Scarcely a day goes by when I fail to reflect how fortunate and blessed I am that I can care for my children at home. My two-year-old son was playing with his train-set this morning while I got breakfast before dropping my daughter off at school and I thought about all the young toddlers being bundled out of the door in the early hours to be brought to nursery to start their 10-hour days. I appreciate that I can drop off and pick up my daughter from school every day.
I also know that there are many, many families out there who have no choice but to have both parents working long hours with the result that their children are out of their care for most of the day.
There are many complex reasons for this, including this Government making it a priority to push mothers of pre-school children back to work as soon as possible.
These clueless idiots like to equate nursery care with mother care when it is anything but.
Many Irish families, the land of my birth, are also facing bone-crushing exhaustion of both parents working full time and raising a young family. This is not always out of choice or out of a desire to have ‘more female participation in the workforce.’
One mother, from Cork, made her feelings known in a letter to the Irish Independent. Mrs Donna Hartnett has had enough of her “two children being raised in childcare centres like hens”.
Donna has decided to take a career break from her full-time position to “do whatever it takes to give my children back their childhood … they will be at home, collected from school by me, and enjoy the security of a home life that should be an option afforded to every child”.
You can read the full letter here.
In an interview, she explains how she finally cracked after another exhausting day. She and her husband sat down and first thought it would be financially impossible for her to take a career break. Then she realised for her family’s sake, it was impossible not to.
So when politicians come out boasting about how many mothers they have back in full-time work they should take a few minutes to consider if this is a good thing – is this really what families with young children want?
This is a sign of how anti-family our society is, and is certainly not something to crow about. Politicians who create conditions in which children are “being raised in childcare centres like hens” should be ashamed of themselves. Only an egomaniac would think this is something to boast about.