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So there’s this book out there now, perhaps you’ve heard of it: Be There.
It is a book about how it is crucial for moms to be with their kids from birth to age three. Awesome, another reason for me to feel guilty.
I haven’t read the book. I did talk to the author on a national radio talk show.
Here’s what I said to the author:
1) Not every woman gets a choice about whether or not she’ll stay home. I got four weeks of maternity leave and then had to go back to work, SOBBING through security at the airport. I had to go because I made ten times what my then husband did. We divorced shortly thereafter and then I REALLY had to keep working. I found excellent childcare for our son; I hired nannies who also had toddlers to come into my home; my son had someone to play with and I got the nannies for about half price since they didn’t have to pay for childcare by working for me. I didn’t have furniture, but who cares, I had great care for my son and the furniture showed up eventually.
2) It’s perfectly fine for Daddy to stay home. (The author had said that daddies have a different energy, much more about playing and less about nurturing.) My now husband stayed home with our kids for six and a half years till our youngest was three and could go to Montessori. Our kids still love me and they are the most athletic, fun-loving, gritty (and I mean that in a good way) kids you’d ever want to meet. They are active and brave and outdoorsy, and I give much of the credit for this to my husband.
3) Not every mother is cut out to stay home and they shouldn’t be guilted into doing something they are not happy with and won’t be good at. This will not make for a peaceful or a happy home. Grandma, Daddy or an excellent, carefully chosen daycare can all be great options for moms who would get cranky and resentful if they stayed home.
I will read the book. I feel I owe it to her after talking to her and she and I do agree that mom should BE THERE when she is there. I’ll let you know what I think.
Have a great day, Mamma. Build you life in the way that works for you and your family. To the best of your ability and resources. And love your kids. It will be fine.