Sunday, November 21, 2010


I think that regarding kids, there are basically three stands you can take.  Let me know if I'm leaving something out.  As I see it, you can believe:

1.  That nobody should have kids.
I actually find this to be a pretty reasonable point of view.  Objectively, it's hard to argue that having kids is a great idea.  The planet is crazy crowded, we here in the first world are using stuff about a zillion times as fast as other folks, global warming, etc. etc.  Obviously I had one anyway, but if you want to take the stand that giving birth was where I went wrong, I sort of feel you.

2. That only the very wealthy should have kids.
I'm sorry, but if you believe this, you are an asshat.  Please reassess your life and views.

3. That having kids is allowed, even for regular people.

If you believe #3, then I think you also have to agree that we regular people should be able to get our kids to and from daycare.  Right? 

The latest in a long string of insults from the workplace is that starting soon, everyone will have to work until 6 p.m., at the earliest.  Like most Seattle daycares that I know of, Soren's closes at 5:30.  Also, he is a baby, so he is sound asleep by 6:30 every night.  I am lucky lucky that I'm not a single parent, and right now Mr. A's schedule allows him to leave downtown really early so that he can pick our kid up before daycare starts charging $5 a minute.  But under this new plan I won't see Soren before he goes to sleep five nights a week.  It's kind of breaking my heart. 

Being a working parent has been hard.  I miss having days off with Mr. A, and it sucks that Soren has hardly any time awake when his parents are both around.  But up til now I have felt like my head was more or less above water.  I have told myself that Tim Gunn would be proud of me for Making It Work.  But only seeing my baby for a few minutes every morning, most days . . . that doesn't feel like success. 


Harriet M. Welsch said...

Are there other possible solutions? This seems to me to be a big problem that the workplace should be wanting to address and your argument that daycare ends at 5:30 is very rational. Would it be possible, for instance, to pick up Soren from day care and bring him to work for the last hour of the day? I brought my son to work with me when he was 6-12 months old and it was surprisingly productive. You might also try looking at the Women Employed website to see if there is any advice or assistance they can offer. They're based in Chicago, but I believe they work nationally. ( )

Anonymous said...

Most countries like the prospect of their present taxpayers making future taxpayers. They should learn to accomodate. For reals.

I have two kids.
Some have implied it was egoistic to have one in the first place. Possibly, compared to the fact that some people have children because they need extra hands in the field, and I had two because I thought it was "fun".
Some have also implied that it is now egoistic to not have kid nr. 3, because I think having two kids that might possibly see the world as we know end is enough. "But the next one might be the one that saves us!". Get that all. the. time.
Can't win really.

guybrarian said...

What about position 4: that EVERYbody should have kids. Not a lot - just one. Or half a one. Spread it around a little.

As for establishing working conditions that are appropriately supportive of families and flexible for our valued human resources, let me just go ahead and respond on the libraries behalf, in saying: "Appropriate?" "Flexible?" "Establishing?" "Resources?" "Families??" "Valued???" "Human!?!" "Working..?" "Conditions?"

Brandy said...

Oh, man. I'm lucky in that I have a crazy night-owl kid who stays up until the obscene hour of 7:30 pm, so working until 6 hasn't been a huge problem--but I still feel like I barely see him. So I know exactly what you're talking about, and how hard it is. It sucks to need a paycheck. At least Mr. Soggy Librarian has enough flexibility to do pick-up, and that's something--you're not relying on a baby-sitter to pick him up from daycare and then put him to bed. Is it possible to switch to a different daycare (she says, knowing how hard it is to find one the first time) that has more convenient hours, or is closer to the library so you could duck in at lunchtime? If you're going to miss bedtime either way, could you switch to doing the evening shift (I assume there's an evening available) and arrange a late drop-off with daycare, so you at least get a few hours in the morning?

Anonymous said...

That's not even reasonable. In fact, it's obscene. Is there a union? Really --- that is not right.