Stay-at-home parents are tired of being used

I’m starting to dread the sound my phone makes when I get a text. Last week, no fewer than three neighborhood parents, none of whom I know particularly well, pinged me with the same request: Could I possibly watch their kids? School was out two days last week and one day this week in NYC, so the city’s working moms and dads are, understandably, in a phenomenal flap. The thing is, I’m a working parent, too. I actually have two jobs — writing, and parenting my three- and six-year-old children — both of which I do from home. Yet, when I tell people this, all they seem to hear is: “stay-at-home-mom.” And from this they infer that I spend my days flitting between nail salons and coffee shops, not with my best scrubbing hand shoved down a toilet bowl while the other furiously types up an article I promised to hand in two days ago.

Because of this assumption, when parents who work outside the home need extra, last-minute childcare, they quite often call me. This started in earnest when my daughter, now six, began pre-k. At first, I was flattered when other moms I barely knew emailed to say how much their kid loved mine and would she be down for a playdate. Sure, I said.

“Great! Any chance you could pick him up on Tuesday as the nanny has the day off? I can grab him by 6:30.” Yikes. A four-hour playdate with a child who’s never been to our house and who I hardly know. That’s … a lot. But sure, I said, not quite comprehending how thoroughly I’d been hoodwinked. And of course, these epic after school playdates I’d find myself hosting again and again, which often resulted in tantrums and me cleaning up my temporary charge’s …read more

Source:: The Week – Lifestyle


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