MomLogic's Jenny: I'm sending my son to day care. So why does that make me a horrible mom?
When I made the decision to return to work after being home with my baby for a year, my husband and I went through the difficult process of deciding what we would do for child care. Initially, we thought that we would hire a nanny. I prayed that we would find our very own Mary Poppins. Translated in to modern terms "Mary Poppins" means finding a nanny that: speaks fluent English, is CPR/First Aid Certified, has an extensive resume and experience with babies, has actually taken courses in Early Childhood Development, has a clean driving record and car insurance and has been TB tested. Translated into modern terms this also means: You better be rich, because this Mary ain't cheap.
Once we opted to put our son in to day care full time, I will admit, the decision wasn't easy. But I have been appalled by the reaction I've got from people about sending him to day care. "Oooh," one woman said, "I would never send my kid to day care." "Isn't that going to traumatize him?" "You sure about this?" said another parent, "I just don't trust them." With every comment and wince, my anger and frustration (and even self doubt) grew. But why, when there are so many wonderful and nurturing day cares, replete with many Mary Poppins, do they get such a bad rap? Surely, all nannies aren't great. If they were, there wouldn't be such things as "Nanny Cams."
In fact, in many ways my son is safer at a day care. Not only are the teachers and staff trained and accredited, but they all have had complete background checks and are required by law to be TB tested. (Good luck asking your nanny to go get tested for that.) Sure, the chance of my son getting a runny nose or cold more frequently is a little higher. But at least his chance at getting cancer is lower. That's right! A recent study showed that children who attend day care cut their risk of the most common type of childhood leukemia by around 30%! Another study showed that children who attend day care also may be less likely to suffer from asthma and wheezing; being exposed at an early age to infectious agents in day care centers can actually prevent and protect a child from developing asthma.
So unless you literally have hired Mary Poppins to watch your child, please stop looking at me with disgust when I tell you I'm sending my son to day care. Even Julie Andrews could traumatize your child...
|Jenny, author of Perfectly Disheveled, is a writer/producer, and first time mom to a 1 year-old boy.|