Wednesday, January 04, 2017

What price Motherhood?

We were mothers because that was what you did.

We stayed home with the children because that was what you did.

Didn't we?

We had children just as we had birthdays, went to school, got a driver's licence, got a job because that was what you did.

Didn't we?

I suspect it's not that simple and I can guess at other motives for myself and they will be different from yours too.

But whatever the motives, they were strong enough, either singly or as a collective, to overcome any other priorities we might have had, like income or lifestyle.

When I say we, I mean myself and those like me - a particular class, a particular culture and belief system.

It was tough, horrendously tough, 

but also incredibly rewarding in all sorts of ways.

But I want to look at the price, and specifically the economic price ... the economic value.

I/We stayed home with the children.

For a certain generation that was accepted as the norm.

There was a breadwinner and there was a carer of the children usually decided by gender.

So the childcare came out of the pockets of the household.

Mothers provided the childcare.

Because it was an accepted norm, 

and there was no pay packet for that childcare, 

it was not seen, generally, as an economic entity 

and consequently degraded in value.  

"Just a Mum"   !!!

{   Unless you are receiving a pay packet, society seemingly does not recognise your talent or contribution to society.    }

That income situation (usually) determined the level of spending that was possible, 

which in turn, usually, 

determined the lifestyle of the family ... 

again for that particular economic class.

Effectively the household paid for its childcare,

within that class, that culture, that belief system, 

though there was change.

Mothers did not stay home, automatically, any more.

They could create their own income, contribute to the income of the household and its lifestyle.

Now who pays for the childcare?

Who provides the childcare?

Professional mothers?????

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