Thursday, May 04, 2006

Moms Rising

I found out about Moms Rising at Mothers Movement Online. (Why don't I have her on my link list? I don't know, but I'll have to fix that soon.) Please help out however you can. If all you can do is sign the online petition, it only takes a minute and can make a huge difference.

For my soapbox portion of this blog, let me say that there are two things on this petition that trouble me and in case there are others who might go over, read the petition and think, Naw... I can't really get behind that, I want to address my personal issues with it and why I still feel good about signing the petition.

I have mixed feelings about universal daycare and after-school programs. I know that makes me a crappy feminist, but there it is. For one I totally buy that old-fashioned idea that babies belong with their mamas for the most part. On the latter... I think six or seven hours a day of school is far more than plenty. Kids are so over-structured already that I just hate the idea of expanding their school day by three more hours.

I prefer to work toward options that allow longer maternity leaves, flexible work and good part time jobs. But of course, everything isn't just all about me. I have the choice to stay home or go to a good job and put my kids in high quality childcare. Other mothers don't. I will probably have the choice to work shorter hours or work together with my husband the picking up/dropping off at school routine or (worst case scenario) I'll probably have the choice to keep staying home. Other mothers don't.

Those two parts of that petition are far more likely to help mothers who due to lack of education, time or resources don't have the ability to advocate for themselves. And we owe it to their children to look out for them as best we can. But as a side note, I'm still reluctant on the after-school programs. I was a latch-key kid from the third grade on and while I don't think it's ideal, it was far preferable to staying at school until 6:00 every night. But then I'm sort of a "loner" so maybe that's just me.

I thought I might tackle "what the hell is wrong with Caitlin Flanagan" today too, but it wasn't meant to be... I'll try to do it next week.

In closing, a conversation with J (I hope it doesn't draw too many Googling Weirdos):

Mama: Should we have Brats for dinner tonight?
J: Rots?
Mama: Brats!

J: Fat sausages?
Mama: Yes.
J: On hamburger buns?
Mama: Hotdog buns.
J (eyes light up): Yeah!
I'm his favorite mom now.


Redneck Nerdboy! said...

Wow, he knows what a Brat is at his age? Very intelligent!

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with "latch key" kid is they are unattended and can get into trouble more easily.

Her Bad Mother said...

Thanks for posting those links!

Am waiting for your Flanagan piece! (For the record, epic War and Peace comments are always welcome chez Bad Mother, but so are links to great new posts tackling great subjects!)

Anjali said...

Staci, I can relate to what you say about your hesitations regarding the petition. If I can help it, I plan on staying home with my children until they start school (and then plan on one of us picking them up right after school). But as you point out, this is not a choice for many families, and it's time we all assist the causes for parents who lack choices when it comes to childcare. Kudos to MomsRising.

Anyway, between this post and the last, I'm getting a bit frightened about how much we think alike...

MommyWithAttitude said...

Anjali they say everyone has a twin out there somewhere, don't they? Maybe we've found our's!

The thing about passing laws like these is that it's not going to CAUSE you or me or anyone who thinks like we do to take advantage of being able to leave our kids in school for a longer day. That's what some people seem to fear.

Even if daycare was FREE, I still wouldn't go to work full time. The point is to make the best situation possible for people who are not in an ideal situation.

Even really "wealthy high powered feminists" are not going to be affected by it, because they have nannies, drivers, etcetera and all their kids will still come home from school, likely supervised to some degree until mom or dad get home.

I think that's what some right-wingers can't get through their thick skulls.

MommyWithAttitude said...

Her Bad Mother, I decided I'd better read Flanagan's book first (after I'd already written a thousand words ripping on her LOL). But I won't take too long to post it.

Jenn said...

And I though all day kindergarten was rough on my kids - I can't imagine making the day longer!
My son slept in school for the first half of the year - every afternoon. I like staying home with my kids. It's something I've always wanted to do.
We have 1 year maternity leave here (paid at 55%) which is better than most other countries. I worked from home for a little bit, but prefer to have my kids here, not at daycare.
I have a niece in daycare 5 days a week, and she's the most spoiled little brat on the face of the planet.

Anonymous said...

Mine goodwife is a stay-at-home momma and pageant clothing designer (currently planning for a fall pageant to benefit the Autism Society of America). While there are times she's ready to pull a King Harrod and slaughter 'em all, she likes being home with them. BUT, she also feels that a few hours here n' there with other kids would be nice.

I think B-A-L-A-N-C-E is the key: 12 hours at school in someone elses care, even if you're in 5th grade, is Too Damned Much, I don't care whatcha' say 'bout socialization, that's jes' wrong.

Food Mum said...

I've also been lucky enough to stay at home with my kids until they've started kindergarten. I heard from a German friend that they get 3 years maternity leave there, with a state benefit, and this counts for each child. So you could have first child then three years later the second and have six years at home with your kids before going back to work. Hope this makes for well adjusted kids - it should do!