Thursday, August 28, 2008

A woman's thoughts on staying out of the paid work-force

http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,24246709-5001030,00.html

This article, by Mrs. Angela van Boxtel, contains many things that I would like to say for myself, but for which I would be denounced as a misogynist if I did. I encourage you to read the article in full, but here are the best bits (though I disagree with her anti-private education stance, of course):

Many women don't realise it, but the very simple answer to the question of balance for working mothers is this: be happy with less.

I really wish more mums had the guts to reclaim motherhood and just stopped whinging about "having" to work.

A lot of families have a choice but they are addicted to things they can't let go of - the big house, their cars, their shopping and private education to name just a few things.

I'm a mother of four boys myself (aged between one and 12). I do not have a so called
career. My life, including my family, is my career.

I've made choices so my children are my first priority in life and that means being there for them. This means not working all the time just to be able to give them a big house where no-one is home anyway, or only ever spending short amounts of "quality time" with them.

I have some tips for the Daily Telegraph's mums who say they work because they have to.

For starters, I do not have a mortgage. My husband and I and our four kids, so six of us in all, share a three bedroom apartment and one of those rooms is our office.

We never go on holidays or weekends away. We don't need to as we live in Manly, just a few minutes from the beach - and isn't my backyard the surrounding natural beauty of the beach anyway?

Who needs a holiday when as a family we are happy exploring our local neighbourhoods?

We are not members of any gym so we don't have to pay for any fitness. Instead we walk everywhere.

Your children are your gifts and they are here to be enjoyed. Yes mums, you're natural yearnings to be with your child are right.

The answer is to let go of the things you are working so hard and such long hours to be able to afford. Be creative. And just let go of those material things for the sake of your children.
Reginaldvs Cantvar

3 comments:

Louise said...

Yep. Needs to be said more often.

Of course, one of the main reasons women go back to work is because they are lonely for adult company. I nearly went back to work for this reason alone.

I would have been less lonely, of course, if more mothers were at home with their kids and so your whole neighbourhood would have kids playing in it. Which is how it was when I was growing up.

Louise said...

Oh, and if the education is an issue, there is always homeschooling as one option. Even Catholic schools are expensive these days if you have more than a couple of kids.

You do always have to spend some money and time on the children's education, but it needn't break the bank.

Cardinal Pole said...

"I would have been less lonely, of course, if more mothers were at home with their kids ..."

Yes, good point. I suppose there are Church mothers groups and so on, but they aren't a perfect substitute.

On the other hand though, the majority of working mothers' occupations, things like nightfill and checkouts, don't provide particularly edifying adult contact.