Category Archives: Child Development

Women still pay the parenting penalty

Recent research from Denmark shows that it’s still expensive on a personal level to be a mother, even in a country that is renowned for its egalitarian approach towards parenthood and work

It appears that the gender pay gap has increased over the past 35 years.

Even with “perfectly equal pay for equal work” there would still be large gender inequality in earnings as equal work is not an option for the majority of women, who are faced with the lion’s share of childcare responsibilities.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose. Sigh.


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Busy 2016

Already heading towards the end of the first half of the year. Goodness, I’m not sure where the weeks have gone!

DD is now 10 and she has discovered activities that she loves to do that work with her need for space and her need for downtime. She acknowledges she loves to spend time with her friends and to do fun things, even if it’s only watching a DVD together. The only drawback is that I end up having to help organise these get-togethers. She feels it dreadfully when friends have to pull out of an activity or their parents decide they’re going to do something else after they’d already committed. I have to do a lot of soothing of hurt feelings then.

Cat show coming up. That means the Washing of the Cat will happen tonight.


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Ack, just go to sleep already!

Last night DD was being highly irritating. In and out of bed, up and down, “I keep having bad dreams”, “I’m not sleepy” and so on.

Well, sweetie, I don’t care if you’re not sleepy. It’s 9.30 pm, I want to watch my own show on TV in peace and quiet, and I deserve some quiet, “me” time as a single parent. Go to bed!

Sometimes I roar. Usually when I am exhausted, need recharging and DD has pushed every button I have. Yes, she’s sweet. Yes, she’s irritating.

I’m not marking this as a Mom Fail. I deserve time for myself. DD gets many good things. DD needs sleep. And we had to get up at o goodness o’clock this morning to take the car for servicing and we’re going to a musical this evening. Consequently, sleep is a necessity for little kids, not to mention grown ups.

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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Child Development, children


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Comparison of different childhoods

New Yorker article on “Why Are American Kids So Spoilt?”

Read this article this morning – oy vey. What an eye-opener!

Somewhat relieved that I make Miss 6-y-o, my DD, do chores. It’s expected that she can get herself dressed and that she can pack her schoolbag (granted, with a little nudging some mornings). She feeds the kitten and I clean the kitty litter. Those sorts of things. If she sat back and expected me to pander to every requirement, I would go nuts pretty quickly and doing everything for her would do her no service whatsoever. I want her to grow into a resilient, reliable, thoughtful adult.


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Working mothers – will the guilt never end?

Opinion piece here.

Like the writer of this piece, Amy Gray, I don’t feel ‘working mother’s guilt’. I may feel guilty about other things (like when I demonstrate poor language choices by swearing at other drivers in Canberra’s annoying traffic!), but I don’t feel guilty about working to earn money so we have a roof over our head. I’m a widow. I don’t have a big fat pension to lean on and we hadn’t paid off our house when DH died. Like my mother, I’m giving my daughter an example of how to work and how to be a mother, and that neither is a walk in the park, yet both can be enormously rewarding on many different levels.

My paternal grandmother was widowed young with two small children. She also worked and had support from her mother with childcare. I have support from paid childcare. Believe me, I appreciate the fantastic young women and men who run exciting activities after school. I couldn’t come up with that variety of activities (soccer, monkey bars, tag, cricket, craft, etc.) for DD and me to do on our own – some things need a number of kids to make it work. DD loves being with other kids. She’s extroverted and very sociable. Hence the endless cries for playdates on the weekend.


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Are the French better parents?

Article here.

We hang out a lot, we laugh a lot and she amuses herself a lot while I get stuff done.

Yup, DD and I do the same.

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Posted by on February 10, 2012 in Child Development, children


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Only children are the future

Article from the Sydney Morning Herald here.

The writer, Emma Kennedy, says

The only thing I’ve been spoiled with is my parents’ love. I adore them. I speak to them every day and see them at least once a week. Often, when I tell people this, they look at me as if there is something wrong with me for loving my parents. I find this extraordinary.

Only children can choose their own siblings – cherished friends, close relationships with cousins and second cousins, make friends and seek out social occasions.

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Posted by on January 3, 2012 in Child Development, children


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