Do You Use ANY Form of Childcare...

Updated on February 08, 2011
R.J. asks from Seattle, WA
29 answers

Another Q got me thinking... Every single parent I know has someone besides themselves watch their child. Perhaps I'm incorrect.
(the whole birds of a feather thing)

Are you the ONLY one who cares for your children or do you have a _________ who also cares for your children on a regular or intermittent basis:

- husband or domestic partner?
- other family who watches your children?
- a nanny or au pair?
- a babysitter?
- a daycare / creche?
- preschool?
- outside classes or activities (art, music, sports, tutoring, etc.)
- do you send your children to k-12 school?
- someone or something else I haven't thought of
- or some combo of the above?

How many hours a day do you spend with your children while you & they are awake?

How many would you like to?

Do you think that the number of hours you spend with your children reflects how good a parent you are / how much you love your children?

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M.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I spend all the time I can with them when they are not in school and I LOVE every minute of it. And yes dear, I do believe that I am a good parent because of this.

3 moms found this helpful
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L.N.

answers from New York on

I am a stay at home mom. I have six year old twins. They are in first grade (in school from 8:20 to 2:30). I am with them in the morning and after school. Their bedtime is 7:30. Dad comes home at 7. So he spends about 30 min with them. I have no one but me taking care of them. The amount of time I spend with my kids does and does not reflect my love for them. I quit working because of them. I didn't want them in aftercare. I think me being with them always reflects how gooda parent I am but it also reflects everything else I have going on: when I don't feel good, I am down about something etc.

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L.S.

answers from Spokane on

Well, talk about a loaded question! LOL

I'm a SAHM with a 4.5 year old, a soon-to-be 3 year old and a 2 month old. I spend every waking moment with my children, with the following exceptions:

My preschooler is in preschool 3 days a week for 2.5 hours each day.

My dad will, on occassion (we're talking once a month) watch 1 or 2 of my girls if I have an appointment or something. It's easier than taking all 3 with me (especially in the winter with an infant carrier!) and they LOVE spending time with him :)

When I do not have a nursing baby, my husband and I like to go for dinner and a movie about once a month and we have family members (grandparents and my sister & BIL) stay with the girls during those hours at our house.

Also, my sister and BIL have begun taking my older 2 for sleep-overs every 6 weeks or so. Now *that* is a fantastic break! lol

I love spending as much time as I do with my girls. I know that once they're in school full time, visiting friends and involved other activities that they'll be too busy for me :(

BUT that doesn't mean that I love my girls more than a mother that has to work 2 jobs to feed and clothe her children because she's a single parent. Nor does it make me a 'better parent'. I think the best measure of a parent is the resulting child - a happy, secure, well-taken care of child is the result of a good parent that loves their children.

9 moms found this helpful
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K.B.

answers from Columbus on

Other than myself:
My husband
My parents/my brothers on occasion as a sitter for a RARE date night
My oldest is in Pre-K for 2.5 hours, 4x/week

During waking hours I spend about 11 hours/day with my kids.

I would like to go back to school and spend a little less time with my kids (I think this would benefit both of us)... I'll probably get blasted for saying that... oh well.

I do NOT think the time you spend with your children reflects how good a parent you are. I think it's quality rather than quantity. Right now I'm in a quantity rather than quality rut, and I want to change it.

7 moms found this helpful

T.N.

answers from Albany on

Hi R., ok, since it's just a survey, I'll bite (plus, how many questions do you get to answer for R.??!!).....

I'm 44 years old. My kis are 18 (away at aschool), 16, 13.

I've been more or less a SAHM for 18 years. I've worked part time in school with my kids, in other schools, babysitting, 3 days a week in a tree nursery, did my neighbors lawns, neighborhood catering, and various other "SAHM Occupational Hazards" type jobs.

I have not worked at ALL in 3 years. I am likely the only SAHM divorced/single Mom in the western hemisphere.

When the kids were little, sure I left them with family members from time to time. My mom, my sister, a loved neighbor mom, their largely absentee father. Nothing regular, no real 'babysitter', care taker.

As they (well the 2 older, both boys) I had to learn to leave them alone in the house while trucking my wildly expensive extremely talented competetive gymnast daughter (now retired) around the northeastern United States. Course the boys were also on two different wrestling teams, so I often had three kids in three different counties at three different MUST see sporting events. The "Taxi" days when I traded in my van for a really fast 6 sp sportswagon and OWNED the highway.

Anyway, I have no aversion to leaving my kids WITH someone, or alone (age appropriately of course). Thing with me is I REALLY REALLY like them and wanted to be WITH them and didn't ever really get a lot of MOMMYBURNOUT (well sometimes).

And NOW, they're SO very independent, and my life is just too damn easy, well, ok, I could actually GET a life if I so desired....

STILL, my favorite thing is to crack open a beer, put my ipod in the dock, have us all cookin' something, dancing, talkin', laughing, eating. I cannot get enough of it. So keenly aware there are only MOMENTS left to it all. Sigh.

Obviously, I do NOT regret my kids lack of Child Care By Someone Other Than Their Mother.

But that's just me.

I've always felt the BEST most EFFECTIVE style manor method of parenthood is the one that WORKS the best for the mother in question.

Have a great day!

:)

5 moms found this helpful
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S.G.

answers from Norfolk on

I work full time, and am fortunate enough to have a wonderful husband who stays home with our two children. He also cooks, cleans, renovates our home, and does all the yardwork! So I am a very fortunate person indeed. Once in a while my in-laws take the kids for an overnight. They're not old enough for kindergarten yet and have not attended preschool. I leave for work before they get up in the morning, and get home around 5. We get from 5-7:30 together. It's not nearly enough, but we do get to spend the whole weekend together. I don't think the number of hours reflects the love--I think the attitude about time spent with the children reflects the love. If someone is spending all their time with their kids thinking "How soon can I get someone else to take care of my kids so that I can ____?" or "When can I get my ME time?" then perhaps parenthood was not the way to go. Kids are smart and they can tell if their parents don't really want to spend time with them. I'm proud of the fact that my husband stays with the kids. I wish we were independently wealthy so that we could all hang out together every day. It's only too soon that they're going to be running here, there, and everywhere, so I want to take advantage of these early years. Some people love their kids but don't get to spend enough time with them. Some people can barely stand their kids and probably shouldn't be spending any time with them at all! Better for a child to spend time with a loving nonparent than an indifferent or hostile parent. But that indifferent or hostile parent should have thought about not becoming a parent in the first place.

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M..

answers from Youngstown on

I have a 2.5 year old daughter. I stayed with her 24/7 for over 2 years, and I mean I was the only one who watched her (except my husband on the rare occasion I went somewhere alone).

I went back to work about 6 months ago. I work 4 days a week. When I am at work I have either my sitter or my father in law watch my daughter. My sitter is simply amazing. I tust her completely, and she is awesome with my child. My FIL is just as awesome. If I didn't have such confidence in the people I have watching her, I would not work. On the days I work I am away from home for 7 hours. Other than that 7 hours, I am with my child. Me and my husband spend every waking minute (not spent at work) with our daughter.

I don't think the number of hours you spend with your child reflects how good of a parent you are. There are SAHM's who spend 24/7 with their kids, and they are horrible parents (these are the ones you read about in the paper and see on Nancy Grace). And then there are parents who must work 40 hrs a week, and they are excellent parents. As long as a mother takes excellent care of her child, and they are the top priority...well, isn't that what really matters?

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S.G.

answers from Dallas on

I'm a working/ and part time WAHM. My son is in preschool a couple of days a week. I transitioned to this from full time work, son in daycare 5 days a week all day.

I DO think that I'm a better mom now devoting more time to my son. However, some families do not have this luxury, and I think there are ways for full time working moms to be just as good and even better than SAHMs by making the time they have QUALITY time.

I DON'T think refusing outside care of any kind makes you a better mom. Not all time is created equal! You have to make it high quality time. I believe ALL children, especially to the toddler years benefit greatly from preschool and experiences outside of the home. There are social interactions outside the home that a mom just can't give!

Being willing to give of yourself, showing your kids love, teaching valuable lessons, making memories, and teaching your children to be functioning, respectable adults is what makes you a good parent.

4 moms found this helpful

S.H.

answers from Spokane on

Unfortunately (wish I was a SAHM) I am not the only one who cares for my children. I have to work. My hubby has to work. We coordinate our schedules so we can be with them as much as possible though. My oldest is in school so he takes the bus to school and on Mon and Tues hubby picks him up b/c he has those 2 days off and then W-F I pick him up from an after school program. Our youngest goes to an in home daycare 3 days a week all day.
I spend about 95% of my evenings and weekends with my kids. I take the oldest to basketball (or whatever sport he is in at the time) on Monday's, cub scouts every other Wednesday and some Friday's and his bball games on Saturday. Sunday mornings we go to church. Our youngest is only 2 so not yet involved with extra carricular activities but loves to go to big brothers and participate.
On occassion they will stay the night at my Mom's. But not very often b/c I am not very good at sharing. We do spend a lot of time with her together tho! I don't get much time with them so my weekends are very valuable.
I don't think the # of hours I spend with them reflects how good of a parent I am or my relationship with them. I try to make sure the time we do have is quality time and I make sure they are cared for by someone we fully trust who has their best interest at heart and who loves them!
I wish I could make it work to be a SAHM, but we can't. So we do the best we can and make the most of our time together as a family. My Children (and hubby) are my world and they know it!!
I don't think my kids are loved any less than a child of a SAHM or any other situation. My love for them goes beyond the actual # of hours a day I spend with them. My love for them is reflected in every thing I do. The job I have chosen to take, the food I buy, the house we live in, the school he goes to, the daycare he goes to, the church we go to. Every decision we make is b/c we love our children and want what's best for them.

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I.L.

answers from Alexandria on

What an interestng question!

I work full-time. My husband is a SAHD.
My oldest goes to pre-school half day. My toddler does drop in day care a few hours one day a week so dad can get other stuff done.
We are all together every evening after five and all weekend.

I would like more time with my kids, as I realize their precious childhood time is fleeting. Yet, I love the work I do and feel I would be doing them a disservice by being a SAHM. I am driven and passionate about my work and I am a better mom for getting to live my professional dreams.

I do not think that a number of hours is any reflection of good parenting. There are plenty of crappy parents who spend all the time with their kids. I am not just in the same space with my kids every day, but I give them my focused attention every single evening, playing, eating dinner, and going through the bed time routines that are our special times.

As with most other things in life, successful parenting is more about quality than it is about quantity.

Just my two cents.

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J.S.

answers from Boston on

My husband and I both work FT and I am a tutor so I sometimes work evenings and weekends. My children were in the care of my mother 3x per week and in daycare 2x per week until Kindergarten, then once they were in school, they were in school from 9 - 3:15. 3x a week they come straight home (my [email protected]____.com days) and 2x a week they go to after-school until about 5 PM. Summer vacations have a mix of caregivers.

On a [email protected]____.com day I spend appx 8 hours with my kids. On an office day, it's 4 hours. On a night that I have to teach, it may be just an hour or two in the morning. This is a great mix for us. I would not want to spend any more or less time with them (nor would they with me LOL).

Clearly loving your children is not measured in hours. I certainly don't think that anyone would look at a parent who is deployed or has to live apart from their children and say that that parent does not love their children or isn't a good parent. That's an extreme example, I know, but I think it illustrates my point quite clearly. Parenting is a lot more than just being there or not being there.

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S.W.

answers from Minneapolis on

I am a divorced co-parent of an 8 year-old daughter (I am not a single parent because she has an involved father). She is in third grade from 9:15 til she gets home on the bus at 4:15. She is at her Dad's house 1/2 the time. She is not in any form of daycare since her father is retired and can be home with her before/after school. She has piano lessons, karate classes, and swimming lessons each week, but at least one parent is present for each of those.

She is at my house, depending on the week, either 3 nights or 2 nights during the week and every other weekend. Our evening time together starts at from 5:00 to 6:30 depending on the night of the week, and I am with her until bedtime. I never hire babysitters, but arrange my activities around her schedule.

I am happy with the schedule I have with my daughter as I know that she is getting plenty of time with both me and her Dad, and I have time for school, work, friends, and other activities. If her Dad were less involved or out of the picture, I believe I would hire babysitters and trade kid-sitting with friends to allow some time for myself.

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J.B.

answers from Atlanta on

I was a SAHM for 4 years & my oldest went to a half-day preschool after he turned 1 for two or three days a week except summers. His little brother went there for a few months after turning 1 as well. When I went back to work FT a year ago, I got a full-time nanny until August when the oldest started public full day prek and the youngest got into the preschool we liked. Even if I was still a SAHM, they would both be going to the half day program 2 & 3 times per week! I don't get having FT childcare if you don't work at all, but I also don't get not having any and never having any time away from your kids! I think everyone should at least use a moms morning out a few days a week to preserve sanity!

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S.H.

answers from Huntsville on

I've always worked a full-time 40 hr a week job, as does my husband. Our daughter has been going to the same daycare since she was 2 months old. She is 5 now and is in their Pre-K class.

She is at the daycare about 10 hours a day, 5 days a week. Right now she is only home with me, as my husband is deployed. She's been staying up late, so we get a little more time together haha She's with me all day on the weekends. Occasionally she will spend a night at my parents' house by herself.

When she starts Kindergarten, I should be able to take her to school, and also pick her up from school. I would work at the office while she's in school, and then continue to work from home after picking her up.

With hubby being deployed, my time together with my daughter isn't quite the quality I'd want it to be. I am tired during the week after work & then have to handle the household chores by myself. The weekends are better, though. We'll go out somewhere together (shopping, visit family, out to eat, etc.), and I'll have her help with laundry, putting away her clean dishes, and cleaning her room/toys.

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L.L.

answers from Hartford on

I work a total of 35-40hrs including commuting time. I am fortunate enough to have hours where I can put my 3rd grade son on the bus and be there to get him off. If I am running late his Grandfather will watch him for an hour or two until I get home. I am home with him every Sunday and my husband is home with him every Sat. So on weekdays and Sat. I spend 5 1/2 hours of awake time with him and all day on Sunday. I believe it is the quality of time and not the quantity of time that reflects your love to your kids. My husband works 70+ hours a week, but when he's home, it's all about our son. And the same goes for me. :)

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

In my home, there are Me, Husband, my Mom who lives with us, 2 kids.

"I" am the primary caretaker, 24/7.
My Husband, does here and there.
But I am the main one. Of course.

IF anything or if I need to, my Husband will mind the kids. But I am never gone, for long periods anyway.
My Mom, will SOMETIMES, mind my kids. IF she is not busy or in the mood to do so.

But, no, these 'helpers' are not on a regular basis, at all.

My eldest, my daughter who is 8, is in school. 3rd Grade.
My son, is home with me. He is 4. He is not yet, in school... but may be soon.
My daughter takes classes outside of school.
My son does not. Different personality all together.

I spend, all day with my kids. 24/7. Even at night, I check on them and wake if any noises or needs arise.

NO, for me, the number of hours I spend with my kids, and on my kids, does not reflect, the 'quality' of Mom I am, NOR how much I love my kids.

all the best,
Susan

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T.C.

answers from Austin on

I spend every waking hour other than school time with my son(about 8 hours), and weekends are totally family time. Once in awhile my husband may take him out alone shopping. My in-laws watch him when my husband or I have doctor's appointments that we want to go to together. They get mad at us if we stop for lunch after the dr. appt., but we do it anyway because it's the closest we get to a date. We don't ask them to sit for date nights and I don't go to any girl's night outs.
When my son was little, we tried mother's day out and then pre-k. But I had to be on call at any moment to go pick him up because he was misbehaving. Right in the middle of an eye exam, lunch with my husband, mom's club meeting, etc., I would get the phone call to come pick him up. 5 years later, it's hard to break that feeling of being "on call" all the time. It would probably be healthier for me to go back to work, but who would take care of my son after school? Would I make enough working part time to pay for daycare? Could they nag him about homework as well I do? And do I trust my husband to take care of my son on the weekend without forgetting to feed him or starting an argument?

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L.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

I work 30 hours/wk (3 ten hour days), and I travel an hour to and from, so for work, I am gone a total of 36 hours per week. While I work, my mother cares for my son, who just turned 5. Additionally, he is in preschool for 2.5 hours, 3 days per week, 1 of which is on one of the days that my mom is in care of my son. The other 2 days, I am off, and I take and retrieve him from school.

So in total, I am away from my son for 41 hours per week, during which time either my mother has him, or he is in preschool.

On the days that I am home with my son when he's in preschool, I spend approx. 10 hours per day with him while he's awake. On weekends, it's the entire day. This will change soon, though, as my son will resume spending time with his father, who has been away for a few months.

As for how much time I'd like to spend with him, well, every waking minute. I totally miss him when I'm working. I'd have him with me all the time if it was feasible. Now, I'm sure that if I did have the opportunity to be with him ALL the time, I would probably enjoy an occasional few hours to myself to do whatever, but in general, the more time I'm with him, the happier I am.

As far as the question about the number of hours you spend with them reflecting how good of a parent you are or how much you love your children, well, that depends. There are times when we have to be away from our kids out of necessity, i.e. single working parents who must work to pay bills and keep food on the table. I don't feel that the lack of time those parents spend with their children reflects their love for them. Well, actually, it may, in that they are giving up their precious time with their kids to make sure their physical needs are met, that being one of the fundamental needs of babies and children, food and shelter. So in that way, they are, in fact, loving them and sacrificing for them. For SAHP's who forgo a second income that would allow an easier lifestyle so that they can spend the *time* with their children, yes, absolutely the time they are spending and their sacrifice of the second income speaks to their love for their children.

But I do have to say that for those that choose to send their children to daycare or other form of childcare when they are SAHP's reflects badly on them as a parent. It perplexes me to hear about or talk to parents who send a child to daycare just to have some *me time.* Really? Seriously? I do think that says something about how much they love their children, or at the very least it speaks to their desire to parent their children.

But a simple *lots of hours = good parenting*? Absolutely not. Empty time with your kids is sometimes more detrimental than a few good hours of quality time.

There are certainly many factors that come into play within your question, which I'm sure you know. necessity to work outside the home vs. desire to be away from the home, quality vs. quantity of time spent, etc.

You?

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J.P.

answers from Stockton on

I hate to say, but I feel I spend too few hours with my children during the day. I work full time - so I see them for about 1 1/2 hrs. in the morning, and about 2 1/2 hrs. in the evening.

I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to be able to be a SAHM. With the economy the way it is, it just wouldn't work for us. I have 2 different babysitters that come to my house and watch the kids. It works out great for me.

I do not think that the number of hours spent with your children determines how good of a parent you are or how much you love your children. I would do anything for my children. As a parent, there are just times when you have to make sacrifices. It wouldn't do much good to spend all my time with my kids if we were unable to put a roof over their heads and feed and clothe them. The time we have together, I cherish.

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

First of all, I think the quality of time spent means far more than the quantity. I have been a full-time working mom. These are my stats now:

I have a wonderful husband to help me in the evenings. My 3 year old goes to preschool 5 mornings a week. My two year old goes to daycare 2 mornings a week. The three year old has swimming lessons 2x a week in the evenings. Other than that they are in my care.

We send my 3 year old to preschool for the socialization and stimulation. He is much easier to live with when he gets to play with kids his own age. :) Our two year old was VERY attached to me so we thought daycare would be good for her. Turns out, she loves it and asks to go every day.

I spend approx. 69 hours waking hours with my son a week and 78 with my daughter.

I am a SAHM and student.

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K.E.

answers from Denver on

Currently I work part time when my daughter is in school, but am home mostly when she is unless its summer and I have to work to hold my schedule. When that happens she goes to a day camp or summer program, we have a wonderful teenager who spends the day with her, or she stays with a good friend who is more like her Aunt. Not to mention she loves to spend nights at her grandparents. I'm not sure how much time I spend with her, but mostly I am in charge when she is awake, and then my hubby and her will spend a Sunday watching football together. I feel like I spend enough time with her. We need our breaks from each other too. I feel like quality of time is so much more important than quantity. I was with her almost 100 percent when she was a baby and I went crazy. I think I am much more patient and enjoy my time with her even more now that I don't get to spend all day with her. More time does not equal more love or better parenting.

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E.D.

answers from Seattle on

For my family, it is more financially sensible for one of us to be at home with the kids, then for both of us to work and pay for childcare. We have tried out many different arrangements (I've been the working parent, we both have worked with opposing schedules so that one of us is at home with baby and one at work, I've worked from home, and he's been/is the working parent). At this point I am the SAHM.

My husband works on the sound and his schedule is based on the tides so (during the winter) he works long, physical nights and then sleeps/relaxes all day and then, during high tide, he has a fair bit of time off. (spring, summer, fall and diving are different schedules). While he is on a break, we mostly split childcare, cooking, having breaks, getting household missions accomplished, doing side work to bring in extra money, etc. When he is working I do everything (except for taking out the trash) for the kids and household.

When he is working, I sometimes set up trades with my single and or mom girlfriends. This is my time to get organized, do our accounting, have a (kid free) coffee date with a friend, screw around on the computer, make art/music, etc. I often have slumber parties with these same girlfriends/and their children. I love sharing tasks, company and conversation with these women and have actually come to appreciate the time I have with them and their children while my husband is away ;)

My Mom takes the girls once a month (sometimes more, sometimes less) for a spend the night and will also watch them for an hour or so once a week. The kids love their Nana (and her bath tub) and I love date night.

In response to your question, "Do you think that the number of hours you spend with your children reflects how good a parent you are," I am in a definite yes camp. It used to be that I was responsible for our child every moment I was home, regardless of who was working more or less. I was less resourceful (and willing to ask for help and felt guilty every time I was not being "productive") and got out on my own less than an hour a month. Date night happened once every three - six months.

I was miserable and my life lacked balance when I was the (well, mostly) only adult who spent time with my kids and myself. I feel that I am a better parent (i.e. tolerant, patient, rational, present, invested) when I make room for my whole being and give that whole being a little time, space and energy. I also think I am a far better parent when I have a community (apart from just my husband and mom) in my and my children's daily/weekly lives. I need those girlfriends of mine like a fish needs the ocean. This has only become more true since our household has gone from being a one to a two child home.

Did it/Does it affect how much I love my children? No. Love is not quantifiable and my love for them never changes. But my actions do, and my ability to act with and out of love does.

I'll add this though: Parenting is an action. While I think it is of the utmost importance that I get some time and/or space (emotional and/or physical) away from my beautiful babies, and while I know I contribute more real parenting presence when I have had a chance to refuel my own system, I DO resent parents who dip mostly/completely.

When a parent does not act with real, action oriented love at least most of the time (a tough thing to define, eh?), then IMHO, they aren't parenting. When a parent leaves their family all together, or emotionally/physically checks out completely (i.e. the reason we took on the care of my niece) then they really aren't doing their "job" as a parent. And that, frankly, brings up a ton of negative emotions/judgments/sticky feelings for me.

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G.H.

answers from Chicago on

I am a SAHM. My DH works a lot. My kids are 20 yr old young woman(away at college), 6yr old boy in 1st grade public school, 5 yr old, girl, 3 yr old girl.

My kids wake up at 7:30. Son leaves from 8:40-3:30. They go to bed at 7:30. My girls will not spend time on their own, they want me to entertain them. The only time away, while they are awake, is when they watch a movie for about 1 1/2 hours.

About once every 3 months we have a sitter for various reasons. Around September my friends & I started a bible study & have a sitter come for 2 hours on friday mornings to watch our kids. The only person that watches our kids if I have a Dr appt, or volunteer at my sons school for holiday party, etc, is my sister. We have no involved grandparents. And my husband really doesn't like getting a sitter because he wants the kids with us at all times since he doesn't see them often during the week & sometimes on the weekends too.

My girls are home with me all day everyday UNTIL last week, I couldn't take it anymore after I threw my back out & my house has been in shambles for 2 weeks. So I signed them up to go to preschool 2 days a week for 3 hours a day. They need a break from each other & I need a break from them. They love to be social & are excited to have there own time away. We are very busy with doing our preschool curriculum, grocery shopping, baking, bounce houses, chores, library, etc but it's time they leave the nest for a little while.

As far as being a good parent, I feel that there has to be a happy medium. Too much time together is not healthy just like to little time together isn't healthy either. I know I am a better parent when I can have SOME alone time. And my kids get along with each other when they are not together every waking minute. And I love my children with all my heart.

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J.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Mostly me...we spend about 13+ hours together.
My SO....when he gets off work he spends maybe 3 hours (if he's lucky to get home at a decent time) with her, and his days off (if he's not doing a side job)
My in-laws...they watch her a day here or there, and they love taking her over night maybe once every other week or once a week (just depends).
Once in a great while my SIL will watch her.
I would like to spend less time with my child. I know that came out funny, but she's super attached, and have actually been looking into an activity for her to start after her second birthday. She needs a little independance right now.
I try to only focus on my own parenting, so I do feel I am a good parent who loves her kid with all her heart. Is it because i stay at home with her as much as I do, probably not, I would hope I would put the same time and energy into being her parent and spending quality time with her no matter what.
So if someone said I parent the way I do, and love my kid as much as I do because I am a SAHM..well then that's their POV. My POV is, I do what I do because i'm her mom, and the love comes naturally. =)

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K.B.

answers from Seattle on

I'm not a single mom anymore, but when I was my daughter was in daycare and also a friend of mine watched her 1-2 times a week, picking her up and keeping her late enough for them that I could go on a date (hence me now being married). Also I commuted with her to and from work as well as coslept, so we were together about 14+ hours a day on most days which is all the time that I wasn't at work and she wasn't at daycare.

Now that I'm married, my MIL helps out a lot, watching our younger daughter 2x a week for about 5-6 hours and our (my) older daughter 2x a week picking her up and taking her to swimming...

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A.D.

answers from Norfolk on

I am with my 2 kids 24/7. My son is 25 months and my daughter is 4 months, I stay home with them and have not been away from my daughter at all since she was born (well except for once when my mom watched her for 2 hours so my husband and I could go to a movie). I'm drained. I honestly wish I could afford to put my son in daycare a couple days a week so he can play with other kids more and to get a break from him. I absolutely do not feel like it makes me a better mom--in fact, I think the mental health break and "me time" would actually make me a better mom. I absolutely love staying home with my kids but it wasn't a hard decision for my husband and I because I never had a career before having them. My husband makes great money and if I worked I would only be able to make enough to pay for a babysitter for them both, so it's pointless.

Thankfully though, my husband is an amazing father and gives me a huge break once he's home from work. He does all the caregiving of our toddler (baby is a boob baby and I honestly have a really hard time putting her down or letting someone else take care of her. It's a huge flaw I have, but im' working on it). On the weekends, hubby will sleep in with the baby and I get up with our boy and him and i go on a "date" to starbucks. He gets a vanilla scone and hot chocolate and I get my latte and we have a great time being one-on-one. Then on Saturdays Dad always takes him on their own "date" while the baby and I take a loooong nap (she'll still only nap for a while if i'm laying down with her).

So, I guess in short I do get a break from my kids in the form of my husband. I'm jealous of mom's who have someone else who can watch their kids once in a while.

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K.M.

answers from Kansas City on

Yes. I am a SAHM for 3 boys. My oldest is in full day kindergarten. Occasionally I leave my 2 younger boys with a lady who is in her 40s. Her kids are in high school and she watches children for extra money. Right now she watches them 1 day a week for 3 hours. When my children are at her home, there are no other children present. We also try to go on a "date" once or twice a month. I have a very good friend who is 24 who will watch them at night.

Some people assume being a SAHM makes you a better parent. I don't think it's necessarily the case. I personally feel my children benefit and I love being able to stay home with them. My husband is an officer in the US Army and provides a nice life for us. I don't work, we have great health care, and most days he works M-F 8-5. However, the downside is that he deploys for 6-12 months at a time.

My sisters have 2 different opinions about this. My older sister works full-time and has a fantastic job. When she has children, she will hire a nanny. However, she will have dinner with them every night and put them to bed. Also, she will be free on the weekends to take family trips because she and her husband do not work weekends.

My younger sister is a SAHM by day and a bartender at night. She has a Bachelor's Degree, but does not what to put her children in daycare. Her husband is home with the children at night. However, she works 4-5 nights a week, so she does not have dinner with them or put them to bed. She also works Friday and Saturday nights, so they can't go away on the weekends.

Everyone makes sacrifices. You just have to decide what works best for you. I do not think how much time you spend with your child reflects how much you love them.

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M.K.

answers from Stationed Overseas on

I'm a SAHM with a 2 year old. No one cares for her except myself or my husband. I live in another country right now. We have no family here and I would not trust anyone, at all to stay with my child. She has another two years until preschool (late birthday) and depending on where we are in the world I would consider homeschooling. I spend all of her awake hours with her (she's currently napping). Although I am not always interacting with her.
I think it is quality not quantity in regards to spending time with your children.

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M.R.

answers from Phoenix on

I have never had anyone in my family watch my babies with my current husband. Not by choice. More by design. I would have loved the break for sure. Who wouldn't?

I did have a PT then FT nanny for about 1 year, when the spread between children was unmanageable. I had an active, not driving yet teenager with a pre schooler and a nursing baby and traveling husband.

I have also had 2 German Au Pairs, but not through an agency. These were young college women who lived with us temporarily, about 3 mos. at a time each whom we met through colleagues and they wanted an opportunity to live in America.

After placing my first daughter in 'the best' daycares to go back to work, and all she did was get sick all the time and come home with gum in her hair and pinworms and ringworm....I said I'll never pay for that again.

I tried a couple of in home daycares, and again, my reviews are plus/minus of those situations. Those lasted less than 2 mos. each due to undisclosed smoking, teenage boys hanging out too often, kids running around the street while caregiver was on the phone, oh and very large big breed dogs that were supposed to kept in an outdoor kennel.

Outside activities are typically one sport and one musical instrument after school, no more and no less.

I considered homeschooling, but I'm not patient enough. So they attend K-12 schools.

We recently moved to Canada and I'm really impressed with the 1 hour elementary school lunch break here where the little ones can go home and be with Mom. It's good for those that need that little extra mommy time and reconnect during the day. The kids are really happy here.

Except for being at school from 9am to 3:30pm, my kids are with me the rest of the time and under my guidance 7 days a week. I rarely go out in the evening with my husband anymore, as it's too complicated finding someone else to take them to their activities, feed them a nutritious dinner, help with homework and assignments, get them tucked into bed. I prefer to do all those activities with them. They seem to like a break from me once in a while..so I'm not completely opposed to having help. I'd rather invite their friends or families over here.

The whole reason I answered this question as it got me thinking about the number of out of control kids I have met over the years...and I don't necessarily think it's a simple matter of how much time is spent with a child, but a simple issue of how effective is the parent. It really only takes one positive parent to apply themselves to being a consistent, loving, nurturing and supportive mum/dad. Naturally, both parents are ideal, but that's not the truth for many families.

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