I don't think a woman should lightly answer "in day care" because that then undercuts the role and the status of motherhood. It's like saying "my child is better off not being with me, his mother".
But two of the three women did answer "in day care" and the reasons they gave concerned me. They preferred day care for their children not because they had to work for financial reasons and not even for career reasons. They found spending time with their children boring and stressful, they tended to be angry and lazy with their kids and so they found they were happier not being with their children and they thought their children were happier not being with them.
Let me say that I acknowledge that looking after young children can sometimes be tedious (though toddlers can also be funny and cute). It's important for mothers to have time for themselves and it's also true that some toddlers can enjoy the playgroup experience. I'm not an absolutist when it comes to formal care, particularly not for older children.
But I do find it difficult to accept a mother saying about her children "I'm better off not being with them, they're better off not being with me, let someone else have them". That is abandoning a very large portion of a distinct womanhood. In my view, too, it is abandoning what you might call a transcendent social role: a role that connects women to a larger value or good than her own merely personal or immediate wants and desires. In that sense it is denatured: it represents a loss of a finer natural impulse in women.
For men, the transcendent social role is to be a provider, a protector and a mentor. To perform this role well requires a man to accept that he will have to do things that are stressful or tedious, but an awareness of the larger value of the role makes that worthwhile. It is like an institutional commitment, rather than a commitment that relies on a day to day calculation of feelings or wants.
I'm not sure if you can make a society work in the long-run without such institutional commitments, not only to parenthood, but to marriage, to moral codes, to communal loyalty and so on. If we were all just to follow a personal "I'll do whatever makes me feel OK right now" mentality, then much is going to fall in society and not just a commitment to motherhood.
I suppose the reality is that some women have been persuaded that motherhood doesn't have the transcendent value as a social role that it has been believed to have in most societies; but if that's the case, then it's likely the same thing will happen to fatherhood and to the family as an institution.
One final point. The two women I'm referring to are Meshel Laurie and Yumi Stynes. I visited Meshel (pronounced Michelle) Laurie's website and couldn't help but notice how keen she is to dedicate herself to Aborigines:
I’ve been trying for years to get involved in a meaningful way with the Aboriginal community, but to no avail really. I’m either rejected immediately because I’m non-Indigenous, or politely told I’m of no use, but to keep donating money. There must be a time and a place for non-Aboriginal people to connect in a meaningful way with Aboriginal people, mustn’t there?
This is my passion at the moment – The Gap. It has been for about 3 years actually, but it’s taken this long for me to find someone to help me enter the world of Aboriginal Australia. I know that sounds ridiculous but honestly, it’s so much harder than I ever thought it would be to meet and engage with Aboriginal people. It feels like there’s disinterest and mistrust from the Aboriginal side, and I don’t blame them. You can’t just rock up to an Aboriginal person and tell them you want to get to know them and engage meaningfully with their community.So she finds meaning not in being a mother to her own children who presumably love and need her but in an entirely different ethnic group who aren't even interested in her involvement. It's emblematic of what has gone wrong with the Anglo political class as a whole: they don't see the value in securing a common heritage for their own children, the meaning instead is derived from a commitment to those they consider most "other".