Monday, 31 March 2014

Being a parent

 Here are some flowers for all the parents who read this.
Becoming a parent is such a massive, life changing experience. 

I didn't think it would be. At the age of 22 I honestly thought I would have the baby and leave it in the office creche so I could continue working. A bit like a handbag, carry it around a bit, put it down, forget about it, pick it up again. I had a massive shock when my boy arrived. I found I didn't want to be parted from him - ever. My world turned upside down and this tiny being was my new life. Everything centred around him. 

I think everyone feels like this with their first baby. But I also remember the pressure on me to work and leave my baby with someone to look after. At that time the government was urging all mothers to work and I felt guilty and inadequate being at home with baby especially when society didn't appear to respect my decision and gave me, a mother no status at all for having to admit to the role of 'housewife'. 

I thought then and I think now that women at home bringing up children should be paid to be there at least until those children start school. That would take the pressure off families who need two incomes. And nowadays that is most families. It would also prevent the farcical situation we have now where often all or nearly all of a mother's income goes to child care costs and unless women have a willing and able mum nearby to look after baby there is no choice but to pay for child care.

Once children start school working mothers have to cope with caring for their children in school holidays, half terms and 'inset' days.Not every woman can work in a school! 
Working from home is one possible solution but most women can't earn the kind of money working from home that they did pre-children. Job sharing; fostering community friendships so women can look after each others' children while the other mums work is another choice but again this doesn't pay a full time wage. 

 I still think one parent should be paid to be at home looking after young children. This job, surely the most important job of all, making good people to replace ourselves when we're gone, should have the proper status it deserves in society. We would then all be proud to say, actually I'm at home, being a parent.

If you agree or disagree please click the Comments below. I would love to hear what you think on this subject.


Anonymous said...

The wages paid don't reflect the vast wealth that workers generate for companies and subsequently taxes and the economy. In times of low employment women are encouraged to stay at home and leave jobs for men, as in the post war 1950's.
As the economy grows the government want everyone working; youth, women, mothers (with Child/Working Tax Credit incentives) and fill gaps with immigration if the workforce isn't sufficient. That is why the government aren't too worried about immigration numbers. Any fuss they make is just to appease tory voters.

Women have always been pawns in the economic cycles of prosperity and poverty.


Anonymous said...

Haven't got much time to write today, but I absolutely agree with you! Being a parent is one of the most valuable occupations and should be given the respect and support it deserves.

Fibre frenzi said...

I agree with you11

Chrissy said...

I don't think it matters how much money you give to people/parents, I think the majority of people just want too much and are not prepared to wait until they have earned enough money for it, they expect someone else to pay. Growing up, my parents couldn't afford to take us abroad for holidays so we went camping in the UK...nothing at all wrong with that and we had wonderful holidays and I have not suffered at all because of it but I now have friends who complain bitterly that they cannot afford to take a foreign holiday as if it is their right to do so but they will not give up something for it. We cannot have everything and it is time people accepted what they have or give up some things to achieve what they truly want. Unfortunately, understanding what you truly want has become a bit of an art...most people just want something because someone else has it or they are told to want it by some incredibly clever advertising!