How keen are mothers to be in paid employment?

In this Guardian article, Oliver James – a clinical psychologist, author and a patron of Full-Time Mothers, comments on a report showing that mothers prefer to be with their children.

The report points out that the great majority of female media commentary and political decision-making is by women who work full-time. It claims they fail to stick up for full-time mothers, denigrating their brains as having gone “as soft as over-cooked spaghetti” and for nurturing an overindulged “generation of useless monsters”.

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One Response to “How keen are mothers to be in paid employment?”

  1. Marie Says:

    Women have no voice during the months or years they spend hands-on caring, however long that may be or how valuable and useful their role bringing up children – same goes for the dad who stays at home. It’s not really a gender issue anymore, rather it’s about the two-earner versus the single-earner household. However, having said that, it’s mostly mums that want to do the caring and surely they should be supported in this choice?

    Unlike invisible mums at home, working mothers who usually use third party paid childcare, have the power to influence policy, particuarly the professional elite, female politicians, researchers etc They can get decisions reversed (U turn on childcare vouchers being a case in point ) as they have a direct line to those who can bring about change/put policy recommendations into practice. Where is the other half of parents’ voices in all of this ?? (so much for feminism and representation for ALL women) . What about tax breaks for households that forfeit the second salary to keep it all ‘in-house’ – after all these one-earner single income couples often have LOWER income than the dual income couples claiming childcare vouchers. (Furthermore two income families are already benefitting from two single person’s allowances whereas the one earner family has just one non taxable allowance, therefore ends up paying more tax on same household income).

    When one family care model is treated so much better than another isn’t that tantamount to social engineering? When are we going to have a level playing field for couples with one carer at home? As I understand it one-earner couples in the UK pay on average about 44 percent MORE tax on their earnings than similar couples elsewhere in Europe.

    The drive to be at home with your child is really strong – it’s an instinct that no amount of gender equality tinkering can get rid of. Why would we want to get rid of that instinct anyhow – didn’t we all want to be cared for when we were young? Didn’t we all benefit from loving caring homes – or did we go to nursery from the age of 6 months? What’s going on? (By the way I don’t mind what other parents choose to do – it’s only right that people have quality choices – all I’d like to see is better equal treatment for all – and an end to the current bias in the taxation system in favour of working mothers).

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