Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Back to work blues

My first day back to work after my 13-month maternity leave was Monday January 24. Did you happen to catch the headlines that day? January 24 is apparently the most depressing day of the year. No guff, like I needed the international media to spell that one out for me.

As if the “most depressing day of the year” thing weren’t enough salt in my wound, there’s been a lot of talk about a national system of funded day care in Canada lately. Not so bad in itself, but it gets all the crackpots writing their letters to the editor about the evils of child care, and how government funding for child care is, according to one letter-writer in the print version of yesterday’s Ottawa Citizen “nothing more than a publicly funded child abandonment program.” Sigh. Not that I give any credence to what strangers generalize about my personal experiences, but it still stings.

You know how you never notice how many people drive white cars until you buy a white car? Maybe its because I’m a little bristly on the subject of day care these days, but I keep finding these things. I’m not looking for them, I swear. This is actually a bit out of the Citizen’s science blog (of all things) - another set of rants that I really shouldn’t let under my skin. He says in 27 years of journalism he never got so much hate mail as the day he defended the idea of mothers in the workforce. What decade is this, anyway? And a Globe and Mail article from yesterday says more kids are in day care now than ever before.

All this to say, I’m already feeling crappy about being back at work and the media seems to be inordinately interested in making me feel even more crappy than I already do. All things being equal, of course I would prefer to stay home with my kids. Actually, in a perfect world, I’d work three days a week, get paid for double that, and have the metabolism of a hamster. Sigh.