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2006-02-10 - 10:20 a.m.

...words from my brother and sis-in-law...

Harri3tspy has brought up some interesting feminist issues with Judith Warner's articles. Truthfully, I am rather tired of thinking about them in a broader socio-political sense. However, the issue of childcare/parental guilt prompted me to think of my personal experience. My brother and sister-in-law may not hear often enough (and certainly not from me) that they are good parents. Last night I took the time to write to them and let them know that they are raising a wonderful child. They both replied this morning:


From my brother:

Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it. We certainly had no blueprint to follow for raising a child, only ideas and instincts and lots of patience. We were lucky and unlucky to have Christina's nanny - mostly lucky.

An interesting study would be the development of children with older parents vs younger parents. I would argue the kids w/older parents are more advanced socially/verbally while the younger ones may be further physically but have more emotional issues. This is of course only a theory and not provable, at least by me.


This reply from my sister-in-law:

It's wonderful to hear you feel that way. We love Christina very much.
It's funny, I was having a related conversation with my cousin, about how we were raised so middle/lower middle
class, but Christina will grow up not knowing anything other than her
house and neighborhood, and having pretty much everything she
ever wanted (except her yellow convertible).

I try to say no or you have to wait for your birthday / Christmas every now and then so she knows how it feels. I still remember my Dad telling us how many times my Mom didn't get a new dress or a new pair of shoes because she had to buy
clothes for us kids. Christina will never know what that feels like.
Christina and I also talk about how she never gets spanked because we don't spank and she is a good girl, but other kids get spanked.

I think the fact that Christina went to her nanny's house was good in many ways but bad in some. She felt very loved and secure, but she got spoiled rotten.
She learned a lot of colorful language, but she has since learned that we don't say those words (they now would mean punishment in kindergarten).

She also has been sick 4 or 5 times this school year, where a child that went to day care would already have their immune system built up to those viruses. Bottom line, we both had to work, so you take the hand you are given. That's not to say that I didn't ever feel guilty leaving her when I had to go to work. You just do the best you can. I'm glad you think that she is turning out all right.

When you become a parent, don't let anyone tell you what the right thing to do is. Everyone finds their own way and what feels right for them. I took a lot of heat from my family when I was breastfeeding Christina. I just ignored them.


I think that I REALLY got lucky in the family department.

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