#hearLDSwomen: My Leaders Don’t Understand the Reality of Childcare
Our ward was planning a several-weeks-long parenting/spousal relations class for the young families in our area. During our ward council planning session, I, the (childless and single) Young Women president, suggested to the group that it would be a good idea to provide childcare for parents so it would be easier for them to attend the weekly seminars. I proposed several ways the childcare could work, including having Young Women (or Young Women and Young Men) sign up to staff a nursery at the building so resources wouldn’t be spread thin and carpools could be arranged to meet the sitters’ needs as well.
The Elder’s Quorum president said there was no reason to provide childcare because “everyone already has weekly babysitters anyway.” When I explained that the people who need the classes the most were likely the ones who don’t have regular “date night” babysitters and that the teenagers could really be providing a useful service for the families in the ward, the men let me have my say and then decided it was too hard/too much work to provide the parenting class and offer childcare for families.
This, even though I was right. there. in. the. room. offering to head up the childcare coordination, and they wouldn’t have to do anything more than make the announcement that childcare would be available during the sessions for those who needed it.
– Laura C
In ward council, another woman and I raised the challenge of having a weekday Relief Society meeting the day after ward temple night. The MEN in the room decided it was as easy as having your husband watch the kids, so it was only one night of babysitting arrangements. I argued that it doesn’t always work like that. Some husbands aren’t home, some resent parenting their kids, and some women don’t have husbands. I was overruled.
Pro tip: When those responsible for their children’s care ask for acknowledgement of their needs, put aside your assumptions and listen. Allow them to make the arrangements they need for activities.
“If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mark 4:23)