I’m gonna call it; I bloody love childcare. It has taken some time, but I am now willing to admit why. Initially I started with the big, general reasons, the research and the right for a woman to work. Then I moved onto emphasising the program, how enriching it was for our 6month old to paint and play with sand, to not see a TV on or cruise around the house by himself. Then came my glowing reports of the carers and our little mans advanced social development.
But now, I’m happy to call the real reasons. Childcare is always there. Unlike grandparents or babysitters, it doesn’t go on holidays, call in sick or need to change days. It doesn’t need me to be exact with my prearranged drop off and pickup times – I have a whole 12 hour window. Contrary to people thinking its not caring enough, my experience is that the carers are always happy – why wouldn’t they be? They get paid to look after the children, have breaks and work 8 hour shifts. They are enthusiastic and function fully as they get to sleep through the night. They also literally have a certificate – the old “baby doesn’t come with a manual” saying doesn’t apply to them. They have the manual, 120 hours of supervised work experience, strategies, rules and a whole program. (I just went to a one hour birthing class!)
Better still, they don’t come to my house or share their parenting opinions. I don’t need to clean or even have food in the fridge. I don’t need to hide things from nosey grandparents, or have a 30 minute D&M each side of my day. A polite hello and enquiry is just fine with childcare. I don’t owe them anything, or feel eternally in their debt. We have a good arrangement and it works for everyone.
Recently, I’ve taken things to the next level. Rather than fight with peanut butter toast and trying to keep clean in the morning, we’ve joined breakfast club. No longer am I forcing weet-bix down my sons throat to beat the clock, get to drop-off, to beat the traffic, then get to work so I can leave for pickup…no siree. My little man now sits with his mates, takes his time and enjoys the continental breakfast buffet. (Don’t get me started on my discovery of how on childcare days I’ve swapped lunch and dinner, so that meat and three vege is outsourced to the centres chef, and I do the sandwich and fruit for dinner!)
And to the neigh sayers and lookers down who seem to have a particular problem with under 1s in childcare this is what I have come to learn. I don’t need to feel guilty about being a woman with a career, that contributes to our mortgage and society. But its not even the feminist argument – like most criticisers in life; they actually don’t know what they are talking about. Literally, most people who question or criticise childcare, or say their child would never be in childcare, haven’t actually used and experienced the service.
Don’t get me wrong, I take my hat off to those that can stay at home – its certainly no luxury being on the clock for 24hrs, and a far cry from lattes, gym sessions and watching midday TV. I’m not going to justify my son’s program versus the one of a child with their parents at home. It’s a pointless exercise and a big case of each to their own. But for those who need it, whatever the reason may be, I think childcare is a godsend.
Are you a fan of childcare?
The gorgeous Rachael Finch spoke to us about heaps of stuff including meeting her husband on Dancing With The Stars, her love of health and wellness and the birth and labour of her two kids. You can watch Rach’s convo with Monty about judgement over her parenting below, and check out the full video series here. You can also subscribe to our pod, where you can listen to Rachael’s chat in full and HEAPS more, here.