Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeLaura PerrinsPut a baby in nursery 70 hours a week? How inhuman

Put a baby in nursery 70 hours a week? How inhuman


I REALLY thought I had seen it all, until I saw this on Mumsnet (quoted verbatim):

‘I need to go back to work so will soon be putting my 9 month old in nursery, only thing is that the earliest I can find any nursery open is 7 am to 7 pm. The 7 pm closing time is fine but I really find I need a opening time of 6 pm. I also work Saturday mornings so need something that is open 6 days. Start time should be at least 6:00 pm but I struggle to find this. Do these type of nursery’s exist? What are the opening and closing hours for your nursery’s? Why don’t nursery’s take into account that some parents need to work 6 days 🤨?’

The ‘6 pm’ is a typo, so what this woman is looking for is to put a nine-month-old baby in nursery from 6am to 7pm plus Saturday morning. That is at least 65 hours a week excluding Saturday. Therefore if this baby attends a nursery from 7am to noon on a Saturday he or she would be in nursery for 70 hours a week.

I do not know this woman or her circumstances, although some came out in the thread, but this plan for her infant is terrible. It is another example of just how awful things have become for young children, especially babies, under the Tories. They have done nothing to challenge the idea that putting a baby in a nursery for hours like this mother wants is harmful.

What was also shocking was how at the start of the thread most of the replies were commiserating with this woman when explaining that it was very unlikely such a nursery exists. Isn’t it just terrible that mothers cannot put their babies into a nursery for 70 hours a week? But even for Mumsnet, where usually no baby is too young nor hours too long for nursery care, this was too much. It was only as the thread went on that other mothers started explaining – tentatively, mind you – how harmful it would be for this poor child to be in nursery for this long, how bad it is for their attachment causing them lifelong problems in the future.

Of course, there were one or two hard-core mothers who thought no one should ever have the temerity to comment on such a monstrous proposal for a nine-month-old baby. How very dare anyone say this is a bad idea? A classic was: ‘OP came for advice on nurseries that are open longer – did she say I’m here for opinions on whether I work these hours or not? No, so she doesn’t need to take any of the opinionated responses about her hours into account at all. It’s not a matter of being right or wrong. OP needs childcare, she doesn’t want to give up her job, and it’s actually pretty disgusting reading these comments from one mother to another berating her choice to return to work. People should be ashamed of themselves. This forum really is going to the gutter and I’m glad Mumsnet HQ have commented and made that clear too.’

Of course, when it comes to women and their choices, it is never about right or wrong. Why should we expect the little ladies to make moral decisions? Aren’t they all just perfect?

Today, after the unholy alliance between commercial neo-liberalism and feminism, the needs of children are neither here nor there. These people do not have a maternal bone in their body. It seems any plan of action, no matter how lacking in compassion towards a baby, is fine ‘because I want to go back to work and who are you to judge?’

Well, the very idea of putting a nine-month-old baby in nursery for 70 hours a week should be condemned outright as harmful and emotionally cruel. It is outrageous and deeply depressing that anyone would believe this is an acceptable course of action. What an awful society we have become. 

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