So, the old SAHM (stay at home mom) debate. If you follow my blogs then you know my feelings about FTMs (full time mothers). Motherhood is not a job. If you refer to yourself as a FTM then that tells me you are being funded by benefits and because you are getting paid to be a mom, you believe that is your 'job'. I clock off from my actual job. Once I've locked the doors I'm no longer working. I never clock off from Ollie, I'm always his mom.
Generally, the FTMs are moms that didn't work (or worked very little - the sickie types) prior to having a baby. Now, a SAHM is a different category. These are mothers that have worked their whole life and choose to stay home because a. It's not worth going back to work once you've paid £900 a month in childcare, b. They want to be the one to raise their child, see their first steps, first word etc. or c. They are lucky enough to have a partner that can support the whole family. This is a good choice! SAHMs are a good thing, FTMs are not!
I would LOVE to be a SAHM! I know some people misinterpreted my SMP (statutory maternity pay) debate blog. I'll tell you who took offence from that... Full time mothers! My argument against maternity pay supports mothers that have worked before settling down to have kids so if you aren't paying a penny towards your own kids then yes I can understand why you would disagree with my opinion. That's exactly the point though, it's only my opinion based on my life I'm not a politician, so if you're not interested then read something else!
I am lucky that I have got the best of both worlds. I work mainly weekends and I have a lovely mom who looks after Ollie every Monday and some Tuesday's. My average working week is four days. So I get to spend most of the day times at home with Ollie and work evenings when he's in bed anyway so I don't feel too guilty leaving him. His dad works 9-5 so it works out nicely. I am aware that it isn't that simple for everybody to go back to work and unfortunately some people do have to rely on maternity pay and benefits. For a SAHM I think that's a reflection on how screwed up the UK system is. For a FTM I'm sorry but that's a reflection on you and your attitude to work and parenting.
I don't think parenting is a job and I don't think we should be funded to just keep having kids. But if it is going to be funded then surely maternity pay and benefits should reflect your working wage. You shouldn't be forced back to work because you'll have to give up your mortgage if you take some time to look after your baby. At the same time, why should you get paid to stay at home all day if you've never worked!
All that being said, I think the real problem here is... What about the baby? Everyone always goes on about the mother! She's lazy if she doesn't go back to work, she's got her priorities wrong if she goes back and dumps the kid in nursery. What about the baby? Why doesn't anyone ever talk about the baby? It just proves how people do just love any excuse to criticise people because it makes them feel better about themselves.
I went back to work when Ollie was only 2 months old and only 2 weeks after my recovery time from my infection. I coped due to my hours and my helpful mom. Ollie really loves his Nanny and I'm glad he can spend a lot of time with her. However, he is at the point now where he misses me and notices if I'm not around. He notices if we do something out of routine and he gets restless. In a baby's first year, you're basically teaching them to be a functioning human. We teach them to sleep at night, eat three times a day, wee and poo in a potty, crawling, walking, communication...all this happens in a really short space of time and the mother absolutely should be around for that.
Nobody ever thinks, actually yes it's best for this little human to have a consistent routine and constant support and interaction instead of being flipped between home, nursery and grandparents. Staying at home for the first year should be made easier for the sake of the baby. Never mind the mother. If a fully functioning adult can't process the fact that you have to juggle the many roles we have in day to day life that's not anyone else's problem to pay for. We choose to have kids knowing full well that we need money to survive in this world. The baby doesn't know!
The issue with FTMs is they are not SAHMs! So they are getting paid God knows how much in benefits to stay at home looking after kids then use free child spaces in nursery and put their kids in breakfast club so they can watch The Wright Stuff in peace. Does anyone think that's acceptable really? When there are mothers that hate putting their kids in nursery but have no choice because they have to work.
I know some people say, oh well you chose to have a mortgage if you can't live on £500 a month SMP then you're spending too much. No. If you work your whole life to enable you to have a mortgage, why should you give it up or just allow FTMs to reproduce while we wait until we're mortgage free?
New moms should be paid maternity pay for a year to reflect their working wage. That way we wouldn't have FTMs or SAHMs, we'd simply have moms on maternity leave. Then after a year of pay that reflects your salary, then you make the choice to return to work or be a SAHM (funded by your partner or your own savings) or a FTM (funded by benefits). Once your baby is a toddler then there are many benefits of putting them in nursery for social interaction with their peers and to understand that Mommy has to work so we can have a house and nice things. Of course there are also advantages to spending the pre-school years at home with your child but we can't expect companies or governments to fund mothers for four years! If you think about it, the government would probably end up paying the same amount of SMP. Instead of paying out 10 x £500 they'd be paying out 2 x £1000, 1 x £500, 5 x £200 2 x £700, 1 x £100 (for example).
Wouldn't it make more sense to have an incentive to be stable before you get pregnant? And of course have a system in place that supports single moms (because Moms that have to put up with idiot dads are not in the same category as FTMs) or mothers/ fathers that lose their job. Or do I think too much?