My Thoughts on Childcare Explained
While we are attempting to find a new nanny recently I had a few people ask why I’m opposed to putting Baby MPB into daycare or a dayhome (here day home are childcare provided inside a private home with a maximum of 6 kids). And this sort of came up again last week when I inadvertently put my foot in my mouth by not articulating what I meant very well (ops).
So, I thought I’d take some time to explain my thinking.
First, in Canada the large majority of people are able to take 12 months combined maternity and paternity leave. (15 weeks are set aside specifically for the individual giving birth and an additional 35 weeks are set aside for either the mother or father or some combination of both). Families receive a portion of their income (to a maximum) for the year and their employers are required to have a job for them when they return. I believe this is a great thing that the Canadian government has made possible for families. Honestly, I wish everyone in the world had the opportunity to take the first year off to spend with their child.
And, I’ll admit, very selfishly I wish we had access to it! As we are self-employed we do not pay into the Employment Insurance program which means we are not eligible. Yes, we could pay into it, BUT, unlike people in traditional jobs, none of our clients would be required to hold our contracts for a year. So, the practicalities of our jobs means it’s useless to us because to stop working and NOT have a guaranteed job at the end of the year just makes no sense.
Also, let’s not forget that we are paying for an international adoption – $85,000CAD/$65,000USD in 1 year. We chose not to fundraise, we received no financial aid and we had no financial support from our families. We used saving and have some debt as a result.
So, we’ve work since essentially the day we got home with our son. We hired our first nanny for the first time when our son was about 8 weeks old. And we have taken a lot of flack from people for hiring a nanny. By some people we have been judged and deemed horrible parents for our decision to work – the social pressure to take one year off is rather intense. Most people simply do not seem to understand that we are not eligible for the government leave benefits. We’ve also had some people simply suggest that I, as the mother, should quit working for the next 18 years. And yet, even when we tell people about not having government benefits and having to pay for the cost of the adoption, they still snub us for our decision and tell us we should just find a way. Honestly, even if we wanted to, we cannot afford the type of lifestyle we want on 1 income. And, we definitely cannot afford to live on 1 income until our debt is paid off. We are not comfortable living with debt hanging over our heads, it’s important to us that we pay it off.
And, so in my mind, I’ve decided that I do not want Baby MPB in a daycare or a dayhome until he’s at least 1 year old. He is now old enough to have a space at a daycare, which would be a lot cheaper then our current nanny. But, I’m still not willing to go this route. It’s not that it’s a bad route. But, I’ve dug my feet in on this one and I know I’m being stubborn. For me, it’s sort of my compromise – keeping him at home with a nanny is as close as I can get to taking a year off. I’m bitter that we didn’t get 35 weeks of government funded benefits to be at home with our child.
Like many things about having a child, I just assumed I’d get to take the first full year of their life and spend it with them, and life didn’t turn out that way. And so, I’d rather pay a premium to have a nanny in our home so we can get snuggles anytime of day that we want. I’m hoping that at least one of us will get to hear his first real word if it happens during the day with our nanny. I’m also hoping that at least one of us will get to see his first steps if they happen during the day with the nanny.
I am not opposed to organized childcare. Honestly, I think Baby MPB will be making the transition to a daycare sooner then I’d really like as we will lose our temporary nanny as soon as she’s finished university and now looking for a job (and she’s a great person so I know she’s going to get a job). And, honestly, I’m done with trying to find a new nanny as the search has been beyond miserable and pointless . So, for the time being I’d rather live with the uncertainty of loosing our current nanny and I’m just hoping she doesn’t get a new job until Baby MPB turns at least 1 when I think I’ll be more ready to put him into some sort of organized childcare.
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