Monday, 2 February 2009

The Good Childhood Enquiry

The following has severely cheesed me off. Quoted from the latest survey probably carried out by peoplewith no children of their own. I'm off on one already!!!

Working mothers

It cites research suggesting that three times as many three year olds living with lone parents or a step-parent have behavioural problems compared with those living with married parents.

"Children with separate, single or step parents are 50% more likely to fail at school, have low esteem, be unpopular with other children and have behavioural difficulties, anxiety or depression," it argues.

"Child-rearing is one of the most challenging tasks in life and ideally it requires two people," the report concludes.

It also suggests that having many more working mothers has contributed to the damage done to children.

"Most women now work and their new economic independence contributes to levels of family break-up which are higher in the UK than in any other Western European country."

What gives anybody the right to suggest that as a working mother I am damaging my children? What right does ANYBODY have to even merely suggest the fact that my having to work is psychologically damaging my children and how dare they suggest that by my working I am contributing to them having behavioural problems.

Complete rubbish!

I've always worked. From the day I was 15 and got my first Saturday job, right until the present day. Apart from taking time off that was due to me for maternity leave and sick absence I have never shirked a day's work in my life. My children have grown up with a mother they know goes to work. They have grown up knowing that my income has kept a roof over their head, paid for their school trips, bought the extra DVDs and sweets they want and also paid for birthday presents and Christmas presents.

My children have grown up knowing that women have the ability to use their brains outside the home rather than be stuck in doing the cooking, cleaning and other chores. I am sick and tired of hearing stay at home parents bleating on about how hard their lives are because of the demands of their children. They're lucky and they're priviliged to be in a situation where they can stay home. I didn't get that luxury bestowed on me.

My daughters know that their education will be worth something. They know that when they leave school, hopefully with good grades, they can use them to their advantage, not tuck them away to rot and fester for 10 years while they stay home bringing up their children.

I am angry that by working I'm accused of wanting economic independence. Of course I do - it's called being able to pay the bills!!! It's all part of being my own woman - why should I have to stand cap in hand in front of a man waiting for my housekeep cheque? I'm capable of earning my own money - what was the point of me getting my education if I couldn't use it to the advantage of my family?

And as for the behaviour problems. Know what? It makes no difference whether a woman works or not. It's how she brings up her children that counts. It's about making the right choices about who you leave your children with, who you let them play with and how you bring them up in the home. There are unfortunately unpleasant who and between them have both working mothers and stay at home mothers. Equally there are some fantastic children and again, some have working mothers, others stay at home.

So, if I'm such a bad mother because I abandon my children in pursuit of my own economic and selfish pursuit of self fulfillment, why is it that EVERYBODY comments to me how lovely my children are? Why am I always being told they are polite, friendly children who engage in conversation freely and have impeccable manners? Why is it that my children often get invited to parties and to play dates at other houses?

I'll tell you why. Because between us, their father and I have used the time we do have with them to maximum benefit. We have taught them manners. We have taught them right from wrong. We have taught them that it's OK to be angry about things and how to behave when you're angry. We've taught them that it's OK to have a laugh about things and we've played with them. We've taken them out regularly and we've taught them things. We have answered their questions when they've asked and we've helped with homework. We have played puzzles and hide and seek and ghosts under the duvet - all the things that stay at home parents do.

In fact, I've probably made MORE of an effort to engage in these things with my children, because of the limited time I have with them, but I'm now beyond being apologetic for working. My children are doing just fine thank you very much. In fact, I'd be curious to see these some parents even manage to attempt to fit in what I do in a day and bring up four children.

It's a very, very sensitive subject to me.

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