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No real decision has been made

February 5th, 2011 | Posted by Amy Boughner in Issues | Parenting | Personal

When I was pregnant, very early on, the thought of finding a day care to send my child to every day – before I’d even met them – caused me to burst into tears.

I knew all along that I would be going back to work because there was no way we could live on one salary. I have student loans that I have to pay every month, we’ve got rent and car payments and insurance and groceries and and and…

Before I was pregnant, the idea of being a stay at home mother didn’t interest me at all. In fact there was even the idea that Joe would take leave and I would go back right away, but when he changed jobs that wasn’t an option any more. So I took my leave, and I registered for day care waiting lists almost as soon as I hit 13 weeks.

The whole time I was at home I knew I would be going back to work and there were days when the thought was easier to take than others. I can’t say I made the choice to work outside the home as a mother, but I can’t say I wouldn’t have made that choice if I had the option. I do happen to think that day care has been very good for my kid – exposing her to different people and different play.

Diane Finley says that I want to pay someone else to raise my child. She says that her government’s Child Tax Benefit gives me the choice whether to stay home or work, the way a national daycare plan wouldn’t.

I say that’s bullshit.

Putting your kid in daycare is not a choice for a lot of families, mine included, and thanks to paying for daycare my salary has been virtually cut in half. That’s quite a bit more than the $100 a month Child Tax Benefit. I know people who have chosen to stay home because the daycare would eat up all their second income anyway. I guess that’s choice?

I’m not going to lie, I love working. I think my job makes me a happier, more whole person. I know that being at home and taking care of kids is a very hard job, I did it for a year and there were times I couldn’t handle it, now I’m glad that we have a daycare provider that I trust and that the Baby Girl likes so that I can work without guilt – guilt that the government apparently thinks I should feel.

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