In my Feminism I post I stated:
“Why give birth to a child if you plan to have someone else raise him? I understand situations where this is unavoidable, but it should not be the norm. The disconnect a child feels by not being attached to either parent usually leads to trouble in the teenage years. ”
So what does unavoidable and disconnected mean?
Unavoidable in our modern society means that you have weighed staying home and going back to work. You have weighed what that looks like from a parenting perspective and what that looks like for your child. Do you feel you will provide him a better environment by going back to work or is the environment you can provide by staying home good enough? Would you feel personally fulfilled as a person staying home with your child, or do you need outside fulfillment to be a better mother? Sometimes the answers to these questions make going back to work unavoidable. This does not necessarily mean you will be putting your child in a situation where he feels disconnected, detached, or alone. I only wish that more mothers had the support and encouragement to stay home with their children, especially during the early years, but like I’ve stated before – its all about Intentions. If your intention is to be the best mother you can be, you will make the right decision for yourself and your family. Even if this means going back to work. Where I feel being home is ideal, I’ve known children who have had their mothers home with them that were more disconnected-detached than children who’s mothers went back to work. Being home is not the only factor in forming a strong attachment with your child.
There are ways to keep a strong attachment with your child if you decide to go back to work. First, avoid choosing a large daycare center where a caregiver has to split her attention between 4 infants and choose an in-home provider. Make sure this person is someone you trust. Someone you know will grow to love your child and care for him the way you would care for your child. Your child will form an attachment with this caregiver and not experience the despair many babies feel when separated from their mothers. Second, practice as many attachment parenting methods as possible. Be responsive to your child’s needs and keep him close. Breastfeed as long as possible; as long as it works and benefits you both. Mothers that return to work especially enjoy co-sleeping with their children. They often find that their children will breastfeed on a reverse schedule, feeding during the night and not eating during the day, because they are strongly attached with their mothers. Third, always do your best to communicate with your child that he is your number one priority. If your child knows this, he will trust your choices and forgive you for anything he may disagree with in his upbringing.
Keeping this strong attachment does not qualify as someone else raising your child. The child my heart goes out to in that situation is the one that does not have a strong attachment with either parent and spends most of his waking hours in daycare. When he is home his parents do not give him the attention he needs. He is being raised by someone else…