“Women these days are so ambitious and can’t wait to off-load their kids to childcare.”

women and childcare

By Andrea Michelle

Words I never thought I’d see written anywhere these days, least of all on the Fox in Flats Facebook page.

Yet this was said on our page by someone within the context of a thread about the ever escalating cost of childcare, and clearly aimed at women who choose to put their kids in childcare. Note: they subsequently deleted their comment within minutes. 

Picture that little girl in The Exorcist (with her head spinning around looking crazy and vomiting) and that’s how it made me feel. “

I’m gobsmacked that anyone would think that using paid care for children is a matter of “off-loading” them.

There are a myriad of reasons that families choose to use childcare, and I don’t think “off-loading” makes that list.

Plus, guess what? It’s ok to be ambitious. Even if you have ovaries, breasts, and YES, even if you have given birth.

That’s the 5 cents worth I shared over on the page, and asked for the thoughts of others.

Want to read what a bunch of intelligent, fair-minded women thought about it? To follow is a selection of the comments. To see all of the comments CLICK HERE.

I’d love to know what you think about this too,

in the comments section below.

“It is very sad that “ambitious” was the word chosen to describe mums who work. Many mums are ambitious and want to climb the corporate ladder, seek additional responsibilities and promotions and be a great mum at the same time. It’s great to have goals. However, there are many working mums who go to work and put their kids in childcare to achieve a pretty simple ambition – paying the mortgage / rent and putting food on the table.”

Kim-Marie

“I think we have a responsibility as role models for our kids to be the best we can be – and isn’t that the definition of ambitious?”

Pagan

“How lucky we are that we have choices in Australia it is important to embrace individuality and to understand that what works for one parent may not work for another. I work from home at night so I don’t have to fork out for day care. One my sisters used daycare went back to full-time work and the other works part-time and uses home daycare …. The results a bunch of bright happy kids. Work stay at home part-time whatever do what’s right for you and be kind on others choices.”

Sarah

“I think anyone who judges other parents on how they raise their kids (assuming that parent isn’t abusive or neglectful) is an ass. There isn’t a single right way to parent – it’s about finding out (usually through trial and error!) what works for you and your kids. My mum stayed at home with all six of us because that was what worked for our family. Some of my friends come from households where both parents worked because that was what worked for them. Some people have the support of friends/extended family, and some don’t. You can’t generalise about the “right” way to parent because everyone’s situation is different.”

Aaminah

“Choosing to work or stay at home is a very personal decision and some mothers are not able to choose. I personally chose to return to work because I love my job and yeah I am very ambitious but I am in NO way “off loading” my child. Each time I drop him off I feel guilty about my choice because of stupid comments like that ignorant woman’s.”

Lee-Marie

“Ladies, it is so important to remain employable, as you never know when you may required to support yourself and your kids.”

Kristin

“Its no ones business but in this day of nuclear isolated families you don’t have the luxury of extended families looking after the kids or the luxury of affording to not work. And many grandparents are still working also and can’t be available as they too need to pay the bills. You don’t hear men putting each other down and its ok for men to be ambitious but not women? Women should support each other be kind to each other and respect each other. You don’t know how it is for someone even if you did walk a million miles in their shoes. I could go on for ever having spent a lot of time with people having babies and seeing how reality is for a lot of families. Dont judge. Its not our place to judge others. Be kind.”

Fiona

“No more mummy wars!”

Jo

“Have to work! Have to have childcare! Simple really.If you have social children like mine,they thrive on it and leap ahead.”

Tania

“Ha! Would love to know what she would have to say about me. I have my daughter in childcare on a day that I don’t even work! Ooh aah – bad mother alert  And guess what, my sanity loves me for it!

Sarah

“It’s OK to look after your mental health, too.”

Dorothy

“And your physical health too. I had to put my nearly 3 yo into daycare for one day a week so I could rest and recuperate enough to look after him for the rest of the week, when I was suffering from chronic illness. That in itself helped protect my mental health too.”

Kim-Marie

“I don’t see how it is women offloading when in the majority of cases there are two parents working/studying. Surely it is just a case of parents deciding what is best for their families having regard for all their circumstances. Nothing more, nothing less. “

Rachel

“It is all about choices. We all make decisions about where we live, the cars we drive (or choose not to drive), the clothes we wear, the food we purchase or grow, the holidays we take, and the things we do to maintain a balanced life and positive outlook. It seems quite common for people to feel trapped into making certain decisions because they ‘have no choice’ but there are always choices…”

Bron

“What I don’t get is why are women often attacked when they choose to be ambitious? What century are we living in now??”

Norlin

“I also use child care when I am not working. There’s 168 hours in a week and I figure that the 9 hours I have a week that’s child and work free is my weekend and is essential to my physical and mental health.”

Lee

“I work but it has nothing to do with ambition  ha ha… It’s called survival and running a business. When will women stop being so judgmental of each other??”

Brooke

“What makes me irrationally angry is the belief that (assuming it’s a 2 parent family) childcare is a woman’s problem and not a choice that both parents make with regards to what is best for the family. I dearly hope that if my children have children that they will both be asked if either of them will be taking time off and not just my daughter or daughter in law.”

Helen

“I read that earlier. And felt horrified by it. Glass Houses and stones anyone? ? We all do the best we can for our families. Whose business is it whether you work full/part-time or are s SAHM other than your families?”

Mindy

“Before I had my son I couldn’t believe my friend was planning to go back to work after a year. I thought that was wrong but I didn’t tell her that! After I had my son I went back after 9 months part-time. We just needed the money I had a totally different perspective after! My son loves Childcare and it’s great socially for him as he’s an only child.”

Marisa

“That kind of comment is just so wrong and unfair… My 7 month old had her first day in daycare today and I’ve been feeling sick in anticipation of this for weeks not to mention crying on and off spontaneously for the most part of today.”

Caroline

“As someone who chooses to be home with the kids, and is fortunate enough to be able to do so comfortably, I often wonder about this stuff. My eldest is at school and my youngest does two days a week at daycare so I can be present at school and do the housework etc in peace. This is the life I dreamt of and yet it’s hard to be with children all of the time, in my pre children life I worked as a beauty therapist, (it’s not a career choice that pays enough to cover Childcare and leave anything spare). Many friends have returned to work either part of full-time and while some would rather not to have to, many choose to for their own sanity, and yes, maybe due to ambition. They still feel guilt when waving the kids at Childcare/nanna’s house, etc… But everyone of them feel they are better mum’s for it. The ‘Feminists’ fought so that women could have the choice to do whatever they felt was best for them, so that we could make our own decisions. So, why is it that the ‘choice’ to work is denigrated? And in some circles, the ‘choice’ to stay home is also criticised, as if choosing to stay home indicates some lack of drive/intelligence or outright laziness. 
Why can’t women just support women? Where’s the sisterhood?”

Samantha

Where is the Sisterhood? I think it’s here.”

I’m so grateful for the way that such an uneducated, miss-guided and insensitive comment has been commentated by the women quoted above.

The Sisterhood is alive and well.

And as for me? My head has stopped spinning. There is no more projectile vomiting. And I no longer feel like I’ve taken a crazy pill.

 

Over to you:

What are your thoughts on the comment “Women these days are so ambitious and can’t wait to off-load their kids to childcare.”

 

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  • Thanks for including my comment, babe. I’m still shocked but am thrilled by the groundswell of support and love and sisterhood in all the responses. xx

    • FoxInFlats

      Kim-Marie, your comments on both threads yesterday were so well-thought out, considerate and insightful. I too was thrilled to see that most women seem to have a really balanced and fair view about this and can empathize with those in different situations. It’s ok to have different opinions, but handled with sensitivity, and a bit of thought there is no reason for anyone to feel bad about their choices. xA

  • helen

    I really admire the SAHM, and sometimes I even envy them.
    That being said, if I did not work, the nice people at the bank might ask for our house back. You see; I work to help pay the bills.
    My partner and I work our butts off to meet our financial commitments, while only putting our daughter in daycare 3 days a week, hopefully so she gets the best of both worlds. We are so lucky that we have reasonably flexible jobs so we can still work full-time-equivalent.
    I think it is very healthy for kids to see their parents working, and ambition is part of that. I also think that the majority of kids benefit from childcare. They learn different skills, and get the chance to choose their own friends (i.e. rather than their parents’ friends’ kids, kids from mothers group etcetera).
    I do, sometimes, wonder about the poor kids who are first dropped off and last picked up from daycare.
    Every family has to determine what is best for their situation, and their children. Although I am certain that every mumma has rejoiced in dropping their grumpy misbehaving little angel off to daycare once in a while, even the most career driven must miss their offspring during the day. I know I do.

    • FoxInFlats

      “Although I am certain that every mumma has rejoiced in dropping their grumpy misbehaving little angel off to daycare once in a while” Of course! And dropping them to school too… Like me today 😉

  • Modern mum

    If you cant afford the costs of having children, don’t have them. If you don’t want to give up your high flying career, don’t have children. The feminist movement went a little too far. Sure, women should have the right to do whatever they like but you cant have everything. I, nor none of my friends were ever put in childcare when we were little and our mothers handled it just fine. None of my friends now put their children in childcare unless they are 3 or older and need to start the social education before preschool. Play dates are enough socialising until then. Personally, my baby will not go to a childcare centre until she is old enough to be away from her mothers nurturing for a few hours. And even then maybe just one or two days a week. I don’t want some stranger seeing my childs first steps or attending to their cries at such a young age when she really just needs mummy or daddy. It’s about time that everyone realise that each to their own and everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this matter and not every modern woman in society believes in modern childcare. Some are entitled to believe that a mothers care is the best care.

    • FoxInFlats

      “I don’t want some stranger seeing my childs first steps or attending to their cries at such a young age when she really just needs mummy or daddy.” I think every parent would agree with this statement. That is one of the fundamental reasons that it is so hard for people to have their kids in care. But with all respect, I think you are contradicting yourself to on the one hand state “If you cant afford the costs of having children, don’t have them. If you don’t want to give up your high flying career, don’t have children.” and on the other hand say “It’s about time that everyone realise that each to their own and everyone is entitled to their own opinion on this matter.”

      • Modern mum

        I’m not contradicting myself because that is my opinion and I respect everyone elses opinion on this topic. I read the comments of that person yesterday and I don’t believe they were meant in the malicious way you have portrayed them. They were one persons opinion and that person should not be attacked for feeling differently on the subject that most. Don’t you believe that every woman is entitled to her opinion without being attacked for it? Sure there are many reasons why parents must put their children in childcare but there are also many good reasons why we shouldn’t and some feel very strongly about those reasons. I respect the opinions of everyone quoted above, but I still believe that society can do without childcare if couples are smart enough with finances. Unfortunately though we live in a world where we have to have the best of everything rather than making the best of what we have, and our children can sometimes suffer for it too without our realising.

        • Tansy Lou

          childcare is often not about finance.
          mental health, physical health, education etc all play a part.
          I know a mother who relied heavily on childcare when she was undergoing chemo for example.
          Not everything is as straight forward for some families as it is for others.

        • Saying “I choose to stay at home for these reasons” is fine. Telling other people what to do, or not to do, is not respecting their choices.

        • FoxInFlats

          There’s so much in the above that I disagree with, but not worth going on about. But I DO agree that people are entitled to an opinion, but as adults we should always keep in mind the context of those opinions. In this instance, the opinion was given in a thread where we were discussing the rising cost of childcare and it’s impact on family budgets that are already stretched. To join that discussion and in effect state that women who use childcare are ‘ambitious’ an ‘off-loading’ their kids was inflammatory. Clearly the person who commented realised that it was not the most relevant forum for their opinion, and subsequently deleted the three comments they had made. Discussing this topic here and on Facebook has raised so much great dialogue and has been so very inspiring to hear the measured and empathetic comments from most – whether the women have been SAHM’s or employed in some manner. What we ALL have in common is trying to do exactly what you say “making the best of what we have”.

    • Tansy Lou

      The majority of people only use childcare one or two days a week anyway.
      Sure you’re entitled to your own opinion and noone would be bothered by it if you didn’t start your post with absolute rude and uncalled for judgement.
      If you want respect you have to give it.

  • I am so over the judgment of other mothers. It so pisses me off! So glad to see all the positive comments. x

    • FoxInFlats

      Me too. xA

  • Hedda

    Unbelievable that people are implying if you cannot survive financially on one income you should not have children or that you automatically have to give up your passions and dreams to have a family.
    Just because i became a mother does that wipe out the person i was grew into for 34 years. Do i stop being multi faceted and just become Mummy?
    I have two daughters and i can guarantee that is not a message i will be passing on to them.
    For the record i am staying home with them at the moment for a multitude of reasons, but that is the point we all have different reasons for the paths we follow as women and to act like people’s choices are so black and white is naive and far from foxy!

    • FoxInFlats

      “Just because i became a mother does that wipe out the person i was grew into for 34 years. Do i stop being multi faceted and just become Mummy? ” Agree so much!

  • Skye

    I live in a somewhat low socio-economic area but I and my husband both work very hard to provide for our family. I do see a large amount of non-working families who drop their kids at child care for long hours over many days (often more days than those working parents). In some ways I used to get annoyed and not really understand but the system is set up where it is quite cheap to send your kids to child care if you are on a very low income, especially once you factor in the cost of nappies and food which are all covered for the day.
    These days I’ve come to realise that some of these children probably are getting a more fulfilling time at child care than they would at home, particularly given that child care centres are assessed under the same National Quality Standards as preschools. Some of these parents would not provide for the child in the same way at home. This does not mean they don’t love their kids but we all have different capacities based on a myriad of issues in our lives.
    The other factor is that if all of these families didn’t send their kids to child care, there would be less demand and most likely less options for child care for me in a regional town.

    • FoxInFlats

      “This does not mean they don’t love their kids but we all have different capacities based on a myriad of issues in our lives.” exactly. We never know what’s going on in other families, and ours is not to judge, but to trust that they are doing the right thing for them and their children.

  • Peaches_78

    I don’t know what makes me angrier – the post on Facebook or the post below. Most of us choose to have children because having a family is one of the most rewarding and wonderful things you can do with your life. Do some people seriously think that if you are poor or struggling you should be denied the right to have a child? That if you don’t have much money and have to work hard that you love your children less? Do people still believe that everyone has a choice about what their financial situation might be, and that everyone is on an equal footing?? Even if you are comfortable financially, having made the choice to have a child should not mean you have to give up all other aspects of your life. I agree each to their own. I know stay at home mums who love their choice. I know happy full time working mums too. I’m part-time, fortunate to be running my own business to try for some flexibility and balance of mum time and career time. We don’t live an extravagant life by any means and if we didn’t have a mortgage I might not work, but then again I still might – I like my job. I like being an adult and working in an adult world. I like solving problems that don’t involve snot and squashed banana and match box cars. I also adore my kids and love the time spent with them. Women who work aren’t selfish, even if they choose to work when they don’t have too. My mother was a full time working mum while I was growing up, initially b/c of divorce and later b/c we were in school and she enjoyed her career – I never felt deprived. On the contrary, I felt I had the most loving and wonderful mother a girl could have. She is my mentor and my inspiration. And I believe I am a stronger woman for it. I think it is only the privileged few who are judging working mums – and they shouldn’t.

    • FoxInFlats

      Peaches_78 thankyou for such a considered comment. It’s never that simple, and peoples lives change, their situations change, and the need for additional help with children changes. But what should never change is losing our sense of self. By staying true to ourselves and our drivers we will be happier people and in turn, better mothers and role model to our kids. And those drivers include the drive to contribute to society in whichever way that floats your boat, whether through paid work or being a SAHM (hope that makes sense, am a bit zzzzzz!) PS: Thankyou so much for your lovely email this week, I will respond separately, but you made my week. x A

  • MummaMe

    Why is everyone making this out to be a fight against working mothers? I saw this as an opinion on CHILDCARE.

    • FoxInFlats

      I’m not sure that the original comment was about childcare, My interpretation was that it was a comment toward women who use childcare, labeling them ‘ambitious’ and stating that they are keen to off-load their kids – the implication being that they don’t want to look after their kids.

  • Mumme Halfdozen

    Funny how a woman who is “ambitious” is perceived as being too ready to “off-load” her children at the daycare centre …. and that’s a bad thing. Funny, too, how a stay-at-home-mum who wants to spend as much time as possible with her child/ren is perceived as “unambitious” ….. and that’s a bad thing! Unfortunately it won’t matter who does what as there is always someone sitting in the sidelines waiting to psychoanalyze or just simply be judgmental. I am so pleased that the majority of women are happy to just live and let live – lets completely ignore the rest.

    • FoxInFlats

      I’m so pleased by that too, it seems most of us are happy to do that.

  • mamagoingsolo

    wow, very hurtful and I am so glad that kind of sentiment is not the prevailing one. It constantly amazes me how women can hurt other women and be so judgemental of them in this way. As a single mum, I have no choice but to take my child to childcare while I earn a living. But I hate leaving her there every single day – I did not have a child just so that others could bring her up. Who would go through the discomfort and inconvenience of pregnancy and birth and sleepless new mother nights just to “off-load” their child onto someone else? That person has clearly not had children. Great blog by the way!

    • FoxInFlats

      It’s a good point, I think many people who have, or do, use child care do it by necessity. And that necessity can be different things for different people.

  • Michaela

    I love your site, I really do but this continual posting on your facebook page of OLD stories is really lazy and boring. If you have no new content don’t do a post. Simple. It makes you look amateurish and only interested in the hits to your site. I get the impression when you do this that you don’t care about your readers, you only care about getting hits. Please, give us some new content. Just today you have linked to a post that is 2 years old, and then another that is weeks old. Is nothing original anymore? I really love your site, but I am going to have to unsubscribe if you keep doing this. Sorry

    • FoxInFlats

      Hi Michaela,
      Thanks for the feedback, have taken on board.
      Although I’m not cool about being called either ‘lazy’ or ‘boring’. I produce this blog on my own at home while raising my two boys, and I’m neither of those things 😉 I have chosen recently to publish less posts weekly on the site as my family needs to take priority over everything else, and right now they need me more than ever. That said, I am still producing on average 4 original articles per week (at least).
      Meanwhile, there’s a lot of content on the site that remains relevant past publication date, so I choose to circulate these stories around from time to time so that people who missed them the first time might come across them.
      Regards, Andrea

      • Gemma

        Sorry, I’ve only just read this article but I feel the need to give you some feedback on this issue.

        I am a relatively new subscriber and since I rarely have time to trawl through your old posts unless I’m looking for something specific, the fact that you’re providing links and drawing my attention to older but relevant articles between your new content posts is really useful.

        I don’t believe that you’re lazy or boring for this practice, the fact that you’re still revisiting your previous posts instead of letting them fester in cyber nothingness is reassuring, it says that you believe in your content and are proud of your site.

        I think it’s important to draw the attention of those who are unhappy with this practice to the fact that we’re exposed to thousands of advertisements every day, we click the things that interest, we ignore the things that don’t. If you’ve previously read or are not interested in an article, simply don’t click on it. There are others who haven’t read the articles and really appreciate the fact that Andrea is so dedicated to this blog between raising a family and running a home.

        • FoxInFlats

          Oh Gemma, THANKYOU! Thankyou. xA