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Do we have our priorities right?
Parental Support in general
Member Name: lellagrace
Parental Support in general
Date: 07/09/06, updated on 07/09/06 (117 review reads)
Advantages: Retrain for a career later
Disadvantages: Childhood is very short
PROUD TO BE A HOUSEWIFE/HUSBAND?
Is it time mothers can once again say with pride that we are a housewife and mother, or for the father to say he is a househusband. There is nothing at all to be ashamed of in doing a good job of staying at home and looking after your family if that is your choice. Quality time would then be just that and could be enjoyed spontaneously instead of having to be planned for at weekends – when many parents probably don’t enjoy it as much as we pretend, as in actual fact we are thinking of all the other things we have still to do.
AT WHAT COST?
The only thing which has come out of this desire for women to have jobs outside of the home is that nowadays some of us have the choice – but at what price?
I sympathise with parents who have no alternative but to leave their children with competent carers, but I also feel that more should be done to enable parents to take a career break in those first few years of a child’s life.
I am not entirely convinced women have achieved a lot with all this liberation we have strived for. Many of us still have the responsibilities of caring for our homes and families and are expected to succeed in a demanding career as well. Instead of liberation could it be termed as slavery for some of us?
As any working parent will testify, at the end of a hard day at work parents often don’t have the time, energy or patience to amuse our children. If we could afford to spend more time with our children maybe discipline would improve. How many of us have found ourselves giving in to demands from our children just because we are too drained to battle with them. This in itself causes a lowering of standards and allows the child to think it can always get its own way.
Listen to modern parents boasting about the “quality time” spent with our children. It is so easy to spot them in the shops on Saturdays. The kids and parents are dressed in the latest designer clothes, shopping trolleys loaded with exotic convenience foods and the kids frequently told they can have whatever it is they happen to pick up from the shelves. Come Saturday night, the kids are left with babysitters while Mum and Dad go out for the evening – “We need time together” is the excuse. A time to relax as a couple.
Sunday the whole family might visit grandparents or fit in some sporting activity, or more likely the parents will have a lie-in while the kids watch television. Maybe a trip to the pub for lunch, or a drive to yet more shops. By seven o’clock the kids are in bed and come Monday morning it’s back to the nursery or childminder again. What kind of a family life do these kids have?
Are we being fair dragging young babies and toddlers out of bed as early as 6 am to bundle them into the car for the journey to their carers? Is it fair to ask these children to sit in rush hour traffic, breathing in the exhaust fumes, sensing their parent’s frustrations at the delays?
Once at our destination, the child is left – but what do they do all day? In many nurseries babies spend most of the day in their cots in a room full of other babies. We talk about the cruelty of battery farms for animals, but unless a nursery is chosen very carefully many babies could be in a similar situation, herded together in one room for hours at a time. When do they receive the stimulation of simple things like a walk to the park or the shops? How do they become familiar with all the everyday sights and sounds when they spend all their childhoods in “daycare” – isn’t that the same term we use to describe the care of the elderly? Do we really want our children to become institutionalized at such an important stage in their lives?
No wonder so many of us feel we have to spend this so called quality time with the kids at the weekend. By the time Mum and Dad finish work, collect junior from the minder, prepare the evening meal and do the basic chores we are too shattered to want the bother of amusing our offspring every evening, hence the 7 o’clock (or earlier) bedtime. We are tired and so are the children, after all it has been a long day for them too.
CHILDREN OR A CAREER?.
I really think it is time we should all question our motives for having children whilst continuing to pursue our full time careers. Are we being fair to our children? Do kids really need all the material possessions parents seem compelled to bestow upon them? If parents have to pay out so much on childcare and all the other conveniences we need in order to juggle our career and our family, what are the benefits from all this? If it is purely a matter of finance that makes parents have to work so hard, then surely we should reassess if we really need such an expensive house/car and all those fashionable designer labels. Do we need to have foreign holidays and eat out several times a week?
Surely the most important consideration must be that it is always possible to continue a career later on – how many of us are in jobs where we are constantly retraining to keep up to date?
CHILDHOOD IS VERY SHORT
A couple of years away from the career path is surely not as important as those first few years of a child’s life. Once a child grows up its childhood is lost forever and parents can never recapture those lost moments of babyhood. But it is usually possible to retrain for our careers.
Summary: What price a career when your child is growing up?
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