-04-2009, 07:57 PM
Well, there's a perceived difference between sending kids off for your own gain, and sending them off for tehir education.

And going to school is the law, not a choice.

You may feel you're a better father, but how will you kids feel about it ten or fifteen years from now. No one is better parent by being absent. Too much of this world is about "I", and too little about the kids.

I actually have a lot more concern about my school age girl than my toddler in daycare. There are a lot more options for daycare from a family setting to Montessori, to traditional group settings of varying academic intensity. For school we have few options and none of them really good.

Rarri
11-04-2009, 08:13 PM
And going to school is the law, not a choice.

Education is the legal requirement, school isn't.

To the OP though, i can appreciate how you're feeling, our little boy is two and he's a handful at the best of times. If you feel daycare would be good for your wee one, then giving it a chance may be a good idea; if it doesn't work out and your toddler is unhappy, you can always withdraw them from daycare. Six hours does seem a lot though, you may have already mentioned this, but are there no other daycare providers near by with different hours?

Daycare isn't right for us at the moment, much as i'd love the time to myself for writing but my family are able to help out, my parents especially love having their grandson for the day. So, would family childcare be an option? Even if just for a few hours a week?

Delhomeboy
11-04-2009, 09:02 PM
But make sure you find the right one...I loved my daycare--the very fact I remember it shows it had a significant impact on me. And the woman who ran it was all-but uncompromising... a great disciplinarian. In fact, my mother would sometimes call her for advice if I did something iffy and her own parents were unavailable.

I said all that to say that I really think daycare didn't hurt me, and in fact helped me a lot. Everyone there was concerned with making sure we became good kids, and they really took no bullshit.

wrtaway
11-04-2009, 09:49 PM
The daycare is a good one (it's a bilingual Montessori program!), so my dilemma isn't the typical "is daycare good/bad" debate. It's more -- can I justify putting my child in daycare so that I can WRITE.

On the one hand, as several posters have pointed out, writing is (or can be) a job. And, I do earn enough from my writing to pay for the daycare. On the other hand, many of you have managed to write AND take care of your kids at the same time.

I find it interesting that several posters share my concern that 6 hours is a lot for a 2 year old, because if I had a traditional, full-time office job, my son would be in daycare for 8 + hours every day. (I happen to personally feel that 6 hours might be too much, too, but I just find it interesting that even fellow writers believe that even less-than-full-time daycare isn't ideal for children of writers!)

Dicentra P
11-04-2009, 10:04 PM
The daycare is a good one (it's a bilingual Montessori program!), so my dilemma isn't the typical "is daycare good/bad" debate. It's more -- can I justify putting my child in daycare so that I can WRITE.

On the one hand, as several posters have pointed out, writing is (or can be) a job. And, I do earn enough from my writing to pay for the daycare. On the other hand, many of you have managed to write AND take care of your kids at the same time.

I find it interesting that several posters share my concern that 6 hours is a lot for a 2 year old, because if I had a traditional, full-time office job, my son would be in daycare for 8 + hours every day. (I happen to personally feel that 6 hours might be too much, too, but I just find it interesting that even fellow writers believe that even less-than-full-time daycare isn't ideal for children of writers!)

Our little one is in daycare for 5-6 hours and loves it. (she will be 2 at the end of the year) She does however nap for the first 2 hours or so. (she goes in after lunch) Her daddy is a copywriter freelancing right now and she is there so that he can WRITE. He tried keeping her home but it made working extremely difficult and it shortchanged her too. She needs a lot of attention.

icerose
11-04-2009, 10:09 PM
On the one hand, as several posters have pointed out, writing is (or can be) a job. And, I do earn enough from my writing to pay for the daycare. On the other hand, many of you have managed to write AND take care of your kids at the same time.

That being said, when I had tight deadlines then I had to enlist help. So it again depends on what's right for you and your child. :) You'll figure out a good balance for both of you.

maestrowork
11-04-2009, 10:44 PM
On the one hand, as several posters have pointed out, writing is (or can be) a job. And, I do earn enough from my writing to pay for the daycare. On the other hand, many of you have managed to write AND take care of your kids at the same time.

Seems like it's not whether you're concerned about your child's wellness since you know he'll be in good hands. It seems like really is a guilt issue.

a) you don't feel like writing is important enough, unlike a REAL job, to warrant daycare. It seems like you have an internalized issue about writing as a career, that it's not important when compared to being a mom, even when you're actually making money (instead of being an "aspiring" writer).

b) just because you CAN take care of your kid and write at the same time doesn't mean you have to. It's a personal choice: there's no right or wrong. Some people would call you a bad mother no matter what. Heck, some people believe a woman MUST be a good housewife and mother and forget about career. Whatever.

c) do what works for YOU and your family. That's really it. Everyone's situation is different. Some people are perfectly fine with being stay-at-home moms or dads, and some people NEED to have a career or do something on their own outside of this role as a parent, even if it's not financially necessary. And some people, of course, have no choice -- they have to work. Single parents do that every day -- there really is no reason to feel guilty one way or another.

Your guilt seems to stem from the very basic: You don't believe "writing" is important enough, unlike a REAL job. I think you need to reevaluate that. Is it, or is it not, important? How is it different than, say, if you have to work double shift as a nurse -- if you can justify the latter, why not the former? Can you wait until your son is in school to pursue your writing?

c.e.lawson
11-04-2009, 11:01 PM
Yes, this is a personal decision. And unfortunately many moms don't have much choice but to go for daycare. But I think a mom who has options and who is feeling pangs of guilt, should listen to her gut. Something is going against her mom instinct here, and that's a big red flag. Six hours a day is a LONG day for a two year old. And the time does go by so incredibly fast, with so many wonderful milestones along the way. Your child will be in kindergarten before you know it, and then you'll have plenty of time. Listen to your instinct here and do what you feel in your heart is right for you and your child.

I had the experience of trying to return to my job as a physician full-time after my first daughter was born. Every day was a struggle, because I knew where I wanted to be - with my baby. I had a wonderful nanny, but she wasn't my daughter's MOM. I whittled that job down to various very part-time schedules, including one afternoon a week for a time, LOL, and I was so much happier. Later, after each child turned three, I put my kids into a part-time pre-school - 3 days per week for two and a half hours a day - for me that was enough time to concentrate on writing, without feeling like I was abdicating my responsibility or missing out on this precious time. My older daughter LOVED pre-school. She still talks about it at age 11. Not the same for the younger one. When my younger daughter started screaming and crying for mom each time I went to drop her off, I made the decision to keep her with me at home. I've never regretted it for an instant. She had play dates for socialization, we did arts and crafts together, and she was able to read before she started kindergarten. (Our pre-school was only for creative play anyway.) I cherish the time I was able to have with them at such young ages.

I wish you the best in your decision.

maestrowork
11-04-2009, 11:05 PM
You also don't need to go for a full day. What about a half-day? I do think daycare provides a child with some needed interaction with other kids; meanwhile, 2-3 hours really isn't that long, and would allow you time to write.

backslashbaby
11-05-2009, 12:45 AM
I don't know if my personal opinion helps, but I'd do the full time the daycare wants for a few days a week, alternating. Unless your toddler has a hard time with the long days, of course.

As far as having to have a good enough reason? That's nobody else's business anyway :) If I were a mom, I'd need the time for errands and me time, no doubt. I couldn't work, have kids and write. No way. If your husband and you are fine with it and it's good for the kids, that is all that matters. Even if it were all me time.

Kids don't need their parents 24/7, really. It's natural to be very socialised as well, since the dawn of time, I bet. I would venture to say that it's a bit odd to always be with a parent, actually. I'm sure that can be great, too. But it's silly to think it's necessary :)

spugh2
11-06-2009, 12:42 AM
I had the exact same situation, and my eighteen month old is in daycare. I felt guilty at first, but you know what? He enjoys it, I get to write, and everyone is happy.
Almost a perfect a world.

spugh2
11-06-2009, 12:43 AM
Oh, I should add that I think ALL parents feel guilt, reluctance, etc. when they first put their kids in daycare. It's just a sign that you care about your baby. I would pay attention if a particular facility gives you a bad feeling...Steer clear of that.

MaryMumsy
11-06-2009, 03:56 AM
Just to add a slightly different slant onto it. When I was small our living circumstances were such that I had little contact with other children. Lots of adults, but hardly ever another child. As a result, when I started first grade (K was not free and my parents couldn't afford it) I did not relate well with other kids. When my brother (7 years younger than me) was small there were lots of kids my age, but none his age. My parents put him in 'play school' (in 1959 no one knew from 'daycare') for 3-4 hours a couple of days a week. It was entirely to expose him to other children. Mom did not work, and by then we had part-time household help, so it wasn't to free up her time. As far as I can tell, both of us turned out OK. Although some people might question my judgment on that. ;)

MM