by JAMES WILKINSON
Doesn’t anyone want to look after their kids anymore? Is it my imagination or is it now the norm to palm them off to childcare as soon as we are able, so we can get on with our own lives?
As a stay home dad, I fully know what a thankless, exhausting and alienating job full-time parenting can be but does that mean we should give that responsibility to someone else?
I know that for some parents there really isn’t a lot of choice these days, with the cost of living skyrocketing and the amount of money required to be part of the great Australian dream of home ownership means that two incomes are almost absolutely essential.
I also know that some parents really don’t want to be looking after kids all day. They have their lives and their careers and why should they give up what they like doing when you can call in the professionals?
Many people I meet are surprised when I tell them we have decided to keep our child at home with one of us until at least the age of three. “Why?” they ask, “when you could both be working and getting ahead?”
Getting financially ahead? My wife and I agree that we would happily sacrifice a little getting ahead to be able to spend some beautiful time with our growing little bundle. After all she is our child and the responsibility is ours and ours alone.
What I can’t understand is that the amount of money required to send a child to child care (up to $150 AUD per day per child) can, in a lot of cases almost negate the income earned from the second parent working!
In other words, if the second income is solely for the purpose of sending your kids to child care then there seems to be little financial benefit for the consequence of spending less time with your little ones.
Grandparents’ houses are often used as pseudo child care centers and this can help with the financial burden as well as encouraging bonding – but as it is in the nature of grandparents to spoil their grandkids, discipline can become a problem when the child is back in the family home.