Very recently I read an article by a fellow blogger on Outsourced Parenting. Now what is outsourced parenting, you may ask? In his respectable opinion, the people who choose to go to work all day and delegate the major part of the growing up of their children to the daycares and the nannies and the baby sitters or anyone else who is willing to take the responsibility voluntarily are ‘modern’ parents who are ‘lazy’ and will end up having no ‘connect’ with their children.
Let me express my opinion on this very interesting perspective. To start with, I am a mom who works from home and I made this choice on the basis of my personal circumstances and situations. I was fortunate enough to have the option to turn my hobby into my career and hence work from home. In IT, which was my profession before I left my job, I would have nearly no choice of working from home barring a few companies. And so does many of the other career choices. They simply do not offer the privilege of working from home. And If I think hard, do all of us even prefer to work from home? I say no and it is perfectly fine.
I know many moms and for that matter many dads who handle full time jobs, play and spend time with their kids when they are home and manage kids’ hobby classes and tantrums on weekends. So will you call them ‘lazy’ or ‘super efficient’? The pick is yours. They are balancing being an individual and a parent at the same time and that does not call for any trip down the guilt lane.
What is wrong in wanting to have a career after having kids? Does your life stop after having kids? If tomorrow I get the option to start working full time and I choose to do it, does this mean I don’t love my child or am I guilty of wanting an individual life? I say no. Parenting is not meant to bind you, it is meant to help you explore another dimension of life. ‘The child is your shadow’ does not have to be taken in the literal sense. If I want to spend some time alone with my friends or my husband or even with myself, I will happily send my child over for a play date or for the whole day in a daycare or to his grandparents. Yes, we are modern parents who like to have a life of their own and do not want to always think about our children and I simply ask what is wrong with that.
And how does that make the emotional bond with the children weaker is something that totally mystifies me. Why is there an innate need to send others on the guilt trip? Whether one is a work outside home, work from home or stay at home parent, every choice has its own pros and cons and it is a conscious choice that an individual makes and he or she has the right to do that. The emotional connect with the children is not formed if they keep seeing you around all the time. It is formed with spending quality time with them.
There was another point in his post that said “The kids won’t be there when you will need them. Because you did the same to them.” Now this point is which I take total umbrage to.
This means that all the people in the world raise their children with the sole motive of having them as their ‘buddape ka sahara’. Even better, all the people who specifically stay at home or work from home are doing that not for their own happiness but to be at a position where they can hold their own children to ransom. I can’t help but feel pity that some people are still stuck with notions of medieval era. We as modern parents know how to take care of ourselves in any age. We as parents of children of Gen Z know that children are our best friends if we extend our arms far enough and not some fixed deposits that will mature at the right time to take care of us.
I wonder if this is a tussle between sticking fervently to old traditions and accepting what is good but new. How sad it is that even in today’s age and time, we are not only judgmental about people’s choices but have the guts to call them dimwits just because they do not confirm to our idea of parenting. We all are doing what we think is best for our children so work from home, stay at home or work outside home, guilt just cannot claim a space even in the remotest corner.