Three days after model Rachael Finch was front-page news about her child care arrangements we are all still talking about it.
On the weekend the model and mother-of-one revealed to The Daily Telegraph that her two-year-old daughter, Violet spends from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning each week with her husband’s mother.
She said that she and her husband Michael Miziner relished the time to themselves.
“Every weekend [Violet] goes to Mish’s mum’s house, and we get our weekend to ourselves. I think that’s incredibly healthy for the relationship. And on Sunday, when we pick her up, we have 100 per cent energy back.”
Rachael Finch and her partner Michael Mizner. Via Instagram
As you can imagine it generated a massive backlash.
The criticism of Rachael and her partner came in two main forms. Some with the “why have them if you don’t want to spend time with them argument.”
One woman wrote on Facebook “Why have kids if ur just going to hand them off every weekend?! She’s a working mother obviously so how much time is she actually spending with her child?! Selfish i think!”
A comment liked by 837 people.
Finch was told she was missing out on "vital family time", that she would "regret it" that what she was doing “wasn’t parenting.”
“I don't usually judge other people's parenting” wrote another “ but this isn't parenting, so I feel I can judge. Parenting is having your eyelids prised open at 6am on a Sunday by someone demanding weetbix.”
And many thousands more all going along the lines of this:
“This is so unrealistic! You don't have a kids so u can give them away EVERY weekend!
What no one bothered to criticize in the onslaught of comments was her husband for his part in dropping them at his mother’s house.
Obviously those on this side of the argument feel the maternal pull to a child should be stronger than that of a father.
But on the other (very well manicured) foot was a whole legion of parents who defended Finch with the “it take as a village” point of view. –
“Great she is putting her relationship with her partner first”
“Fabulous to develop a relationship with her grandparents“
“Good on them. Putting time and effort into your marriage is a long term benefit to your kids”
And then there were those who were simply jealous. “I have four kids under five and what I would do for a night off. Good for her.”
Rachael Finch is a celebrity and makes her living from exposure such as this. In choosing to speak out about her childcare arrangements in her front-page spread she would have known there would be backlash to her unusual arrangements.
After all they really are unusual.
Yesterday afternoon after a massive day on my legs. This plus magnesium makes my legs ????Violet also had a big day playing and swimming with Papa ???? A photo posted by Rachael Finch (@rachael_finch) on Jan 19, 2016 at 12:30pm PST
What we don’t really know when we judge her for this is why she does it.
Is it simply to ensure she devotes her time to her partner?
Is it due to her weekend work commitments?
Are there private reasons to do with mental health or financial issues?
Does she devote her weekdays to spending quality time with her beautiful daughter?
Or did motherhood just slap her in the face with its completely life changing manner in a way she never expected and she is still desperately clinging to the assumption that life can go on as before.
When we all know it simply can’t.
Rachael Finch's story made me sad. Images via Instagram
What the story made me feel was sadness.
I felt sorry for Rachael Finch and Michael Miziner’s daughter.
I know that personally I couldn’t do what they do. I couldn’t hand my three kids over to their grandmother for two nights a week without feeling a deep sense of loss, without feeling that I was missing out on what I got into this game for – to be their mother.
But my sorrow for their daughter was more about me than them. From all accounts tiny Violet Miziner Finch is as happy as any two-year-old would be spoilt rotten by a devoted grandma every weekend.
My sadness came when I imagined me trying to do this.
But my life is different, I work during the week, my older two kids are at school, the precious memories we make are on the weekend.
What it came down to was that I am not Rachael Finch. None of us are and our feelings about her life - whether critical or supportive - are all motivated by vastly different reasons.
Yesterday Finch was forced to take to social media to defend herself.
She wrote: "A Mother should never be made to feel they are not good enough for their child when they are doing everything they can to keep them safe, happy and loved. Only the parents of a child truly know what is best and should always have faith in their decisions.
"I value dearly the relationship Violet has with her Grandmother and I believe this is one of the most important and influential relationships growing up.
"I work hard so that I can provide the best future for the amazing soul we have created. I won't ever stop believing in her or the strength of the family unit."
Rachael Finch while pregnant with Violet. Source: Instagram
Her mother in law - the woman at the center of the furore – also responded:
Irina Berlago wrote: " I am very lucky to have my kids Rachael and Misha trust me with the most Loving treasure of their life Violetta! I am looking forward to the end of the week because I know I will have her in my arms over weekend. Older people say 'You love your kids but you are crazy about your grandkids ' and this is true I have fantastic relationship with my kids, we are best friends and being part of this loving family makes my life complete.”
It says it all really.
Violet is happy, her grandma is happy. Rachael and Michael are happy with their decision.