Monday, May 09, 2005

Moan, Moan, Moan

Catholic Herald 5 May 2005
Home Front by Sarah Johnson

“Are we a ‘hard-working’ family?” I asked Mr J one day before the General Election.
“I hope we are because both the major political parties say that this election is all about ‘hard-working families’”.
Mr J says we are, because he has been working seven days a week for the past six weeks without stopping.
I say we are not, because I don’t count as a full-time working mother. Instead of being in an office all afternoon drinking lattes, I collect my children from school, feed them and supervise their homework…so, with only one income and a bit, rather than the requisite two incomes, I fear that Mr Blair, Mr Brown, Mr Howard and Mr Kennedy would all agree that we are idle good-for-nothings and not the ideal “hard-working family” at all.
Reading the words of Labour MP Joe Benton urging us to vote Labour in last week’s Catholic Herald, I am struck by the Labour Party’s definition of “supporting marriage and the family”. Words like “guaranteed income of £258 a week for those parents with children and in full-time work” stick out a mile. What is really meant is: “NO guaranteed income for parents who want to take care of their own children rather than farm them out to someone else”.
The Conservative Party, too, seems quite oblivious of the existence of parents who look after their own children. For years now voices have been raised in their ranks, putting forward the sensible and simple idea that a parent who is staying at home to look after children (or other needy relatives) should be able to transfer their personal tax allowance to the breadwinner.
My plea is simple: Stop using the tax system to force parents to hand their beloved children over to strangers who may be very kind, and very professional, but, in the end, do not love the children as their parents do.
The Government’s attitude to stay at home mums and dads, in short, amounts to a tax on love. No opposition party has been bold enough, or cares enough to challenge the tax on love: it has become accepted as the norm.
The novelist Allison Pearson is working on a new book following her successful fable of working mum-hood, “I don’t know how she does it” by publishing a lengthy questionnaire online (www.womendoingitall.com) which she would like both “working and stay-at-home mothers” to fill in.
Needless to say, the questionnaire, while thoughtful and thought-provoking, is far more interested in “working” mothers than in those who are not earning. Ms Pearson, by dint of her profession, is more familiar with those trying to “do it all” than with mums who care for the children they gave birth to.
I implore all Catholic Herald readers who are, or have ever been, proudly non-earning mothers to fill in Allison’s questionnaire and give her our side of the story.
So far, the women who set the “women’s agenda” are of a generation and type who have been conditioned to despise the non-earning housewife. These women still seem to think that home-making is essentially a leisure activity.
Look at the way writers such as Pearson habitually describe themselves: “Frantically busy”…”juggling home and work”…”work-life balance”…Moan, moan, moan. These are the highly paid women who have persuaded every political party that the main issue for families is, essentially, our old friend from the 1930s, “the servant problem” - or “childcare” as we call it now.
Women who choose to take care of their own children, bringing up the next generation themselves instead of farming the job out to language students and sunless basement day-care centres, have no voice, no economic presence and, it would appear, no vote. Not a vote which seems worth winning, at any rate.
Which is odd, really, since on the day of the General Election we tend to be the hardest working mothers in the country.
You see, our children’s schools have a tendency to close themselves down in order to be used as polling stations, so we find ourselves having the children of the “working” mums over for breakfast…and lunch…and tea, because the “working” mums can’t take a day off from the office. Ironic or what?

10 comments:

reni said...

Hey Sarah Johnson, you have a great blog here. Moan, Moan, Moan caught my eye and I thought I would put a post on it. I'm looking for help.

The site I have is a work at home mums site. Its all about, need I say it, working from home. I think people should have the choice to build their own income instead of somebody else’s. Freedom of well being and all of that...anyway I was on your site looking for ways to help my business. I'm really looking for ways of building better rapport between recruits.

Anyways Sarah Johnson thanks for the great blog. I'll just have to carry on my search till I find what I'm looking for. Take care.

vivian said...

Moan, Moan, Moan... I've enjoyed reading your blog. I was searching for work from home in the uk sites. I have a home based business and I wanted some ideas and tips. I also have a blog, it is www.adminsupervisor.blogspot.com it’s new and it’s getting better all the time. Have a look if you want, but I'm moving house and have not posted in a while. I'll get back to it soon.

My other site is a work from home in the uk site. I recently decided to build my own income and I thought I searching for tips would help me become a better mentor.

Keep up the great work Sarah Johnson, I'll be back soon.

vivian said...

Hey Sarah Johnson, you have a great blog here. Moan, Moan, Moan caught my eye and I thought I would put a post on it. I'm looking for help.

The site I have is a work from home in the uk site. Its all about, need I say it, working from home. I think people should have the choice to build their own income instead of somebody else’s. Freedom of well being and all of that...anyway I was on your site looking for ways to help my business. I'm really looking for ways of building better rapport between recruits.

Anyways Sarah Johnson thanks for the great blog. I'll just have to carry on my search till I find what I'm looking for. Take care.

adminsupervisor said...

Hiya Sarah Johnson, I was searching around for info on how to start a home based business. I found your blog.

I was reading your post and believe it or not it’s helped me. Every tip I get helps, even if its just new phrases I have never used before, its helps me be a better mentor. This is my business link - work from home directory - check it out and see what you think.

Anyways Sarah Johnson, you have a good site. I'll be back.

Britt Phillips said...

Sarah Johnson I was just looking online for info on coastal vacations and ran across this blog. Actually Moan, Moan, Moan was not exactly what I was searching for, it grabbed my attention. I understand now how I landed on your site when I typed in coastal vacations related info, and I'm glad I found your page.

vivian said...

Hiya Sarah Johnson, I was searching around for info on how to start a home based business. I found your blog.

I was reading your post and believe it or not it’s helped me. Every tip I get helps, even if its just new phrases I have never used before, its helps me be a better mentor. This is my business link - work from home directory - check it out and see what you think.

Anyways Sarah Johnson, you have a good site. I'll be back.

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reni said...

Greetings Sarah Johnson, you have a pretty cool blog here. I was searching for work from home pc. I just started my home business and you can see it at this link - work from home pc. Your post title caught my eye - Moan, Moan, Moan. I'm just looking for tips on how to be a better mentor. I know that’s not what you’re going on about in this post but I am trying to expand my vocabulary phrases so I can talk to many different personalities. I mean I have to talk to a lot of people and I need to be able to connect with everyone.

Anyways Sarah Johnson, this helped. Keep it up, I'll be back.

Adrian Creffield said...

Hiya Sarah Johnson, I was searching around for info on how to start a home based business. I found your blog.

I was reading your post and believe it or not it’s helped me. Every tip I get helps, even if its just new phrases I have never used before, its helps me be a better mentor. This is my business link - work at home mums - check it out and see what you think.

Anyways Sarah Johnson, you have a good site. I'll be back.

Adrian Creffield said...

Hiya Sarah Johnson, I was searching around for info on how to start a home based business. I found your blog.

I was reading your post and believe it or not it’s helped me. Every tip I get helps, even if its just new phrases I have never used before, its helps me be a better mentor. This is my business link - work from home directory - check it out and see what you think.

Anyways Sarah Johnson, you have a good site. I'll be back.