I am still reeling from the disturbing incident of a woman thrashing a baby at a day care in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. I couldn’t even make myself watch the complete video that was doing the rounds of whatsapp and was being telecast on TV. The last update that I have received is that the baby is still in the hospital recovering from the injuries. The Day Care center owner and the perpetrator have been arrested (lots of drama there too). The aaya was a known case of mental disturbance and was hired without checking references from previous employers. She wasn’t a trained nanny and was often left alone with the children while the owner of the Day Care Center went out about her daily chores. The perpetrator was just a cleaning maid who was made responsible for the children without proper training or aptitude for the job. I hope there is some justice in this case. My heart sinks to even think about what the parents of the baby must be going through at this moment. Prayers for the child’s quick recovery.
The incident was very disturbing personally more so because I am a full-time working mother and my kid has been going to the Day Care ever since he was 18 months old. Ours is a nuclear family and I don’t have either my mother-in-law or my mother living with us permanently. So the obvious choice (or the lack of it) was to send the kid to a Day Care. I am totally against leaving the child alone with the maid at home.
I have always done my due diligence, reference checks and though expensive have sent my child to the registered and well-known centers. My child is my life, and it is true for every parent. I am sure every parent that send their kids to Day Care centers do their share of reference checks and due diligence. We as parents bestow upon the Day Care centers immense amount of trust for taking care of our children whilst we work. With the country moving onto more nuclear set-ups we look upto these centers to keep our children safe while we are away.
Unfortunately, for working mothers, we are constantly judged for choosing our careers over our children. Incidents like these only fuel our guilt and finger pointing by the others. I have had so many raised eye-brows of relatives and acquaintances, about what a careless mother one is for leaving her child at a Day Care Center.
I have a few pointers on survival kit for mothers keeping in view the many instances that have come in view in the past few years (including a house maid thrashing a baby), thanks to CCTV cameras and my personal experiences:
- Choose what makes you comfortable, a Day Care or a full-time maid. My personal choice is a Day Care since there would be no supervision at home over the maid and she would be at her own devices hence not truly safe for the child.
- You have to do what you have to do, so don’t go with people judging you. They would do that no matter what. If you were a career woman, your priorities would never be similar to that of a stay-at-home mother and visa-versa.
- Whether you are a stay-at-home mother or a career mom, you know what’s best for your child. If you are unsure, reach out to others around you. Discuss and then take a call.
- Listen to your child. See any change in behavior. Talk to them. Believe them when they say something is wrong. We have this thing at home where we discuss our day at dinner or evening tea. I and my husband also mention instances that are scary during work. So kids know that its ok to be scared and would confide in you if there is anything untoward happening at there school/day care center
- Trust your gut. I love books by Malcolm Gladwell, one of my favourite being Blink. Our human intuition is very strong and we should learn to listen and interpret it (more in another blog). So if your gut says this place is not good, then maybe its not. Look for more options.
- DO NOT GO ON A GUILT TRIP. I did go on a guilt trip when I learnt of this particular incident. But just for some time. That, my friends, is a rabbit hole. Don’t even go there cause all it will do is cause you pain with no constructive outcome
- Once you have chosen to be a career woman, do not second-guess yourself. Build a support system; family, neighbours, friends, day care centers, raising a child is not possible without them
- Have a meeting with your Day Care Center owner. Share your fears about your child’s safety. Gauge their reactions, see if they understand and empathize with you and have measures in place to assure you that everything is on point. If you don’t have a good feeling about it, I recommend you shift your kid because as far as I know they need to be as disturbed as we are due to this incident.
Share your feelings, fears and measures with us in the comments below. Together we can build a stronger support system and community.
Photo Credit: http://www.mindgocrazy.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/children-saftey.jpg
- Srushti Rao
- November 28, 2016
- 7 Comment