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Parents, You’re Not Broken. Childcare Is.

For decades, working parents have been told that it’s been every family for themselves. But the childcare crisis isn’t an individual problem to solve.

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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

Forced to Care

Anne Helen Petersen
Culture Study

MC: “It’s the lack of options that breeds resentment. A great primer for Anne Helen Petersen’s excellent (and extensive) reporting on care work.”

Convo #1: Molly Prentiss

Meredith Chamberlain
Who Cares?

MC: “Maybe communal living is the answer? For my first edition of Who Cares?, I interviewed Molly, who grew up in a kind of commune and longs to recreate her childhood care model for her own children.”

Child Care Should Be Much More Expensive

Alyssa Rosenberg
The Washington Post

MC: “Feeling fired up and ready for action? Check out these actually actionable steps that businesses and governments can take to start contributing and shouldering some of the costs of child care. Like, right now.”

Meredith Chamberlain

Meredith Chamberlain is a freelance copywriter and the editor of Who Cares?, an interview series focused on the all-consuming topic of childcare.