Sunday, 10 November 2013

Clarification and Qualification

Last night's open letter to Mr David Cameron turned into a bit of a rant. I do hope that he read it, though find that doubtful as even if he were to be Looking for Linda he would still turn up an eighties song by Hue and Cry.

Others of you may have done so however, or may consider doing so after reading this. So I feel the need to clarify and qualify words written after a large glass of very nice, greatly reduced white wine (thank you Waitrose that you still make it possible to enjoy the occasional drink even if pubs and bars are becoming prohibitively expensive...)

Of course women who wish to resume their career should not be prevented from doing so after having a baby. At no point would I ever dream of trying to restrict the choice of anyone as to how they wish to live their life. Unless of course it involves illegal, immoral or frankly dangerous activity in which case I might have a quiet word.

There are some great nannies and child minders out there. Fantastic nurseries, caring staff. Excellent childcare exists and for those who want to work outside the home thank goodness for such provision.

My issue (has anyone else noticed how nowadays we all have issues and challenges? Whatever happened to problems?) concerns the mums - and dads, thought to be honest this post does mostly concern mums - who would simply prefer to work at home. And by work I don't mean trying to fit some online money making scheme round the baby's naps. I don't mean continuing their previous career remotely - though that is a possibility it surely still requires childcare.

I simply believe that raising children is a job. A valid career option if you like. It's not all walks in the park and coffee with chums either, for those who haven't been there. Raising children is exhausting, messy, frustrating, repetitive hard work. Ultimately rewarding when it goes well, but when it doesn't there is no worry like it.

And yet this government's policy seems to me (and if I have this wrong please do correct me Mr Cameron - or anyone else reading this) to "encourage" women back into the workplace by offering childcare vouchers as an incentive, and reducing child benefits.

The more I write the more I realise I don't understand this, and the more I think I have obviously got this completely wrong. Time then to shut up for a bit and perhaps move on to a subject I know more about. Expect a post very soon on baking...

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