Monday, May 16, 2011


I have recently heard many people say (including our government) that young mothers should be able to return to the workforce while their child is quite young. On a discussion forum I was watching tonight I actually heard a single childless career woman say she resented any of her taxes being used to support families in any way and that mothers that chose to stay home made no contributiion to the economy or anything else.

Do all new mums want to go back to work and leave their little one to be cared for by others? Surely not. If it is possible for them to be fulltime stay at home mums then I don't think they should be made to feel they are not making any contribution to our country.

A mother is many things: a wife, housekeeper, nurse, accountant, teacher, etc. etc. You cannot tell me that doing all these things and being there to teach her child right from wrong (which is very necessary these days) is not making any contribution. She must teach her youngsters to be caring and understanding of others and everything else that turns a child into a worthwhile adult and Australian citizen.

Men and women are different...women are physically able to bear children - men are not. If a woman and her husband/partner decide it is time to have a child then hopefully they will also decide if they can afford for the new mum to at least spend the first few years home with the new arrival, should she wish to do so.

Many people in this modern world appear to want to have everything that is available in the way of big houses, swimming pools, spas, home name it and they want it. On top of that they decide they want a family so what happens. A baby arrives and after only a few months he/she is left each day at a child care centre and mum goes back to work. If that is the mother's choice then so be it.

I know I am old-fashioned but I cannot come to terms with wanting it all. It is of course once again the way of the modern world and has been accepted as the norm but are we teaching our children to be unselfish or are they going to be even more selfish than many of the modern generation. They will be brought up in homes where everything is laid on and wll expect the same for themselves when they grow up. What has happened to the anticipation of being able to buy something one wants after saving hard for it? Not to expect all to be laid on and unhappy if it is not?

I would support any young mother who felt she needed to be there for her young child until at least that child was going to kindergarten when the mother could begin to think of finding a part-time job and still be there for her child out of school hours.

Financial circumstances forced me to return to the workforce when my two children were 10 and 12 years of age and yet I still felt guilty that I was away from our home during each weekday in case they should be ill or need me for some reason. Fortunately it did work out well and I think those two children were sufficiently shown right from wrong that neither got into any trouble. I may be wrong here but do feel that my being home with them during their formative years helped in some small way for that to happen.

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