Too late for my sister and many other women I know which is beyond sad. Too late for me in many ways. Encouraging nevertheless.
Excellent article from Neil Gilbert* of the University of California.
1) Parents find it hard to invest time in caring for young children when they both have paid work commitments in the pre-school years
2) Work carried out in the home is of immense economic value
3) Whether it’s the mother or father that stays at home at various stages of the family life cycle is a decision couples make after a number of factors have been taken into account, not least who earns the most
4) Children benefit hugely from family time and the loving care a parent can provide
5) It makes little financial sense to outsource childcare when there are necessary costs to finding quality replacement care
6) Being in paid work incurs additional costs in transport and other work-related costs
7) Not everyone has help from extended family members and grandparents - so what works for some parents will not work for others
8) Trying to do everything all at the same time can result in chaotic households as everyone ends up rushing around and getting stressed. This is not exactly the ‘harmonious’ home life most of us hope to achieve for ourselves and our children!
9) It’s time to look at other models for supporting families, such as home-care allowances (or we would say fairer family taxation and allowances based on household income and care responsibilities), like they have in other countries.
10) We need to revive public regard for the social and economic value of what parents do when they’re raising children and taking care of them.
* Author of A Mother’s Work a book which takes a hard look at the unprecedented rise in childlessness, along with the outsourcing of family care and household production, which have helped to alter family life since the 1960s. It challenges the conventional view on how to balance motherhood and employment, and examines how the choices women make are influenced by the culture of capitalism, feminist expectations, and the social policies of the welfare state. Gilbert argues that while the market ignores the essential value of a mother’s work, prevailing norms about the social benefits of work have been overvalued by elites whose opportunities and circumstances little resemble those of most working- and middle-class mothers. And the policies that have been crafted too often seem friendlier to the market than to the family