The main reason that I wanted to ‘stay at home’ is because I believe it to be best for my child(ren). It certainly isn’t because it’s the easy option for me! There are many times when I would like the interest, order and relative peace of work – not to mention the money!
My own mother stayed at home to look after my two brothers and I all the way through our childhood. We were enormously fortunate to have had that level of support and security during our early years and also as we got older. I feel strongly that there is something entirely natural about a child being looked after by its own parents. I can’t believe that sending a child to a nursery to be looked after by people who have no personal love for her can always be as good as being nurtured by those that love her.
I feel that the social and cultural trend towards putting children in registered childcare is driven by economics rather than what is best for the child. It has been cleverly driven along by encouraging mothers to put themselves first, rather than being more self-sacrificing for the sake of the family, as seemed to be the culture of my mother’s generation.
I am often asked by other mum friends who have gone back to work whether I worry that my daughter will miss out on the social aspects of being at a nursery. I believe strongly that there’s plenty of time for that in the future, and in any case we are so busy going to groups and classes that hardly a day goes by when my daughter doesn’t socialise with others. She just does it with me close by.