One comment from a non-Mum created a very valid furore:
"Sorry, but what’s the point of having kids if you’re just going to ship them off somewhere? Yeah, I know, ppl need to work blah blah but if you can’t afford kids then don’t have them. Personally when I have kids, I’m going to look after them 24/7, I won’t have kids and palm them off willy nilly."
Another Mum was in a fury:
“I do find this article infuriating. Is it not possible to simply outline all the positives you see about your own personal choice of parenting without having to resort to attacking any other choice that’s different to yours?...Please don’t assume that my daughter was sheltered and protected at home by a doting, grumpy mother…”
Another stated I was condescending and a bully to stay-at-home Mums. (I am not, for the record.)
Another was a little more realistic and extremely funny:
"I am a SAHM. I would dearly LOVE to place (dump, bung, fling, fire out of a cannon) my children into daycare for a day or two a week. Can’t afford it. Sigh. It’s been 7 years at home and we’re all sick of looking at each other. I would love a chance to miss my children."
And there were many gems of wisdom such as this one:
"The way I see it, it takes a village to raise a child, not a mum and dad in isolation, which is often the case now, we live so far from extended family."
Needless to say my personal quandary caused a little bit of 'discussion' probably because modern parenting is so personal, contentious and varied. I am glad we have choices, however hard they may be, where our own Mothers did not. I think we will always have regrets, I already feel that it probably would have been better if my eldest went to kindy at 16 months instead of 9 months but my work situation did not allow for this (I was pregnant with my second and had to return for 6 months before going on maternity leave again). Then again as one wise commenter on Mamamia said, you can never tell what would have had better outcomes because you can’t run concurrent existences for your children to see if they would have faired better taking a different path.
One thing occurred to me though as I read all the comments, Lana Hirschowitz, the editor of Mamamia and Mia Freedman have the best jobs in the world if this is what they see most days. That is, passionate women who adore their children and truly want the best for them, which was the theme through most of the comments. Also the vast majority were empathetic, understanding and kind in their support for Mothers who face tough decisions involving the loves of our lives. We’ve all been there and the support between us is so crucial. Children used to be brought up by a community and although so many of us are isolated geographically, online can be that community at least for insanity-prevention if not for providing the break all Mums need now and then.
So go have a read and see what about 400 Mums feel about daycare – it is fascinating and mostly really heartwarming and encouraging.