Over the last couple of days I have been telling the story of our childcare woes to anyone who would listen and the reaction is almost always the same. There was one exception who said it's not that bad and that such incidents happen, but aside of that one - which I suspect was made without truly thinking things out - the conclusion is usually that this particular childcare place of ours must be evil.
Thing is, I don't think so. Not that I think the childcare place was good, it's just that I think the reason for the problem goes much deeper than a particular childcare facility. The reason, I believe, is that the childcare places are not designed to cater for babies as young as Dylan; virtually all other babies in Australian childcare are much older than Dylan, experienced solid eaters.
And the reason why the childcare places are not designed to cater for younger babies is simple: The Australian woman is yet to be emancipated to the same level as her, say, European counterpart. The Australian woman is still expected to stay at home with the baby for much longer than her European relatives do.
Now it's not that I am saying all Australian women should go back to work half a second after their babies have been born. What I am saying, however, is that the Australian woman should be allowed to choose: maybe, for example, she really loves her baby, but maybe she also thinks that she would serve her baby better if she brings more money to the household?
The problem, at the moment, is that even when the two Australian women that actually want to go back to work "early" want to do so, the weight of expectations means that there is no support for them out there despite those expectations being based on old style patriarchal thinking that should have perished years ago. Interestingly enough, there is also opposite correlation between the support given to the Australia woman, when compared to the one given to the European woman, and the time in which they are expected to go back to work. How can a woman have free choice under such circumstances?
At the risk of sounding repetitive, maybe what this country needs is a woman in charge?