Alexander Averin

Thursday 21 June 2012

Mother is a verb, not a noun. Proverb

Dear Diary,

A mother is one to whom you hurry when you are troubled.  
Emily Dickinson

Artist Marie Witte

This is a continuation from my previous post.

Now Cherie Blair is getting her oar in and has criticised women who give up their career when they have children, labelling them unambitious and suggesting the decision impacts negatively on their kids.

I often meet people who say they could never have a dog because they work all day and it ‘wouldn’t be fair on the dog’.  How ironical that many of today’s parents are quite happy to leave their children every day with strangers.  These children will never have the one to one relationship and social life which is vital for proper development.  I would also think that these parents will come to regret this decision later in life once their children have flown the nest, which happens all too quickly.  Childhood is precious and child rearing is probably the most important job in the world.

I visited one of these nurseries once, when I was a student nurse. Parents ‘dropped off’ their children every day and some of them were quite young babies.  Some of them would be there for twelve hours. It reminded me of a dungeon, underground and windowless, I couldn’t believe it – I wouldn’t have left my dog there all day for one day let alone for the duration of a good part of her growing up life.

Many schools now have breakfast clubs which is really sad, they may have been set up for the right reasons but what sort of message is it sending out?  And surely many working parents will also use them just to lengthen the time spent away from their children. And now David Cameron wants to lengthen the hours of the schools’ babysitting service even more (see previous post). Perhaps I am cynical but the phrase social engineering keeps coming to mind, 

I know some folk have to work because, for whatever reason, they are really struggling income wise but I believe that the majority of parents who farm out their children are just plain greedy.  I escaped to Wales from the south east of England back in the nineties and even at that time the sole aim of a lot of people was to get an even bigger house and to do so they were taking on huge mortgages; their desire was to outdo their neighbours in every way and to acquire more and more materialistically. What many take for granted now I did without (and still do) but I worked as a mother full-time and stayed home with my children -  and they were the happiest days of my life.

As for ambition, my only ambition was then and is now for my children (and now my grandchildren) to be happy.

If I am old fashioned I take it as a compliment.

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,


Mac n' Janet said...

I so agree! I couldn't believe it when I read what Cheri Blair said. Staying home with your children is the best gift you can ever give your child. I treasure the 5 years I had with my daughter before she went off to school.

Bovey Belle said...

I'm with you on this one Cait. When we had children, I gave up work. We struggled financially, especially when we mvoedto Wales and everything went pear-shaped, but I never regretted being a SAHM for a moment. I also nursed my mother for the last few years of her life, so I guess that empathy and love is with us always.

Nan said...

Amen! I just said to Tom, 'no wonder we get along' (meaning you and me)

David said...

I so agree with all that. What ever happened to the days when we planned to have children, mothered them whilst hubby earned all he could and both enjoyed them as they grew into little, happy people?

David G (senior)!

David said...

I so agree with all that. What ever happened to the days when we planned to have children, mothered them whilst hubby earned all he could and both enjoyed them as they grew into little, happy people?

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

That's a lovely warm painting of the mother and child!
I agree with you. Presently I have only two grandchildren and their parents both work full time, their mother my daughter has her own business so has her time fully taken up with that. I frequently mutter to myself as to why folks have children when they hardly spend any time at all with them. It passes in the blink of an eye and what have they got to look back on?
I always say, having children is the best 'job' I had in the world!!


Angela said...

I also stayed at home with my two daughters and loved every minute. Now the girls are grown (we`re still very close) and have children. They both work, but in the afternoons spend a lot of time with their children, cooking jam, working in the garden, playing. Finding a compromise is probably what is needed today. Employers should be forced to think of their employee`s offspring, too, by providing attached day-care. The problem is the same here in Germany.

Pondside said...

I just don't get it. The whole debate about pursuing a full time career and raising children is certainly fraught. I stayed home. It wasn't easy and we'll never catch up with the people who warehoused their children and burned ahead with careers. On the other hand, I can see the worth of what we chose and I wouldn't have done it any other way.
I wouldn't be taking child-raising advice, or any other sort of advice from Ms Blair!