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Category Archives: the mummy race

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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Older mums – a bit more

I wrote an earlier response here to a WA professor’s declaration that older mothers are selfish for a variety of reasons.

One thing that has come back again and again to me from friends, older mothers and those who have not had the opportunity to become mothers, is that there’s a disconnect in some people’s lives between one person wanting to have children, and their partner not wanting children, or not wanting to settle down.

I was interested to read an article today by Sara Holton, Jane Fisher and Heather Rowe that asserts that women delaying having children for selfish reasons in order to pursue personal ambitions or hedonistic activities such as travel are not supported by the evidence.

The article is based upon To have or not to have? Australian women’s childbearing desires, expectations and outcomes by the above women in JOURNAL OF POPULATION RESEARCH DOI: 10.1007/s12546-011-9072-3. I have the article here on my screen (the joys of access to a university library – thank you).

From the news article:

[T]he selfish, career-focused woman who chooses not to have children or delays childbearing is a myth. Women are not helped by the accusations that have been directed at them in recent weeks.

Women would benefit from public policies that are more sensitive to and address the barriers they face in having children.

In addition to the welcome recent improvements in maternity benefits, such sensitive public policies could include education for men about female fertility and the risks to their partner’s health of postponing childbearing.

Other initiatives could include flexible repayment options to permit suspension of higher-education debts while women provide unpaid care for dependent young children, and maximising housing affordability.

Many women would have more children if they could and if circumstances allowed. Women reported a main barrier was their partner’s reluctance to have a child, or another child.

Given that, I feel it is irresponsible for pundits and researchers to yell at ‘older mothers’ for being ‘selfish’ and having children later in life.

 
 

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You’re an older mum? Shame! You’re selfish!

Well, that’s what Dr Barry Walters says.

“I see many, many women with diabetes, high blood pressure and all sorts of medical problems and, of course, the older the woman is, the more likely she’s got medical problems,” he said. […]

But that’s just the start of it. You see, that means the older mum’s offspring will have to look after an elderly mother when they are starting out in adult life.

“They (their children) are starting out in life, having a family, working, getting mortgages and have to deal with geriatric parents,” he said. “It’s just not fair.” […]

“I’m looking at 20 years down the track. We’ve got 20 year olds with mothers who have had heart attacks, strokes and are on dialysis for kidney failure for diabetes.”

Dr Walters, perhaps you should be having a word with the “Selfish Fathers” who can’t commit to a marriage with children until they’re in their late 30s because they have spent a couple of decades thinking that some hotter, better woman will turn up, or who thinks that kids are a millstone round their neck or will drain their savings or get in the way of them partying.

Why am I an older mother? Because I was on medication for quite a few years after I was married that had serious implications for any foetus I might carry. I was sensible and chose to not get pregnant while there was a chance of that happening. Crazy, I know. It had nothing to do with how much we wanted a child or how much money we’d saved or how many overseas trips we’d taken. It was a health matter.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2011 in Motherhood, the mummy race

 

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Commuting makes mums mad

 

 

 

http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/505560/description

 

 

 

Jennifer Roberts | Robert Hodgson | Paul Dolan
external link 
It’s driving her mad: gender differences in the effects of commuting on psychological health Journal of Health Economics  

doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2011.07.006

 

 

 

 
 

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Gen X women – career before babies?

Article .

This is research from the NY think-tank, the Centre for Work-Life Policy. 43% of Generation X women (born between 1965 and 1978, my generation) do not have children. I find it interesting that the article sees this as a choice and a preferred choice at that, rather than the usual comments one hears of “There are no worthy men around!” I can think of quite a few Gen X women who would have loved to have children but so far have not found a partner with whom they would like to have children, and they do not want to have a child on their own via assisted reproduction technology. Sure, I see that most of us were aware of how much we could achieve and we totally went for it! We could do anything, take on any career, and we believed (still believe) in people being promoted due to their merits rather than just because they’re a bloke.

Ninety-one percent of the surveyed women in relationships were part of dual-earning couples, and 19 per cent out-earned their husbands. Similarly, 74 per cent considered themselves ambitious, compared to 65 per cent of women from the baby-boom generation.

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2011 in Article, the mummy race, women

 

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Dashing past

Things are hectic here. Two loads of washing done after coming home from work. One load in the clothes dryer (school clothes I should have done on the weekend but completely forgot). DD has been washed, dressed in pyjamas, fed, read to, done spelling with and lots of kisses.

I have about 2000 words to write by Thursday on fanfic, not to mention several articles I have to speed read.

There’s a pile of washing up, thanks to the dishwasher that decided to cark it a couple of weeks ago. My study is piled high with boxes because I did a half-arsed tidy up of the family room.

I have 3 pairs of tracky daks to hem for DD (who are these gigantic children they were made for?) and also have to wash, dry and hem two pairs of jeans for me. I have to mend a pair of black pants for work – darn seams coming apart after one wear. Pathetic standard of finishing.

Somewhere in that I have to find time to do my rehab exercises, try to calm my mind and spirit before going to bed (ADD means meditation is rarely successful) and then the mad day starts again.

Love!

 
 

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