Nah, I kid, I kid. Men are people too.
Interesting to read this article in the Times this morning.
Interesting and yet hardly news. I've never understood the peculiar notion that just because a couple split up in this country the man is automatically relegated to non-parent. Or at the very least second in command. Children by and large do better when both parents are actively involved in their lives and if both parents are willing and able they should be encouraged to do so. And legally free to do so. Splits ups are awful enough without denying children access to the people they love.
The other curious thing-for me anyway- was this line...
"On the issue of raising children, 56 per cent believe a woman should accept that her children are more important that her career."
Aw bless, the unmistakable whiff of the 1950s.
Why should this be? Who says women don't already consider their children more important than their careers? Who says they/we must accept our children are more important? More important that what? Career, self worth, happiness? If-according to the same article- men feel there ought to be more flexi time for them to enjoy their children as they grow would it not then follow on that more flexi time = more shared parental duties? Thus freeing up women and allowing them to enjoy a career AND children- should she so wish to do so? To suggest women MUST accept that their children are more important that their careers implies women don't regard them as such now, and that women ought to know better and be prepared to take a back seat employment wise when their offspring are born. That women already do this is not acknowledged of course, just glossed over.
On the subject of childcare and child raising it seems blatantly obvious to me that these issues ought to be discussed well in advance of actually procreating ( if at all possible). Not every woman wants to leave her job and stay home with the baby. Not every man wants to work all the hours in the day to support a partner and child, not every woman wants to return to work after her children are born, not every man and woman WANT children. Sometimes it makes economic sense for a woman to retain her job while her partner cuts back his hours. It's not a one size fits all situation.
But it is a decision couples must deal with, or at least it should be. Certainly in this day and age where mortgages are ridiculously expensive and commuting puts strain on personal time, having children can seem like an uphill battle and one that is delayed longer and longer. But is that not also a curious quirk of our times? Putting off having children until much later is now considered the right option for many, and indeed it probably is for them. I wonder though do the same problem still crop up? WHo will stay home, who will sacrifice their time and work?
Personally I would hate to feel I had no option but to remain with a child all the live long day. It would drive me bonkers. But neither do I like the idea of popping them into a creche from morning to night either. That would upset me and make me question why I bothered having them in the first place- cue the guilt! I'm sure there is a middle ground. Flexi-time might just be that middle ground for a lot of parents. Certainly working together to raise a family seems to me to be a more admirable route than assigning definite roles.
Labels: Children and men and women too.