by JAMES WILKINSON
Last Friday, James wrote a post for Mamamia where he asked the question “Does anyone look after their kids anymore?” (You can read that post in full here)
James argued that there is a ‘norm’ where it is acceptable for parents to ‘palm their kids off’ in child care and he questioned the benefits of this for children.
The response from the Mamamia community was intense, with the story attracting thousands of readers and hundreds of passionate comments. Since reading the comments from Mamamia readers, James has provided this response. He has changed his mind.
Dear MM readers,
Thank you all so much for your honest comments. I spent most of the weekend reading through every single comment carefully and can only express my extreme horror that I have managed to offend so many people in so many different ways with my own personal ramblings and sweeping generalisations.
What is blazingly clear to me is that I am completely out of touch with the community in general on this issue. That does not surprise me as the Stay at Home Dad (SAHD) does not belong to a community.
The general consensus is that I am judgmental and self-righteous, criticising others for their choices to make myself feel better. Looking back on the article I have to agree with you all but that was never my intention.
I wrote that post in my blog (you know, that place where you are allowed to spout all your hopes dreams and frustrations no matter how ridiculous) after a particularly degrading day as a SAHD. I had been told that I was lazy, that I should get a job and put our two year old child in care so that she would be better off and we could buy a house.
In addition I was completely ignored by two ladies at the playground while our children were playing together. They spoke to each other just not to me. This is not the first time.
So I come home feeling incredibly fired up with no one to talk to and try to justify my own existence as a SAHD by having a rant on my site about feeling judged and ignored by the community at large.
It is ironic that I ended up judging and hurting everyone else instead. How sad and how sorry I am especially to those poor struggling Mums and Dads who don’t have any choice and already feel guilty about their child care decisions.
For the record I don’t claim to be an expert on children or anything for that matter and despite how I have come across I most certainly don’t want to judge anyone’s choices. Every caring parent does the best that they can for their individual circumstances.