This thread in the Livejournal Feminist community is not really about the cost of daycare and who bears it when both parents work outside the home, and neither is this comment. However, the writer reminded me of something that burns me up whenever I think about it.
It also works because good daycare in my county runs $1500+ a month. When you add up that, gasoline, lunches, work clothes, and other expenses related to full-time employment, I might clear $200-$300 a month. That’s not empowering in the slightest. That gives me no power. My power has to come from other places (and fortunately, it does).
This, of course, is the hoary, outdated, insulting and sexist expectation that if the wife works outside the home, her salary should go towards paying the childcare.
That is patently ridiculous. If both parents work, the husband should contribute at least half the cost of daycare out of his check. If he earns more than his wife (which is still the case a great deal of the time) he should contribute proportionately more. Either way, the wife should not pay for daycare completely on her own. It seems to me this is a subtle form of punishment: dare to be anything but a mother, suffer the consequences.
I think issues like this (and at the heart of it, we’re really talking about the division of power within the home) should be worked out long before children enter the picture. As in: If you don’t help out, there won’t be any children, ever. I think some things are worth issuing ultimatums on, and this might be one of them.