Fourth time lucky for FTM registration

Mum wins the right to describe herself as a ‘Full-Time Mother’

When registering their third child’s birth a couple of years ago, FTM member Karen * couldn’t believe it when the General Register Office yet again refused her the right to define her occupation as ‘full-time mother’, a matter she had already started challenging on the birth of her second son.

Karen, now full-time mum to four children said : ‘ Although I appreciate that all mothers are mothers all the time, whether out in paid work or looking after their children, there is clearly a significant difference, which would affect all kinds of socio-economic analysis, between holding a paid job and arranging various forms of childcare, and taking care of your own children all the time as your only job.’

She continued: ‘It is important to me personally that my children’s birth certificates accurately reflect my occupation at the time of their birth, but surely it should also be important to the Office of National Statistics that all information gathered can be used to analyse the actual situation of our population.’

Karen felt strongly that ‘housewife’ or ‘home-maker’ were not adequate descriptions of her daytime occupation, since her main activity during the day is caring for her young children, not cleaning the house, as this gets done in the evenings when the children are asleep, not unlike ‘life-before-children’ when the couple tackled domestic chores after returning from their daytime jobs.

Karen explained: ‘ You could easily define yourself as a house-wife or home-maker and in fact not have any childcare element in your day at all!’

Happily, the General Register Office agreed: they wrote to Karen in June (and coincidentally the letter was sent on their new baby’s birthday) to inform her of the decision to allow, for the first time, the occupation ‘fulltime mother’ to be recorded in birth entries.

Karen and her husband Michael now intend amending two of their other children’s birth certificates. Mum Karen maintains that her previous paid job before starting a family should technically only appear on their first child’s birth certificate, as an accurate description of her occupation up to that point, since when she has devoted all her time to the care of her children.

Karen feels sure that this decision is an important step to achieving more recognition, at national level, for the ‘unique role’ and value of full-time mothers and fulltime fathers.

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4 Responses to “Fourth time lucky for FTM registration”

  1. Full-time mother: occupation? | fertilefeminism.com Says:

    […] called Full Time Mothers reported yesterday that a woman whose sole job is to care for her children was successful in convincing the General Register Office to allow her (and, presumably, any other women in her […]

  2. J Wilson Says:

    Well done Karen – I have made comments myself but you have managed to get this changed ! Congratulations !

  3. Pete Says:

    Thats absolute rubbish. An occupation should be defined as something that contributes to society i.e. economically, profitable, healthcare or public service. Being a ‘Full time mum’ draws on society especially in the way of benefits. Therefore it shouldn’t be defined as an occupation. More like a ‘burden on society’. Same as ‘housewife’ or ‘homemaker’ should be defined as ‘useless to society’. Many countries are now stopping child support after the second child (some after the first!) I believe the UK should also adopt this strategy in order to ease the burden of childcare on the working population. (Whether childcare is direct (by the mother) or indirect (by an outsider)). The ONS should be advised to define ‘Full time mum’ as UNEMPLOYED.

    • Full time mum Says:

      Raising a child is contributing to society? If she was a child minder for someone else’s children is that ok?if she cooks for other people’s children like a dinner lady or nurses other children like a nurse? Or cleans another’s house rather than her own? This women is self sufficient cleans her own home, cares and nurses her own children and cooks for her own family but deserves no title just degrading remarks from you? I wonder what your job title is?pete pen pusher?

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