On Mother’s Day and child care
My friend Erin will celebrate her first Mother’s Day this Sunday – Happy Mother’s Day, Erin, Mom and all.
I was at Tahoe Forest Hospital with Erin and her husband Tim the night their perfect son Gordon was born. I am honored by such a privilege – anyone who has been there knows – birth inspires awe in the beauty and wonder of life.
Mothers are amazing. Birth partners are amazing. Babies are amazing. I’m lucky to have had the best of all three when my own child was born.
When I became a mother, I tried to be a good mother. I went to college knowing that my hours away from home would be minimal, I would be intellectually stimulated by people mature enough to speak, and education would help me help my son.
My spouse was exceptionally supportive of my decision but for the first four years of our son’s life, my husband’s good-pay-with-benefits job kept him out of town from Friday night until Tuesday afternoon. Sometimes, he’d be gone for weeks at a time.
I occasionally needed help caring for my child and help was unavailable. I phoned Sierra Nevada Children’s Services at least four times, desperately seeking weekend child care in Truckee for my son. I received kind words but was told weekend child care did not exist.
Some very special friends helped out as often as they could, but friends weren’t always available.
I regret some of those times when I couldn’t find child care for my son because those were times I could have been a better mother. Those were times I resented motherhood and I was alone with my child. My beautiful, impressionable child.
I faced a child-care crisis in Truckee for four years. It’s a personal issue with me – as it is a personal issue with many people in Truckee.
In feedback I received recently about my ongoing stories on child care, it was pointed out that while child care may be difficult for some to find in Truckee, the child care providers here are outstanding.
In my experiences, I have seen that Truckee’s child-care providers have chosen their careers because they love children. They want to help improve the lives of parents and children by providing loving guidance to children in their parents’ absence.
Truckee parents respect and trust their child-care providers and truly value their support.
And Truckee’s child-care providers are not only necessary but vital to our community. They help fathers be good fathers and mothers be good mothers. More importantly, they help children be good people.
And I believe good people make good communities and isn’t that why we’re all here?
Ten years ago, when I moved to the area, I was at a bar with my new housemates discussing the books we had brought to share with one another. A blond, buff boy-babe interrupted, stared us each blankly in the face and stammered,
“Duh, like wow. You ladies read?”
We laughed, thought he was kidding. He wasn’t kidding.
Talk in a ski town can get pretty monotonous, we soon learned: When’s it gonna snow?, How much do you think it’ll snow? Can you believe the snow? You should’ve seen the snow, epic day, powder, boards, chutes and snow, snow, snow, snow, snow.
College is a good antidote to ski-town talk. So is working for a newspaper. In the few months I’ve had a job with the Sierra Sun (which accommodates my child care needs reasonably well), I’ve met musicians and writers and artists and philanthropists and free-range dogs and contractors and football players and more and in all these people (and pets) I have seen what makes Truckee a great place to live: the people (and pets) make the town.
In recent weeks I’ve heard from many people concerning the child-care articles I’ve written.
Wow, I’ve been thinking. A lot of people in Truckee read. And they’re talking about what they’re reading. They’re talking about child care. Child care has become a topic of discussion, an issue, in our community.
I think discussions about child care are good, even better than snow. But, considering the feedback I have received, I would encourage everyone to remember to recognize child care’s many positive aspects.
And wouldn’t it be great to print them in a public forum, as well? Call me.
Anne Grogan is a six-year Truckee resident and a reporter with the Sierra Sun.
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