Outsourced Parenting, Eh?

Dear Kaustubh

I have never read your blog earlier, but I read this particular piece which BlogAdda thought belonged to the Spicy Saturday Category.

I usually dont believe in advocating any kind of parenting advice to anyone because I firmly believe to each his/her own. My way of parenting is different from what my mother’s was and so on and so forth. Nor do I believe in writing about someone’s piece unless its something really hurting me!

But I must admit I was pretty upset when I read what you wrote about outsourced parenting on your blog.

I think your child is EXTREMELY lucky to have you around all the time. Unfortunately there are parents like me, who dont have a job which allows work from home and which means we are out of the house full time and who arent lucky enough to be ‘around’ their kids all the time.

My kid goes to a daycare and school and is away from me and the husband about 10 hours a day. If I read your post, what you are trying to say is that my kid will eventually have no connection with me. We will have to ‘pretend’ to have a strong bond but in reality our relationship will be on tenterhooks.

and then of course there will be no way I can fix this because the damage has already been done since the child is already 5 years. and thirdly, my child is growing to grow up with zero self confidence and no ability to think independently!

and of course in my old age when I need her, she will say ‘you left me at daycare and I will leave you in an old age home’ is it?

and of course, I have missed out on the bestest things in life, like watching my child grow?

God, unfortunately, has given me a dull brain to ponder about what you have just said.

Do you really think that every child which goes to the daycare has such issues?

Gee! thats scary!

and you really believe that parents like ‘outsourcing’ their parenting?

Whats wrong in handing over the kid to a person who loves kids and volunteers to take care of such a kid? Are you telling me you take care of your kid ALL THE TIME?

Whats wrong in sending a child to a playgroup if you have to go to work? Its better than leaving them at home alone eh?

Whats wrong in looking for someone who is willing to attend to a child so that you can ‘breath’. As long as that person is nice and reliable, I think its a win win situation, that someone is happy and the child is happy to play eh?

Whats wrong in recruiting a baby sitter? What if both the parents work?? The better option is the hire a reliable baby sitter isnt it?

What if I dont want to impose my parents or inlaws with taking care of my baby?

I must admit I am a bit flummoxed with your arguments. Yes I agree, making a kid sit in front of the TV all day long is not an option at all, but the others?? You call it outsourcing, I call it ‘smart parenting’ or ‘living an individual’s life’

Once you become a parent doesnt mean you live only for your child. Yes, the child is an integral part of your identity, but dont give up stuff in life because you have a child. There is nothing wrong in asking people (reliable and nice) around you to contribute to their upbringing.

I find it very absurd that you think that an ‘outsourced’ kid lacks confidence. I thought it was the other way round honestly.

I would love you to meet up with my brat and perhaps check how many of your arguments are really true.

The brat and I share the most amazing bond till date. and the brat is one of the most independent kid I have met (sometimes a bit too much!) and I dont think I have missed anything great despite getting back to work in 3 months after delivery. For me, even if I missed her first walk, the moment she walked for me, I consider it her first, yaada yaada.

and oh! I dont think I would prefer being around with her when she is old enough and I am older enough. We both can lead our independent lives eh?

This piece is not to provoke you or tell you that you are wrong and we are right or anything. This piece is just to let you know that sometimes parents like us have no choice but to ‘outsource‘. I do hope you understand.

and again, your kiddo is really really lucky to have you around ‘all the time’

Regards

R’s Mom

Cross Posted here

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72 Responses to Outsourced Parenting, Eh?

  1. The Bride says:

    “sometimes parents like us have no choice but to ’outsource‘.” And some of us have a choice and still choose to outsource. I could have stayed home full time and we’d be okay on V’s salary. Or he could have stayed home and we’d have a to cut back a bit but survive on mine. But we both wanted to work. In V’s case he actually does want to stay home but he feels he needs to save enough to do so comfortably. And in my case, I would probably like to work part-time because I cannot be around the kids 24/7. Right now, we both chose to work full-time and everyone seems fine.

    The irony of that piece is that he stayed home and still outsourced the hard part to his parents. Heh. So was he implicating himself in the lazy then?

    Also, this idea that ‘modern’ parents are some new-fangled breed is exaggerated. Even in the past, parents would get a break by handing off their kids to willing volunteers. That was the whole advantage of large families living together, I thought. And I’ve observed it going on since I was a kid at least, one of the reason I insisted I didn’t like children is I wouldn’t be handed the younger kids in the family to push on the swing etc.

    • R's Mom says:

      In my case, I dont think we can live the way we live on one salary and hence both of us HAVE to work..and yes the point being, I like working too…I dont think I can be a SAHM unless its a really difficult situation which needs me at home 🙂

      and yes, you are right, even in earlier times, people did have large families to get some time off managing kids ALL THE TIME eh? Thats an important aspect as well

    • paatiamma says:

      You gave me food for thot..Where are you all the time! Not a post for quite sometime!

  2. Santulan says:

    This is what I wrote there:

    Hello,

    It is very nice of you to manage your work in such a way that you can spend more time looking after your kid than what others are able to.

    As you rightly said, fewer parents are with their kids than the parents of the previous generations. What we need to see is why? In many cases, both the parents are working parents who cannot get work at home and must travel to office and back. While work in itself can be a pain, add to that travel. At the height of her commute, my mom had to travel a good 200 kilometers every day. In my current job I have to travel 100 kms a day as part of the commute. People do come back all drained to the house.

    Add to that now , they have to take care of the kid. Try understanding that these are people who come back exhausted (mentally &/or physically) from work, and then get woken up in the night due to baby cries, or sleep late because the baby hasn’t slept, and so on. It takes a toll.

    Given a choice, they would obviously want to spend more time with their kid, but they have to work to make ends meet, or maintain their lifestyle. Even money is not an issue, having kid doesn’t mean you give up your own identity. Which is why they have someone from the family who doesn’t go to work anymore (typically the grand parents or if there is an uncle/aunt) help by taking care of the baby &/or hire a baby sitter.

    I agree that if kids are not brought up in a positive and encouraging environment, it can be detrimental for their growth. Which is why when parents can’t be there in person to look after the kid, they have someone from the family or the baby sitter to do so. Sure, the baby sitter may not love the kid but atleast the kid is being taken care of.

  3. Its very rare that I dislike a post, but Big K’s post on outsourced parenting and the way he feels so bad for daycare kids makes me think he is like a frog in a well who has seen only one part of world.

  4. I read the original post and thought the arguments were pretty weak. And the supposed negative consequences were pretty lame too…not based no any research as such. Research shows that giving a child your full attention when they ask for it is more helpful than blocks of quality time. And in any case, having a parent around all the time is not necessarily an indicator of the kind of connection you have with them. And that I speak from experience. My mum was a homemaker but I always wished she had worked. I don’t think we spent much quality time together when I was younger as all I can remember is her nagging me to study! It only got better as I got older and she started to let me do my own thing. Independence and intelligence is not in any way related to how much a parent is around! I agree with your statement “I find it very absurd that you think that an ‘outsourced’ kid lacks confidence. I thought it was the other way round honestly.”

    P.S. I thought you were very polite in your response! I doubt I would have been…

    • R's Mom says:

      I am not trying to provoke or anything rey…I just wanted to let him know that there are parents who need dto put their kids in daycare and I dont think thats outsourcing..

      Sweet of you to say that you wanted your mom to work 🙂

  5. I am simply aghast after (a) reading that post linked by you , and (b) that Blogadda chose to highlight it.

    I know SAHM who have no clue as to what their kids are up to. I know working moms who are very involved in the nurturing and development of their kids. And I fail to understand a post that has such binary conclusions; your kids will be wonderful if you are a SAH person, and terrible and disconnected otherwise.

    I am a senior citizen parent. Both my kids attended a creche in the early years when we worked. We didnt “outsource” per se, as in software. We had a respectful but fun and close relationship with the lady who helped us look after the kids, at her residence. We kept in touch and attended events in her family in later years. We even discussed academic progress of the kids because there were other kids in the creche and she had a different useful overall perspective. I have never regretted bringing up kids this way.

    So many today, work the fine line between doing a decent job, and giving quality time and attention to the kids, , sacrificing , what so many theoretical advisors define as me-time and us-time. I see tons of working parents with amazing well mannered loving kids.

    R’s Mom. I am glad you wrote this post. And I am so angry , I can only shake my head.

  6. paatiamma says:

    Hi RM, AM yet sorted out in this particular issue..However let me put forth my views on how parenting itself has evolved.

    My great grandma had 13 + kids. I am not very sure how much time she had to “manage every one of the kids ALL THE TIME” when she still had to manage the household chores and feeding a large family despite having support . My Grandma had 5 kids but she was in a nuclear set up. I am not very sure how much time she had to “manage every one of the kids ALL THE TIME” when she still had to manage the household chores despite having a house help. Kids grew up on their own only “even in the good old days” under the wings of other elders or siblings.

    The recent concept of “managing the kids ALL THE TIME” is from SAHM who had the opportunity to spend more time with kids due to the imposition of the two child policy by the govt. Some women of the same generation had an opportunity of education and a support system which encouraged them to work “outside” the home as well. They too have amazing children who are bonded well with their parents as well.

    Working outside home and then managing kids esp when they are small is extremely challenging when managed all by a single woman. It is OK to ask help !

    The article written by the author is indeed prejudiced!

    • R's Mom says:

      Working outside home and then managing kids esp when they are small is extremely challenging when managed all by a single woman. It is OK to ask help ! – I so so agree to this!

  7. chaitali says:

    Each Parent has his or her limitations, so everyone tries to find a convinient option and follow it.
    So i don’t think it is right to judge anyone’s parenting ability, since every parent care his/her child in his/her own ways.

  8. Mini Nair says:

    Hi R’s Mom,
    You have these kind of ideas floating around just to ‘unsettle’ us. It is nice to be around the kids all the time! However it is not a prerequisite for well turned out children!!!!I and you and scores of other working women should be godammn proud of ourselves that we are capable of taking care of ourselves and raising a kid as a better human being!
    So cheers to you and me!!!!!!!

  9. Sumana says:

    Rm, after reading your post, i did not bother to go over to read that post. I really hate such kind of views anyways. Seriously the right answer.

  10. Smita says:

    That post deserved no reaction. Seriously!!! As I have said in her blog, If only we stop being judgemental to others world would be a better place! Really!

    I can write a lot because I am in the same boat but as I have said the post deserves no reaction. It doesn’t. If Big K is happy with what he (he is a he na?) wrote good for him…let him live in the bubble that he is the best parent around then Good for him!!!!

    • R's Mom says:

      Errr..on whose blog did you say about being judgemental??

      Well, if Big K believes his parenting is right, I am not disputing that…I am just asking him to look at the other side of the story as well!

  11. Sreetama says:

    Read both the post & absolutely agree with your points. I feel Mr. Big K is definitely lucky to get the opportunity to work from home & own a startup so be his own boss. Every parent would like to spend as much time as possible with their kids but they have a life too. If parents start dedicating 100% of their time for their kids, they will lose living their own lives. I certainly do not agree with the points like there would be lack of bond/connect, confidence & independence. Rather, they become more independent and confident in life. I have a lot of examples around me, including my father who was raised almost by himself as both my grandparents were working. And children definitely are not Sunny Deols who will go after Badle ki Aag. (You left me at daycare in my childhood, now I’ll leave you at old age homes!) Frankly, there are some old age homes which are awesome and people willingly go to them to stay in peace rather than having their children shunning them & living a life of majboor budhapa!

  12. Ramya says:

    Really RM… true words… still I feel my son who is in day care is much more independent, responsible and matured than my sis in law’s kid who was brought up at home and is elder to him. And the point that he still wants me around irrespective of school or day care or home, says the bonding i have with him… Had I been home along with him, I would have been really tired (naughty guy you know) and he lazy and me smacking and all which would have just given a bad bonding… Judging any parent (Mom or Dad) is nobody’s job… Everybody knows whats good for their kid and everybody has their own style of bringing up babies

    • R's Mom says:

      I wouldnt go to the extent of comparing children because each is different, but to say that the one in the daycare is not loved enough is not right !

  13. Nidaa says:

    I find the other party’s arguments pretty douche (sorry for the bad lang). But these morally superior types who thinks that they are doing a big favour to society by staying with the kids ‘all the time’ just irk me.
    Its not quantity but quality of time that matters – like you & R have… inspite of staying away from each other for 10+ hours every day, you & R communicate more than most SAHMs I know…

    • R's Mom says:

      Ah well, he is entitled to his opinions, but I thought his post was a bit judgemental..which is why I wrote this one…Yes, quality time with kids is very important..and hopefully R will realise that one day 🙂

  14. Nameeta says:

    A biggg applause to you RM!! You spoke my heart out…

  15. I read this post too and the first thought that came to me was ‘God! How did Blogadda pick this up!’ Sigh. Like Smita says, I don’t think the post deserves any reaction at all. Mr Big K is living a very cocooned life which makes his thought process very limited. His arguments and conclusions seem to be very lame and immature.

    I know of n number of Stay at Home moms who are clueless about their kids. And, a lot more Working moms who nurture and bring up their kids so well (my mom included!) Sigh. What can I say?! I feel sad that there are educated people with such limited exposure but choose to judge nevertheless.

  16. Smitha says:

    You know what, RM, I am a SAHM at the moment, but I would take up a job in a jiffy. I went back to work when daughter was 4.5 months old, and to be honest, I don’t think she was impacted in any bad way. The only reason I left my job had to do with me, not her. She loved day care and we still had thatbond. I dont think just by being at home makes better parenting. I wish that were the case. If anything, I have seen parents who work go that extra mile because they are already under that extra pressure. I have a choice of staying at home or working and I would choose to work. I just don’t seem to get a job these days:)

    At the end of the day, it is what works for each one of us. What works for us as a family that matters.

  17. arghh I read the article and was astonished to read his arrogant reply to those who have posted some sensible comments.

    Arey ask me…..I don’t work and I would still be more than willing to hand over the brats to anyone who would volunteer to take care of them for a few hours 😛

  18. AA_Mom says:

    OMG!. Just because he has the fortune of being around his kid all the time – it doesn’t automatically give him the right to judge others.

    I think he is just being narrow minded – if he were to be away from his kid, I am sure he will find ways to avoid the things he has listed and just because he cannot think of that situation right now he is assuming the worst.

    To each his own, I am glad this works for him and the set up I have works for me and my kids – One thing he needs to understand is that most parents gives their best to that relationship and that is why there are so many options out there.

    • R's Mom says:

      One thing he needs to understand is that most parents gives their best to that relationship and that is why there are so many options out there. – I guess you are right!

  19. Ancy says:

    Its time we stopped romanticising the role of parents, especially mothers so much. Yes, it is an awesome awesome experience. But there is a lot more to it than shadowing your children 24/7 and koochi kooing at their awesomness. There are hard economic and social realities within which all this has to take place.

    I am currently a SAHM, my mother was a working woman. But I have the sense to know that the choice I made is a privillege and does not automatically entitle me to the – mother of the year title neither are there guarantees that my child would turn out to be well adjusted person who will nurse me in my old age because I am around all the time. I hope and pray she grows up to be a happy, independent, individual and I have a happy, independent old age, without having to burden her with my expectations.

    Yes there are times I wished Amma was around more, was more available. But I realised (long before I became a mother myself) that she was the one who is having the hardest time of all, not me, not my brother, not my father. And she was doing it for us so that we have a better quality of life, and yes she wasdoing it for herself also, she had struggled for an education, she had struggled to get a job and income, she saw no reason to throw it all away, so she did all she could to make it work. Period. If anything I love and respect her more for that. Not less.

    I dont think motherhood should be allowed to vapourises the woman or her aspirations. Neither should anybody be allowed to sit judgement on personal choices, especially on matters so close to the heart.

    • R's Mom says:

      I guess your Amma is someone we all can look for inspiration! Thanks for writing in Ancy…and you are so right about stop romanticising the roles of parents..so so true! I loved your last comment

  20. pixie says:

    I don’t mean any disrespect to this person, but I didn’t like the implications of his post.
    Just because both parents are working outside of the house, doesn’t damage the kids!!
    Some of the best parents I know , responsible ones are the ones where both spouses are working outside!
    Its the individual family’s choice and outsiders shouldn’t be judging so harshly without knowing the complete story!
    One shouldn’t generalize parenting like that!

  21. Varsh says:

    Oh dear! I don’t know why people feel they’re certified to speak for parents worldwide! I’ve been through this parenting nonsense myself. Had a spat with a couple of my friends over it too. I totally believe in, to each his own. I never comment on anyone’s ways and don’t like my ways being questioned either.
    And yes, having a child is not the end of a woman’s life. When I decided to start studying now, it wasn’t met with approval from my in-laws family. I didn’t care, and retorted that I made them happy when A Jr was born by leaving my job immediately. This doesn’t mean I loved doing it.
    I don’t think even the word ‘outsourcing’ is right here, honestly. Children aren’t a project or a product to outsource! It needs lot of sacrifice to trust someone enough with one’s child. Such things cannot be degraded by using such foul language or tone.

    • R's Mom says:

      I am glad you continued with the job Varsh…you are an inspiration to go ahead with the job despite the lack of approval…people like you make me feel so proud

      • Varsh says:

        Err…no dear. I did leave my job but not for buckling under pressure. My boy was born underweight and had health issues. I convinced myself to leave my job, with a lot of difficulty.
        But yes, if going ahead with your plans and trying to get a professional degree after having a child can be an inspiration, then I guess I’d like more women to go ahead and do it. 🙂

  22. My parents worked. My mom was at home few times while switching jobs and I went to creche as well. All that while changing 7 schools and 4 cities courtesy dad’s transfers. Yet I have an extremely close relationship with my parents. It did not make me ‘dumb’ either. Masters in Mech Engg from a premier institute. I am in USA not because I want to ‘leave’ them. But to fulfil some of ‘our’ dreams. And my mom working and being careful about their monies made me fiercely independent and career oriented. It taught me passion and ambition. Kudos to my mom for that. And my dad worked late yet I was and am his princess without being a spoilt only child. My ‘gifts’ werent bribes, but earned rewards. I am sending them this article as a thank you for bringing me up just fine even if they are ‘guilty’ of ‘outsourcing their parenting’.

    • R's Mom says:

      Ah! See you are an example of a rocking kid who went to daycare but shares such a lovely lovely relation with her parents..thanks for writing :):)

  23. freakyveggie says:

    Totally agree with you R’s Mom, Kids when grown up should not feel indebted because their parents have sacrificed everything for them. Each one should live their dreams, and teach their kids to do the same….

  24. bhavanahr says:

    Both my parents worked full time when I was a kid. Maybe that is why your blog is so close to my heart. I get a sense of deja vu when I read about your daily routine. I am very prOud of the fact that both my brother and I were very independent. Something which my husband and his siblings were not, despite having a stay at home mom. And i have wonderful memories of my childhood. I have heard such ridiculous comments being made to me by a few. They talk as if my mom used to leave us on the road. Whereas, Daycare center and the lady who ran it(with whom we are still in touch with) made me more confident and interactive. Summer hols meant camping at aunts places in various cities with all cousins. Each of my aunts(five!!!) and mom would take a week’s leave when it was their turn and ensure we had the bestest summer hols. Cut to today… despite being in different continents, my mom and I are very much close. And that extends to all my aunts too..each of whom work and have kids who are independent and have turned out more than alright.

  25. telugumom says:

    Everybody has their own way of parenting. There is no right or wrong way of doing it. Of course we need help doing it. Everybody needs help because we are not super humans. Kids are part of our life. They are not the only things we have in life! and there is nothing wrong in kids going to day care.

    If somebody can afford to stay home when the kids are young, then good for them. But, if not, we should be supportive and help them in any way possible. We should not be calling them dumb!!

    I have been a SAHM and it is not all good either. When my son was over 2 years, he was bored in the house. So, we started sending him to day care and he just loved it there. The kids learn so much from all the other kids in the day care. We cannot provide that atmosphere at home ever.

  26. UmaS says:

    Very valid points, R’s mom…first and foremost of all is parenting methods and priorities are different for each parent and they need not be the same. And there is nothing that is generalised to the topic called parenting. Each child is different and should be handled differently too…

    Outsourcing is an individual’s choice as is his choice to sit through the kid…but how much quality time one spends with the kid is what matters !!!

    Am glad you wrote your heart out in this post…hugs 🙂

    • R's Mom says:

      Hugs right back!

      first and foremost of all is parenting methods and priorities are different for each parent and they need not be the same. – Yes so so true!

  27. Ashwathy says:

    No comments now. I am sure I will have an opinion on this in a few years 🙂 Will let you know then.

  28. nurali says:

    Well written, I don’t think I fit into a category of morden parent in anyway , so pardon me for my outdated views but having faced this question ourselves, All I know is child is closest to a mother when he or she is born and life will gradually drifts him or her away and one has to decide for what price they would trade this previledge and luxury of being an exclusive company of their offspring. Some just want to trade it at throwaway price, some would trade only part of it and some would be prepared to go bankrupt but trade it.

    My wife is in last category but I always wish she could be in second category.

    • R's Mom says:

      But Nurali, its an individual perspective…Your wife may have traded off, but I have never heard her being judgmental about it…infact whenever she and I have had discussions about this (when you are not around!) she has always been very positive of the fact that I leave my child at the daycare…she wants to raise her child a certain way and I want to raise mine a certain way..there is not right or wrong..its just a matter of perspective..but never is she judgmental about it eh?

  29. Divya says:

    Stupid article, don’t dignify it by showing importance. Seems like he is punishing his parents by making them watch his kid while still lounging around. They have to look after him as well as his baby, without their perks of enjoying TV. Here in US, working parents not only work full time, look after kids but do all the household chores ourselves. No help whatsoever. All this with hectic kids based activities on weekends, which we all happily do. Our kids all perfectly fine. Did anyone notice, no mention of wife anywhere. The article almost seemed sexist.

    • R's Mom says:

      Its tougher in the US having to do everything by yourself I guess!

      • Divya says:

        Yes it is, we don’t have ton of commute (at least in my case) but that offset all the office, house and kid work. Also a point to be added without going into to much details I wish my parents had outsourced part of their parenting. My mom sacrificed EVERYTHING for us and in-turn suffocating us ( me n my bro) to the extent we ran out of the house at first chance given ( him for education n work, me by choosing to marry for sole purpose to get out of the mad house). I wish my mom had chosen to work and seen the world outside and did have a “life” of her own, she shunned friends and relative to make sure we got her 100% attention. Being a parent myself I appreciate all that my parents did but they never knew a life without us kids, and now the empty nest feeling they blame us for leaving them all alone. In short, if my parents had chosen to share their work with someone all four us had better life then and even now.

        • R's Mom says:

          Thanks for sharing this Divya..this gives a completely different outlook to the argument that mothers need to stay at home for the benefit of their children! big hugs to you!

  30. Amit says:

    The last thing a working parent needs is someone being judgmental about how he/she is raising a kid. How can we generalize a situation that varies from home to home is a bit difficult for me to understand. Most of us do not have a choice. And why does a person has to sacrifice a career for a child?

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