Raise your hand if you’ve ever been the victim of mom shaming. I think we’ve all been there at some point, and ironically it’s almost always other moms dishing it out.


I remember the first time I found myself on the receiving end of some unwarranted criticism about my parenting choices. I was still pregnant, visiting my parents at their houseboat on Lake Eufaula. One of their “neighbors,” a woman I had never met, had joined us. Upon hearing that I was expecting, she had a lot of questions about our plans. Everything was going well until she asked if I would be “quitting my job and staying home.”


It was completely unbelievable to this complete stranger that I would choose to go back to work and send my daughter to daycare. She just could not wrap her head around the fact that, number one, I enjoyed my job, and number two, that there are some pretty undeniable benefits of putting children into daycare.


Alexis attended daycare from two months old through the summer before she started Pre-K. Her daddy and I have zero regrets in that decision. Not only did she develop basic social skills, but she also had a solid foundation for starting school.


Of course, our choice in daycare had a lot to do with her success. It wasn’t a choice we made lightly. We toured at least a dozen centers, half of which had been recommended by friends and coworkers. We saw lots of high student-to-teacher ratios and a good bit of cleanliness issues, but the worst by far was when we overheard a staff member talking about how they had mistakenly sent a child home with a person who wasn’t on the approved pick-up list! That particular place, I’m happy to report, is no longer in business.


In this issue, you’ll find lots of resources to help you take some of the guesswork out of finding a child care provider, including our annual Child Care Directory and 10 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Daycare. I’m also excited to introduce a new local feature – The Early Years: Child Care Insights from Kishia Saffold.


Also in this issue, we’re discussing the dangers of button batteries in Kids Health, exploring smart devices with Common Sense Media, and sharing 10 Steps to Squash Sibling Rivalry, and you don’t want to miss my inspiring interview with this month’s Mom to Mom, Meagan Deal, whose daughter woke up completely deaf at the age of 6.


This month, we’re officially one year into the pandemic, and it’s taken that long for things to feel sort of normal. I mean, I’ll never really get used to wearing a mask everywhere I go, but I think we’re finally starting to get a hang of this whole staying-at-home-all-the-time thing. More likely, I’m just starting to accept the constant state of messiness. Maybe it’s time for a little spring cleaning? Oh, and don’t forget to spring forward on March 14th!


I was totally kidding with that whole cleaning comment, by the way…

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Ashton Wright
Author: Ashton Wright

Ashton is the publisher of Wiregrass Parents magazine. A lifelong resident of the Wiregrass, she grew up in Blakely, Ga. Her love of journalism began on her high school newspaper and continued at Troy University where she received her print journalism degree. After graduating, she worked with WTVY-TV for nearly a decade. She and her husband, Chris, have been married since 2012. They have one daughter, Alexis, as well as a dog, Jackson, and a cat, Cooper.

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by Ashton Wright time to read: 3 min