Your income, your childcare?

parenting_mainWe really like this thought-provoking post from the April 16th New York TimesMotherlode blog (which, by the way, is a treasure trove of interesting opinions and facts on modern parenting in America), Why do I think my salary pays for childcare?

In it, a new (partnered) mom wonders why she sees it as solely her responsibility to earn enough to afford child care?  This question is important not only because the sky-high cost of quality child care in America sends too many happily working mothers (and sometimes fathers) out of the workforce, but because it also gets at the deeper cultural question of how we – and those around us – see our value and obligations to the economy, to family, and to ourselves.  Author Jessica Grose writes,

“Ever since I realized I was unwittingly degrading my own work, I’ve been trying to unpack where these messages came from. Not from my husband. Not from my mother — she worked full time when I was small, and never had one iota of guilt about it. Not from my mom friends, who either work or are supportive of those who do. The only answer I can come up with is that I’ve somehow internalized the cultural message that says I am the one who should be primarily taking care of our child, and if I’m going to work, it’s up to me to pay for it.”

Read her full post here. Do you find yourself agreeing with her?  Or is it hard to understand why she might hold these thoughts? If you are in a partnered family, how do you see and direct incomes to childcare costs?

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