Someone Else Raises My Kid?

I’m a working mom. So obviously, someone else raises my kid.

How many of you want to throw something at the screen right now? Or maybe you wanted to email Tracy to tell her that Shannon no longer belongs writing posts for LWM? Fear not, my favorite language is sarcasm.

I’m so tired of hearing this. Normally, when people make decisions for themselves and their children, I don’t judge. I don’t react. You want to cloth diaper? More power to you. Breastfeed til your kid is three? Go you. Carry your kid around papoose style while you’re at Target? Work it! Formula feed your kid? Do it up. Work full-time, part-time or not at all? Whatever works. My personal stance is that as long as your child is healthy and happy, certain choices you make really don’t matter to me. I’ll make mine, and if they’re different from yours, then let’s celebrate. Diversity makes the world go round.

I have plenty of friends who stay at home with their children. Even though sometimes our schedules don’t line up for play dates, not one of them has ever made me feel like less of a mother for my decision (or necessity) to be a mom who works. Because IT’S WRONG TO DO THAT.

I happened to be trolling Twitter and stumbled upon a conversation between two SAHMs. One of the mothers who has begun working part-time was reaching out for information about the cost of childcare. When people responded with percentages, the other SAHM popped up with some snide comment about how “it’s not worth it to pay that much for someone else to raise my kid.”

::eye roll::

I’ve known mothers who work very hard and for very long hours. But even if your child is with someone else for 12 hours a day 5 days a week, YOU ARE STILL THAT CHILD’S MOTHER. Plain and simple. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

To me, comments like the aforementioned are not only annoying, but also incredibly untrue. My husband drops my son off asleep at his Abuela’s and I pick him up at 3:00 p.m. every day. Essentially, he’s spending time with my mother-in-law for maybe 6 waking hours. 6 hours. 5 days a week. 30 hours. 30 out of 168 hours a week. 17.8%. So I guess I’m a parent 82.2% of the time? Majority. Thank you very much. Not that I have to mathematically break down anything to prove I’m a mother to my son. He can’t even talk yet, but if you ask him, he knows who his momma is and that she loves him to the moon and back.

I thought about these comments, and about how hilarious it is to think that someone else is raising my son. Because I’m raising him. I’m teaching him. All day every day.

I teach my son manners.

I teach my son how to brush his teeth.

I teach my son how to eat from a plate and drink from a cup.

I teach my son language.

I teach my son how to throw a baseball and hit a golf ball with a golf club and throw a basketball in a hoop.

I teach my son our Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve traditions.

I read to my son.

I teach my son about his family members, living and passed.

I teach my son how to hug, kiss, laugh and be kind.

I teach my son how to feed and play with his dog.

I teach my son to be an individual.

And most of all, I teach him that he is so, so, so loved. So take that, Twitter mama.

About the author

Shannon is a graduate of University of South Florida, a high school English teacher, and an aspiring author. In April 2011, she and her husband met the love of their lives: a son named William. Shannon is currently learning to balance teaching 115 teenagers and being William’s mommy. You can find her blogging at Momma Bird and tweeting as @bluebird_momma.

16 Comments

  1. Brandy says:

    Amen. Hate that line. But sometimes I think about it the other way. So what if daycare helps raise my kid? it takes a village to raise a kid right? So they are just part of that village. I have learned how to parent BETTER because of them. When L was in infants, I had no clue how to schedule him. They monitored everything and wrote it down. I then saw patterns to mimic at home…making a well rested baby at home. EVERYBODY WINS. Sometimes I wonder if people throw it around because they, sadly, don’t have family or friends around to help them. That has to wear on you…I know. I just look at daycare as part of our family. They can teach him things I can’t. Like diversity. Sharing with OTHER KIDS. Interacting with others with disabilities. I can’t do any of that. So I guess my money is well spent :)
    Brandy recently posted..New Mom GiftsMy Profile
    Twitter: mannlymama

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    • Shannon says:

      I agree with you 100%! I almost titled this “It takes a village” because there are so many influences in my son’s life, many of which are very positive influences that supplement what I’m already teaching him :)
      Shannon recently posted..Working Mom Struggle: Lack of ChangeMy Profile

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    • Beth Anne says:

      YES. What Brandy said.

      I absolutely raise my child. But I am so thankful for the assistance I get in it, especially when I’m potty training. I want to buy his teacher a freaking spa weekend as thanks.
      Twitter: baballance

      Reply
  2. Maryann says:

    I agree Brandy. We don’t have any family members in our state. I’m not embarassed to say that a village raised our children. Teachers, babysitters, child-care, friends, over-seas grandparents. And of course me & my husband orchestrating the troops. Turns out our boys are two of the most confident, out-going, well-adjusted kids that we know. It’s all good.

    Reply
  3. Mary Beth says:

    Here here! They are part of my village. I cherish our daycare teachers. 24/7 I am responsible for the care of my child, even when I’m not there, and we work together to problem solve issues that come up. I am mama and they are teachers, period. Public school doesn’t raise kids and neither does daycare.
    Mary Beth recently posted..10 Ways Parenting is like the Peace CorpsMy Profile
    Twitter: bloombing

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  4. Erin says:

    Working moms provide financial opportunity, give children living examples of pursuing your dreams, show children who might one day be parents that having children means enhancing your lives not sacrificing everything, contribute to society outside of the home, and do what’s best for our families. As Beyonce says, “Strong enough to bare the children, then get back to business.”

    I don’t have to work. I make the choice to work. Because it gives me self-worth. Because I love my job. Because it enhances our opportunities for travel, lifestyle, and adventure. Because it gives us financial security. Because I am proud to give my sons an role model of hardwork, responsibility, professionalism, success. And because I want to. And because this is MY family.

    I’m so tired of working moms/formula feeding moms/epidural moms/etc having to defend themselves. We all make choices that are, in our opinions based on OUR lives and OUR situations, what is best for OUR families.

    Rant over.

    Thanks for this post.

    Reply
  5. Amanda says:

    The comment and/or thought that someone else raises my kids drives me crazy. Do those people have no help raising their kids from a spouse or family member? Do they know everything about everything?

    I choose to work for lots of of reasons, but I am still the one raising my children. And so is my husband who works and the kiddos grandparents who work and the daycare and the kindergarten teacher and everyone else who has any influence in my kiddos life. I choose to let others help me in raising my kids because I know the more support and I help I have – the better off my kids are.

    It takes a village to raise well adjusted children, whatever your village may be.

    I am now, have always been and will always be in the “do what is best for YOUR family, don’t tell me how to run MY family” camp with all of these “mom wars”.

    End rant.
    Amanda recently posted..The First DayMy Profile
    Twitter: thelungos

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  6. Amen. I work from home while my sons go to daycare, camp or school. My work time is between 9am and 3:30pm and in the evenings (if needed) after they go to bed. What works for me may not work for others, but we shouldn’t judge. A mom is a mom no matter what her schedule is!
    another jennifer recently posted..My Giving Pledge: August DonationMy Profile
    Twitter: anotherjenb

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  7. Violet says:

    So let me get this straight: when I drop off your daughter-in-law at the gym nursery so I can work out, the girls in the nursery are raising my daughter? When I leave her with the baby-sitter so I can go to a dear friend’s wedding and focus on the bride instead of the toddler, I’m letting that teenager raise my baby? When my mom watches her for a few hours so the hubby and I can troll around Miami, is Grandma raising the kiddo? Oh…I see…it’s only when we leave our kids with other folks because we HAVE to that it makes us bad parents. NOW I understand. Sigh.

    Reply
  8. Katherine says:

    It’s funny because while I was still pregnant, a girl I used to work with, and who I’m friends with on fb, ended up not going back to work after her maternity leave and when she announced that on facebook, she made the same reference. It took all I had in me not to go off on her in the comments, because wow. Brandy is right, it takes a village and after being home on my maternity leave for the last 6 weeks, and the last week being just my girls and me, I KNOW I need my village in order for my girls to be as happy as I know they can be. Unfortunately, even knowing that? When others make that comment it still stings a little.
    Twitter: lilmissrysmama

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  9. Cherlyn says:

    I hear ya on that! I recently wrote up a post – because I read a comment on a friend’s blog that implied (maybe I took it that way though) that choosing to stay home is having your priorities straight. It really pushed a button with me. I feel like often we put each other on the defensive and in competition with one another, when this is not a competition, and it should never be. We should be a sister to one another and offer support instead of guilt. You can praise someone’s choices without having to put down others choices they make for their family.
    Cherlyn recently posted..Toddler Tuesdays – PhotosMy Profile
    Twitter: ourbabywagners

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  10. Amy says:

    I am so glad I stumbled upon this. I’m returning to work January 17 and I am a teacher as well. My husband and I cannot afford for me to stay home, and well, since I’m from a prominent and well to do family…it’s hard for me to deal with this because no one else has had to and that’s alllllllllll I’m reminded of. Or the sympathetic pitying looks I get from my SAHM friends. Your article made me want to high five you for saying exactly what races and rages through my mind. Just trying this has me choking up at the thought of leaving my daughter. But I’m lucky because as a teacher I get sooo much more time with my kid than other working moms. And those people who frown or pity us need to keep their lips zipped. I’m sooooo tired of people making the comment about how they dont want someone else raising their kid. Well I don’t either. But I’ll make it a priority to stay present in my kids lives so no one has to. And like you said. A teacher is with your children 8 hours a day once they reach the age. I’m a teacher and I don’t raise the children in my class. So people need to back off us working moms and instead think about how we are something to be admired. We work, clean, cook, care for our kids, husbands, and selves. We have fun, and we do everything a mom needs to and wants to PLUS a career. I’m thinking super hero. I wish the others would too. Thank you for this blog post. You literally saved my sanity as I sat on my couch pitying myself and imagining my child miserable. She will be ok. I’ll be ok. Thank you :)

    Reply
    • Shannon says:

      Amy,

      I’m so glad that the post resonated with you and that you were able to save your sanity :) Your child is not EVER going to be miserable–my son is the happiest little boy on the planet and no matter what other people think, you do what’s right for you and your little one. Sounds like your daughter is well loved <3

      Reply
  11. Nikirae says:

    I’m a full time nursing student and a part time CNA. My future mother in-law keeps my son a majority of the time. I do feel guilty at times bc I should have my son most of the time and I miss him badly. I live 20 minutes from her house so he’s not far away but for now while in school it’s easier for me to concentrate on my studies. All I want is for my son to have a good life and for me to get my dream job as a nurse. I love my son dearly and I know things will eventually get better. But I can’t afford to quit my job either bc I do have bills too. Should I feel guilty? Should I feel like I’m not the one raising my son?

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