While I'm sure working parents get their fair share of intrusive and/or insulting comments, I just have to go on a little rant about one that I get as a SAH. I've heard it many times and it's so absurd that I need to set the record straight.
Hear this, people: The fact that my toddler isn't in daycare is not stunting his "socialization."
This should be so obvious that it's almost hard to blog about it. Do I really need to tell people that "staying home" with a toddler would more aptly be called "getting out of the house"? Do people really not realize that at-home parents involve their kids in lessons, activities, and play dates as much as possible? Should I really be telling people: "Oh, it's okay, my gym has a childcare room - thank goodness; it's all that's preventing my child from a life of social awkwardness!!!"? And what do these people think about "The Greatest Generation" or the baby boomers - do the vast majorities these generally pre-daycare generations all lack socialization? Tell that to you grandmother!
I've twice now had people I've met at playgrounds ask me if I'll eventually put Matthew in daycare "for the socialization." Really?? Would anybody ask a working mother if she planned to eventually stay home "for the _[fill in the blank]__." I sure hope not.
I always reply that when my son is 3, he'll go to preschool. What I'd like to add is that 3 is also the age where what is now almost exclusively "parallel play" will become interactive. Having worked in the 1 and 2 year old rooms of a daycare, I can confirm all those studies that so state. Want to know how else I can confirm that? I watch my son do parallel play all the time... on play dates and at parks, splash parks, beaches, museums, gymboree, etc.
Tonight at the park, another toddler boy was being somewhat aggressive with my son and eventually took a toy from him. My son is a pretty calm, sweet guy (with other kids... just not when I tell him it's time to leave the park) and redirected his attention elsewhere - without any help from me. His mother, whom I had just met, said to me:
"Your son just shares so well and he just rolls with it! Are you sure he's not in *any* daycare?!"
Nope, he's not. And no - that's not astounding.