I decided to stay at home and be a mom to my daughter as soon as she lay peacefully on my breast after she was born. I was still in this dizzy happy momentum following a birthing of a child and as I gazed lovingly into her wide open eyes, I knew I wanted to give her the best I could.
This was a time of upheaval in our family, my husband had been without a job for over a year and my income was hardly enough to pay for groceries. We lived off savings. And yet, upon seeing my firstborn resting in my arms I felt a surge of love and my heart knew I wasn’t going to go back to work and put her in a daycare. No matter how insane my decision seemed, I was determined to do as I wanted.
For any new mother the bond that is created during a birth and preceeding months of pregnancy is powerful. For me, the most powerful was when I felt her little body sliding through me and then looking into her eyes, eyes to her soul. As soon as I met her stare, I was aware I knew her already.
Defying the common sense, I refused to go back to my peanuts-paying-job and assumed a role of a stay at home mom. This was a bliss for me and her. There is no question about that. We continued living like Scrooges and eventually my husband got a job.
During my years of mothering I came across many mothering styles and I always wanted to understand what was behind certain decisions parents had made. In my opinion, there are some choices we make as parents that are pretty self-explanatory and there is nothing left to be questioned. I absolutely understand the motives of a single mother who has to put her child in some sort of a daycare in order to be able to make ends meet. There are many parents who can’t simply afford to live off one income only. There are professional women who are driven and want to continue to go back to their carreer as soon as their children are of certain age. And there are stay at home moms who live a comfortable life without financial worries and stress. And yet majority of them choose to put their children in a daycare or preschool.
I was always wondering about the reasons for doing so. In my opinion, the common misconception that kids need to socialize from an early age is leading parents to enroll their young children in an organized preschool. While I understand motives of a working mother to do so, I don’t agree with motives of a stay at home mom. Young children need most of all their parents. If you have ever observed their play, they tend to play next to each other and not with each other. Two year olds don’t usually need anything more than to run errands with their mom, observe her in social situations and take clues from her about the proper behavior. The mom is the best teacher to model their behavior. Let’s look at how they are corrected in a preschool model. If there is only one adult in charge of a bunch of two or three year olds, there is a chance she won’t see all the details in each of the problem situations. There may be times she will discipline both children who caused a trouble, even though only one of them was really guilty. Preschool is not a loving environment for a child to learn the essential life skills. It is hard for me to believe that mother considers herself unable to provide enough stimulation for her own child and instead chooses to entrust her little one in hands of professionals. Moms are by nature capable to take better care of their children than any other person. If you ever wonder what to do with your child, here are simple things you can:
take her to a park, you will find other moms there with their little children and while there you may even form some friendships,
take her grocery shopping
go for a walk together
cook together, it is a good bonding time