Legal Custody With Limited Visitation Rights

19 months.

“We’re home!” Jack said as we pulled into the parking lot of his daycare last Friday.

Sure, he doesn’t yet understand the difference between the words “home” and “here” yet, but what if it was a Freudian slip?

I put the pen to the paper, then used a calculator to check my less than awesome math skills. My number-crunching revealed to me that Jack is at daycare for 45 waking hours each week.

Contrast that to the 38 waking hours he’s home with Mommy and Dada.

We the parents have 7 less hours with our son each week than KinderCare. I’m letting that though settle in right now.

He’s been going to daycare for almost a year now and I’ve just never realized that paid professionals technically know our kid better than we do.

But like most parents, we don’t have a choice, financially.

On the positive side of it, we’re very aware of how confident, independent, and knowledgeable he is for his age.

It’s not up to us; he has to go to daycare.

But tomorrow I’ll get a taste of what it would be like to be a stay-at-home dad, or househusband: Jack had a fever of nearly 102 when I picked him up from KinderCare today.

However, on the car ride home and after dinner he was more hyper than ever. I don’t believe he’s actually sick.

So even if he’s perfectly healthy tomorrow, by policy of his daycare I can’t take him in. My wife has taken off more than her share of “sick days” from work on account of Jack having a fever. Now it’s my turn.

I will see what it’s like to actually take care of my own kid all day while my wife works. By today’s culture and standards, that’s hardly ironic. Yet still, I have little experience staying home with him all day when, technically, I should be out working.

The title of this reminds me of just how ridiculous it is that both of us parents have to work full-time to keep our own kid in daycare; where the daycare workers will spend more time with him than we do.

Ridiculous, yet normal.

We’re happily married but it feels like we have legal custody of our own child but with limited visitation rights.


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  1. [...] Legal custody with limited visitation rights ( [...]

  2. by Kiera

    On July 11, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    This article speaks to me in so many ways. Last year after realizing that 1. Our then one-and-a-half year old spent 50 hours in day care minimum each week and 2. That she had developed asthma and allergies that would make her twice as sick and for twice as long as the other kids, we opted for me to stay home permanently. It is so hard that we have to choose, but we are lucky enough to live in the Midwest now where we can afford to live on one salary. We are from the east coast though so its hard to think about how different things will be when we most likely one day move back!

  3. by Jeremy

    On July 13, 2012 at 10:18 am

    I work hard and earn enough for my wife to stay at home with our son, and it’s been like that since he was born. (And we have a daughter on the way.) This is the way I always wanted it to be, but I also wanted to work from home. I did this until our son was 1 1/2, when I got a great contract opportunity that’s outside of home. It was the right choice but I miss being at home with my son.

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