Meredith Chamberlain: “Depending on how your morning went, you may find it either enraging or comforting to know that mothers have been shouldering the weight of the childcare crisis for as long as Oprah has been on air—and hardly anything has been done to improve it!”
Childcare has been a universal pain point for American families for decades—and yet we’re still suffering privately. Families have been gaslit into thinking the failed system is somehow our fault and our problem to solve (it isn’t; it never was).
Part of the reason it remains private is because it’s not exactly fashionable to talk about childcare. Colleagues are rarely comparing preschool tuitions. Momfluencers aren’t acknowledging the childcare it required for them to get that perfectly styled photo. And few actors mention their nannies in their acceptance speeches (though there are exceptions).
This gap in public discourse was the impetus for Who Cares?, a newsletter where I feature interviews with women and mothers on how they choose, pay for, value, manage, and think about care. It’s time to bring these conversations out in the open—to commiserate, create community, break down the shame and brainstorm new solutions.
If you are a working parent (or know one, or were raised by one) I hope the following articles, podcasts, and posts make you feel seen, offer some head-nodding solidarity, and pique your interest in how we can fight back and make change. Together. —Meredith Chamberlain
Image by Taira Kurihara / Getty Images
MC: “It’s powerful to see the hard data. Transparency around costs is essential to making any real change. Roth IRAs are important and all, but why aren’t employers contributing to a childcare fund?”
MC: “So… where is the money going? Daycare workers and early education teachers are paid a shockingly low amount of money. How do we expect an undervalued employee to care for our children with patience, respect, and love?”
MC: “I love how Angela and Elise get into the shame that comes along with our choices around care—and how we might start to bring these conversations out in the open.”
MC: “No, we can’t rely on nap times alone to work. This seems so obvious…and yet, this quote was passed around my corner of the internet like it was an absolute epiphany.”
MC: “The care crisis exists because women are undervalued in our society—mothers and childcare workers alike. I love the dynamic of the convo between these two inspiring women.”
MC: “There is a better way. Nordic countries have government-sponsored childcare and they let their babies sleep outside on the sidewalks.”
MC: “Parenting in Spain seems pretty relaxing too. Maybe it’s because their government spends roughly $8,500 more per child per year on care?”
MC: “A shorter work day (one that aligns with school hours, for example) would take some pressure off working parents and allow them to spend more time with their kids.”