When did institutionalising our children become ESSENTIAL??

Warning – This is going to be a slight rant. Also this is NOT an attack on anyone who has children in care or at school, everyone has different circumstances and desires, this is mine.

I am pretty well use to the blank look. Its the one I get when people ask what I do and I say ” I am full-time mum” (insert big grin). No one has ever insulted me or chastised me about it, but no one ever says “oh wow that is great, how very interesting.” As I said I am use to this, and to be honest it has taken me quite a while to accept myself in this role, to accept my natural wisdom that it is enough (I wrote a post about the struggle “Break out the aprons I AM A HOMEMAKER”)No this is the rant about what usually comes next.

The question about whether Boston goes to kindy or daycare at all, and the all concerned “because socialisation is very important”. It did not use to bother me, in fact I subscribed to this belief and had all intentions of placing Boston in daycare a couple of days a week once he hit two. But now I wonder when I got sold this idea, so to everyone who is worried about kids at home socialising I say… Boston socialises EVERYDAY! He comes with me for walks on the beach where he runs in the waves and delights elderly couples taking a stroll as he grins up at them covered in sand. He rides on my back at the markets, grabbing other market goers and eliciting giggles, peeking at farmers selling their produce. We visit his grandparents every other day, he loves them so much, their connection is one of the most special things in life. We meet big kids and little kids at the playground, they ask me questions about his eyes then he charms them and adopts yet another admirer. We go to an AMAZING playgroup every week, with other mums and kids who love what we do, he toddles around exploring and occasionally idolising one of the older kids or sits gooey eyed over a new born repeating “bubba, bubba, bubba”. There are the playdates with his cousin, or family friends and their children, these are very exciting because he has been connected with them from day one.

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Midweek socialisation with other beautiful stay at home family. Boston also met the cafe owner in the herb garden.

Then there is the big one. He socialises with me…his mum…when ever he needs to, whenever he is scared or confused or happy. I am there when he discovers new things and finds new places. I am there to offer love and support and the intimate knowledge I have learnt because I am his parent. I am not in the least bit worried about him becoming a mummys boy or that he won’t be independent enough or that he won’t be able to socialise if put in a big room with a group of children all the same age as him. I mean gosh darn when did we decide that proper ESSENTIAL socialisation meant grouping similar aged children together and having an adult watch over them??? I hate the fact we have formed a belief that we are not enough. It is not enough to stay home with our kids and we are not enough for them, even when they are still babies.

Woah!!! okay that was definitely a rant, sorry to any offended parties but I just had to get that out. I also think it is ESSENTIAL that this paradigm be questioned, hence I wrote this publicly. I know having a full-time parent is not achievable or desirable for some families, but I can only hope that those who wish it to be feel empowered in their role. YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE THEN ENOUGH! and life at home with you is the best socialisation model your child could hope for.

 

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4 thoughts on “When did institutionalising our children become ESSENTIAL??

  1. I raised my 2 boys as a stay-at -home-mum …..now 28 years ago ….it was much easier and less conditional then, I would never do it any other way (for me) Playgroup and our weekly (post-clinic) group of mums was great for both kids and mums … but the most important thing is being with your child … if you can do it, and you like it, it’s great. I must say, these days I would have a problem even sending my children to mainstream primary school let alone worrying about pre-school care.
    PS: I think my boys turned out quite well !

    1. Well said Gillian! and funny you mentioned school, it is the next thing on my mind 🙂 I am yet to meet Nathan but I must say Garth is a bit of a social genius in some ways…he certainly turned out more then okay.

  2. Yes Nell!!! Amen to all of that! I will say… I did go to work today and it was a nice ‘break’ from being at home. BUT, and I only say BUT, it’s because we don’t live in a village where we have lots of people to watch after us that it sometimes makes it hard being full time mumma. You’ve got your family close, which is totally awesome and probably a much better scenario. When I saw my kid’s after work, I thought, nope, those little faces are too precious to miss for anything! I won’t be doing that any more than I need to! The idea that a child has to go to school for socialisation is bullocks! If a parent has to work, or well and truly needs a break, I can understand. But to think that a child SHOULD go to daycare is ridiculous!

    1. Well said Kate!! I know your beautiful girls and I do not think i could miss those faces for too long either 🙂 Ahhhh the persistent dilemma of the lost village. I am exceedingly lucky that 1. My family is close and 2. I actually enjoy hanging out with them. But the problem of the village still exists for us, it is only one set of grandparents on the coast, one brother in Brisbane and one sister in Northern NSW. I wonder how this struggle can be overcome in modern society. Wonderful playgroups, endless activities and community gatherings are all very well and good, but how can they ever replace generations of families living together?

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