Diary of a working mum: Why I think the creche is best for my baby
I went back to work in August this year, right after Prime Time's expose on the mistreatment of children in some creches.
Upsetting as I found it, it didn't change my conviction for one second that the creche I chose for my daughter was where I wanted her to be.
I would prefer, of course, that she didn’t have to go there five days a week for nine hours a day – but if she has to be in full-time childcare, and at the moment she does, the crèche is the best option for her.
It isn't necessarily the best option for my husband and I - the hours are rather limited at 8am to 6pm, and I have to leave the office at 5 on the dot to make it on time, which as any working parent knows is very stressful. Because no matter how early you get in, or how many hours you do at home in the evening after the baby has gone to bed, you worry about the fact that it looks like you have an easier run at it than the non breeders.
A nanny or a childminder would be much easier for us, but I know in my heart and soul that my baby is better off in the creche.
And yes, I have read all the studies that purport to prove that children are better off with their mother, or 'one primary caregiver' for the first couple of years of their lives and I just don't buy it. (And while we are on the subject, this 'one primary caregiver' thing really annoys me. If you think mothers should stay at home with their children, have the balls to say it. Don't cloak it in this alternative 'primary caregiver' crap.) I have no research to back me up other than my own observations, but I believe that a good creche is a great start for a child.
Creche babies are sociable and outgoing and they generally have lovely manners. They learn how to share and how to clean up after themselves. They eat what they are given. They learn from the older babies.
Most importantly, they learn that they are not the centre of the universe. That, like the rest of us, they are but one of many and have to take their turn and work with others.
I want my daughter to feel like she has a role to play in the world and I want her to grow up knowing that she has a duty to work hard to provide for herself and contribute to society. I love the fact that the three of us go off in the morning and do our own thing and come back together in the evening. I want her to think of her home and her family as her rock, somewhere lovely and safe that she comes back to after her day, not her everything.
It is healthy to be out in the world with people no matter what age you are. As my grandfather used to say, if you don't go out and mix with people, you become afraid of them.
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