Dear Mr. VP,
Day seven of the hostage situation. The weather is freezing and the hostages are starting to rebel. The person keeping us hostage shows no mercy, demanding more games of Mousetrap.
Ah yes. School vacation. A time I contemplate how I used to do this by myself six days a week, 52 weeks a year, for two-and-a-half years and wonder how I survived, because on this sixth day I am ready to crawl into a hole. It’s true, I cried at dinner.
All this is to say: I know you think moms should stay home. And some parents stay home and absolutely love it. I think any parent who wants to stay home should have that option.
But let’s be clear that some of us are not built for this, and that’s okay. My kid thrives in his preschool: it’s better for both of us that he’s there. Going back to work was the best thing I ever did for both of us.
So, while yes, parents should be able to stay home if they choose, parents should also be able to go back to work if they choose. And for some people, that isn’t an economical proposition.
I live in a state where infant childcare, on average, costs $17,000/year. That’s impossible for plenty of parents. In my area, year round care costs between $20,000 and $25,000. When I left work, it was in part because that was more than half of my take home pay. What was the point of working?
Well, the point was my sanity, ultimately. And that’s true for a lot of moms I know, who are home because they feel pressured, either economically or by a society that doesn’t value working mothers, to be home, but wish they weren’t.
It doesn’t make you a bad mom if you want to work. Daycare and preschool are amazing. And they need to be affordable.
I understand why affordable childcare is not a priority for you; you’d prefer women stay home and out of the workplace, where you feel like they belong. Some of us don’t belong home, though. So….let’s solve this problem, yeah? For our sanity.