Monday, 8 April 2013

GET BACK

A great Beatles's track - "get back to where you once belonged." That would mean get back to work for anyone who chooses to bring up their children themselves. Well sorry to disappoint you but if I can get away with never returning to work then that's fine and dandy by me.

Get Back 1969 - pic ebay as ever
Before you think I'm a thick idiot who probably couldn't hold down a job and this is why I'm not fussed - well I would just have to disagree. In brief I got my first job age 18 straight out of college and worked my way up the ranks. I then moved on to a well paid job in London where I also worked from home. My job, by the way, involved arguing mediating cases with people and sorting out any wrong doing. When I left to have my first child I was offered full time pay for two days a week with one day at home. I was good darn it! Why else would you pay the same money for less than half the hours? So we've established I'm employable.

I wanted to have children. I chose to have them and I chose to bring them up myself.  Yes, dad's can do it blah blah blah but I can't be bothered to be all diplomatic-  mum's should do it.  I did visit a nursery when I briefly contemplated returning to work and it turned my stomach.  Babies looked after by teenagers talking about last nights session on the lash and mattresses on the floor for the children's enforced nap times. The thought of leaving my son for 8 hours a day in one of these baby farms just horrified me. An excellent article was written about it here. FINALLY a well written article about what's wrong with society and how this shouldn't be the norm.  I've said for a long time that this is a dark time in our social history and we will look back and say what an earth were we thinking?

Parenting has taken a massive back seat for the past 30 years or so. And before you say they have clubs and what not - that's not parenting - that's driving your kids somewhere to live out your aspirations and pay someone for the privilege. That's not engaging with your child that's making you feel better about not being with your child.

During my time as a SAHM I've seen nursery workers out and about with children in the park and if the parents could see how their child is being cared for (i.e not) then the mum's wouldn't say "they love it." Incidentally they don't love it. I've seen many a child scream whilst the mum consoles herself that once she's gone "they're fine and love it". No they don't. Crying is the only way they can communicate that they don't actually enjoy being separated from their mum for 8 hours a day in a confined space with a load of other babies. They accept it. There is a huge difference. By the way the last time I wrote this someone said thanks for making me feel guilty.  If you feel guilty then you know its wrong. Guilt is a valid emotion don't ignore it. Studies have shown the stress it causes to under 3's and more studies have been done further down the line.  Finally, people are actually starting to question the norm of letting someone else bring up your kids whilst you go and earn a bit of shrapnel.

I don't believe that the majority of mother's earn sufficient enough take home pay to justify putting their pre-schoolers into child care for 8 hours a day. They say it means we can have the extras. Well here's a thought don't have the extras have the time with your child that you chose to have. I really don't think a 10 day break is worth the stress and hassle of it all. Your kids couldn't give a hoot - they're far happier just being in your company. My friend remarked the other day that she doesn't know any working mums who actually look happy. They're generally pissed off with everything - husband, kids, home and work. They are a bitter bunch. They're not living the dream they're living the treadmill whilst juggling at the same time.

As for single mum's I'd happily pay towards their benefits or into a SAHM pot so they can look after their children during the pre-school years.  Why should they be forced to be apart from their children. I believe society benefits in the long run think of it as an insurance policy. Yes, some people get pregnant for benefits etc but the vast majority don't. People should be directing their anger at large corporations not paying any tax than mum's being paid to look after their children.

Then there's the mum's that need  to work for their own sanity roughly translated as I waited until mid thirties to have a child as its what I wanted but actually it involved too much effort not enough me time and actually I'd rather like my old life back please. They can be found at the nursery saying "they love it once I'm gone." No, you love it and trudging to work is preferable to being at home being 'bored.'

Then there's the whole SAHM v working mums but I can only see that being started by a working mum. They think we spend our time judging them. We don't. I think they do a good a good job of that themselves. I personally think you don't quite get it and that's about it. I couldn't give a shit if you work or not. I am at peace with my life. Just because my view is that there is something very wrong with the whole concept doesn't mean to say I'm overly concerned with what individuals do with their own children. I know it would make for a better society but its unlikely mum's are going to be un-brainwashed anytime soon.

So what of the get back?  Well in recent weeks I've encountered certain types (all working mums funnily enough) enquiring when I will return back to work. I get the impression that they feel I've had enough fun, a good innings but now its time to tow the line.

My 3 year old will start school in September 2014.  I've had 9 years of not working what an earth can I be contributing to society?  There is a lot of sneering - talk of getting back on the gravy train. You're all just jealous. Who in their right mind would not want to be at home? It is the ultimate freedom. Okay I have 3 children, husband and the home but I am in control on my own destiny. I don't need to ask someone if I can have Xmas off, I don't need to see the holiday rota, I don't need to juggle school holidays, sick days, dentist, doctors, inset days, appointments. I could chose to put on a film once buddy is at pre-school - I don't I normally work out then clean the house but the choice is mine.

A mum said recently "you need to go back to work" when I remarked that the school was constantly pissing me off. What it wouldn't piss me off if I didn't have time on my hands? That's the general assumption that you have lots of time on your hands - only spoken by someone that doesn't do what I do.  If its so easy where are all the offers to look after my kids and do all the chores while I go out for the day? Actually work is the easy option it requires less effort. I rest my case.

The other day a teacher was huffing and puffing as she'd been baking cakes all day with the class for a cake sale. Myself and another mum (also one like me) said "welcome to our world" as a joke in reference to the work we do on the PTA raising thousands of pounds a year. Her response was "that's why I work" i.e you mums have time to do that. Yes I do cram in time to raise money for charity given that the government's not going to pay for your children's school books so shot me.

Anyway, why are people so bothered that I don't work? I'm not saying when are you going to actually raise your own children instead of someone else am I. That would be considered highly inappropriate wouldn't it?They would argue they don't have a choice. Don't you?

I know people will read this and say look someone judging working mum's. Why do women attack each other blah blah. But those same women think its okay to say I need to go out to work, my kid loves its and everyone is meant to go okay then we won't disagree with you. Well I don't agree with you and if that makes me judgemental and not for the sisterhood then so bit. I don't care. You're never going to make me think bunging a child in nursery for 8 hours a day is a good thing.

Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump a truly great film - pic ebay

With the risk of sounding like Forrest Gump I don't have all the answers and I may not be the smartest gal in the world but I know what's right and what's wrong.

"And that's all I have to say about that."







13 comments:

  1. Whether I agree or not, I love you. You have such balls and say it as you see it.

    I've always been a working Mum (JJ is now 9, I went back to work when he was 8 months old) and I've done p/t (18.5 hours a week generally) and I always used to consider it was the perfect compromise (Yes I was genuinely happy at work)

    I then had the girls and had 16 mths off with them and to be honest wanted to stay home but went with the flow and went back to work.

    I am thrilled that I gave in my notice today and we are moving in June and I will be a SAHM for a bit, I can do every school run. We will have so much less income but our quality of life will be completely different.

    I have vowed that I will not commit to anything until at least 2014 to have time to Be and think about what I want for the family. Chances are thee will be p/t work where we are moving and I can do it in the kids school hours, so that might be a good compromise but we will see.

    Hope all is well, Mich x

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    1. Ahhh thanks so much Mich means a lot. This was a tough one to hit 'publish' as I don't write to offend or upset people and many of my friends and bloggers do or have put their children in nurseries. They accept my view and I accept that they are happy (in some cases) to do so. Equally my family are 99% right wing and I am not but it doesn't mean I don't love them any less I just think their political beliefs are wrong! I could have written this a long, long time ago but held back until I finally read something in the Daily Mail (no less!) that just echoed what I've thought for many, many years. I so pleased for you that you are taking time out - no one gets to the end of their life and says "oh I wished I worked more" do they? Income is always tight in this house and we probably will not have a holiday this year but I am very happy. Part-time in school hours sounds perfect xx

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  2. Firstly, that's one of my favourite Beatles songs :-)

    While I defend anyone's right to do what they think is best for themselves and their family, I personally see my place as being in the home with my boys. It's not an obligation. It's something that I'm happy to do. I wanted to have children so don't want to hand them over to someone else to look after them.

    You know I battled with the dilemma whether to give up work or not but once I'd handed in my notice, it felt like a huge weight had been lifted on my shoulders and I could focus on looking after my family.

    That said, even though I earned a very comfortable amount, we can still have a very nice life living off my husband's salary. Yes, we'll have to be more careful but days out and holidays will still very much feature in our lives.

    It's a strange world we live in at the moment. I wonder if people have children because 'that's what you do' rather then really wanting them and wanting to nurture them.

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    1. Mine is 'A day in the life' closely followed by Revolution! I know you were very pleased with the day nursery (in Switzerland) you had for your eldest and of course there are bound to be great ones but I still don't agree with the notion of them. You look like you're having a whale of time....time for another I'd say! x

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  3. I genuinely didn't read any of that as judgement of working mums. I read it as someone being very defensive about their own decisions which is a shame as I'm positive that is exactly the opposite of the point you were trying to make.

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    1. Hi, I try to articulate what is going on upstairs the best I can I had written this ages ago but with the title was "The Notion of Nurseries" - that was the point of the post. So the whole thing with me going back to work was a last minute.com following a few comments. You are quite correct I am defensive of my decision when people say I should be back at work as its deemed the norm not overly as I'm very comfortable with my choice. I'm sorry to disappoint on not judging working mums front or have I read that wrong? Thanks for commenting x

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  4. I enjoy reading your posts and in the main I agree with your statements but i had to comment on this one as it riled me.

    I'm not the Anon above, but I did read it as judging working mothers. You have posted a whole blog on it.

    Just as I do not know about your personal circumstances, you do not know about mine. I would love to either work part time or stay at home but unfortunately in today's current climate my husband's wages do not even cover our mortgage as we bought our first poky little house at the height of the housing boom so I have to work to cover that and the bills/food. I do not work full time so that I can have the 'extras', I work so that we can survive. My wages are more than the childcare so I do earn enough to help my husband to support our family. We cannot afford a holiday, we did not even have a weekend away in the UK last year as we could not afford it.

    So I think you have judged working mothers and whilst some may do it to escape their kids or so they can go on a holiday every year the majority reluctantly do it to support their families, as did mine who worked two jobs in the 80s and went without food so that I could eat.

    I don't feel my child has suffered emotionally or mentally because of being placed in childcare, he has lots of friends, is very sociable and in the top groups in his class. I ensure I spend plenty of time with him in the evenings and lots of activities at the weekends. Between my husband and I we ensure all school events are attended and every school holiday we co-ordinate our leave so that he is not constantly at his Holiday Club. He is a well behaved and confident young man and I am proud of how he is turning out.


    You should feel very fortunate that you & your husband can afford for you not to work, as many of us do not have that luxury.And just for the record I have no issues with you personally or stay at home mothers in general, I do have issues with your post.

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    1. Hi, yes I can see that my post would be considered judging working mums. I know many like yourself who want to stay at home but can't afford to. This is wrong. There are so many political issues that stem from this. The reason you paid a ridiculous amount for your home as they still are in general is that there is no affordable housing. Why's that. Thatcher selling of council houses in the 80's and no real investment in building affordable homes. So if people aspired to own their own home it would cost a fortune and like you say your husband wages now barely cover the cost of the mortgage.

      It is wrong on all levels and I feel for your situation. I don't though and never will believe leaving a child in day nursery is good for them and a country is bankrupt both morally and financially in making it the norm that mothers are forced back to work. The government is always going to encourage this you pay tax, your child's nursery pay tax and so on.

      I do feel lucky everyday but we are not loaded and we moved from run down property to the next living without heating,kitchens and I had no bath for 38 weeks whilst pregnant so we never paid the going rate for a house. I may have to return to work up some stage but I do feel blessed that I have managed not to do so in the pre-school years.

      Thank you for your comment - like I say I don't have the answers but I know nurseries are not x

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    2. correction 'luck' does get banded around a bit but it was 5 years of sweat and toil so we didn't have a massive mortgage that would be unsustainable. Having said that these days the mortgage (as used to be the case) isn't the greatest outgoing when you tot up your utilities (sold off even though the tax payer owned them but we could buy them back that's nice of her), introduction of the council tax, robbing insurance companies and then there's the food expenses (see previous post on why I love Aldi!). How's that capatalisim working out for everyone? You shouldn't have to survive you should be able to live but her policies ruined this country and if people are stupid enough to vote tory/lib dem again then life isn't going to get any easier anytime soon. x

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  5. I am actually jealous of you being a SAHM - I'd love ot do that. I did it for the first year or so for my eldest and it was the best time of my life.

    I agree that childcare 8 hours a day, 5 days a week is rough on kids. Some childcare can be fun for them and helps them socialise - I've chosen (very part time) childcare that gives that without being a 'baby farm'.

    I work from home so see my kids more than many working mums. I do get to do kinder runs and greet my kids as they get home from school. But it is hard and stressful to work around them and earn a living. We live very simply, money is often tight and we're lucky enough to have bought before prices took off in our area so have a small mortgage. My husband doesn't work so I must. It is not my choice to work as such, it is my choice to feed my children and give them a home.

    Older times may have been simpler with less expectation of two working parents, but we aren't going back there any time soon.

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    1. Hi, thanks for commenting - I agree its not easy at all these days to make ends meet. The cost of just providing a home etc is tough and wouldn't it be great if one income would be able to cover living expenses. I like the idea of communism I must admit - everyone have the same standard of living etc but greed always gets in the way. I always feel we're all one step away from real financial difficulties in this climate but with an ever decreasing safety net. I would also like to do what you are doing if I have to go back to work. I think a step back wouldn't be a bad thing at times x

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  6. My personal opinion is that all mums should have the choice whether to return to work or not, and there should be benefits and systems in place so that there is an actual *choice* there.

    In a two-parent family, where people say "I'd love to be a SAHM but we just can't afford it" I feel like saying "what you mean is that you can't afford to maintain the lifestyle you prefer if you don't work." My brother is on a lower wage than most of these couples, but they manage with his wife being a SAHM to their kids.

    As a single mother, I could easily have claimed benefits and been a SAHM. I took a full year off work. In the end though, because it's just the two of us, I decided that it would be good for both of us to have time with other people. S did cry the first few times I left her at nursery, and I seriously considered jacking it in - but then one day I arrived early to pick her up, and sneaked into the room to see her happily playing with the other kids and having a fun time. With the best will and good intentions in the world, I can't provide the education, socialisation and experience my daughter gets at nursery, at home with just the two of us. I work so that she can go to nursery because I feel it benefits her. And it means that I work part time though, so that I am still able to do breakfast and tea and have a good time together in the evenings before bed. And I appreciate my days off so much more; we *do* stuff, where before it was "ah, we'll do it tomorrow" sort of thing, because I knew there was always tomorrow and I am a champion procrastinator.

    I have a friend who suffered terribly with PND and had to go back to work for her own sanity - not because she couldn't stand to be with her kids, she's Mum of the Year on her day off and puts the rest of us to shame - but just because she needed adult conversation I suppose.

    I don't think it's fair to say that people who go back to work do it because they can't cope with being with their kids all day, or that they're selfish or waited until their 30s and didn't realise it would be so much work. I think it's possible to have a reasonable balance between work and home, and I do think there are nurseries out there that add a lot to a child's life. It's just a shame that's not universal. Many of the staff at our nursery have been there for 10 years; they have a proper bond with the children, and there have been a lot of tears this week as the older children have left to go to school.

    All that said, I am looking to find a job I can do from home for when S starts school; I can't bear the thought of relying on holiday clubs and such like.

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    1. Hi Vicky, thank you for taking the time to comment - I agree with some of the valid points you make, in particular, having a very real choice, two parent families. I chose to shop in Aldi, not have SKY (killed me!) etc. There are many different reasons mum's go back to work and leave pre-schoolers but by in large it is the mother's needs that are paramount rather than the child's. I think you do yourself a disservice when you say you couldn't provide your child with what a nursery gives them. Isn't that the idea though - its the propaganda that people now believe. Ultimately the government don't want you to raise your child. You pay tax, the person looking after your child pays tax. They do not want mothers to raise their children. That is wrong and nothing will convince me otherwise. Pre-schools add a bit of variety to a pre-schooler but this is for 2.5 hours not 8! It is interesting that you feel more uncomfortable when your child is at school re after school clubs than you do about nursery day care. Thanks again and stop by soon! x

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