It has been a while since I have blogged about anything. Seriously, how fast is this year going?
To be honest I have had to really prioritize what I can do and unfortunately this blog was a bit further down the list than I expected it to be. You see I have been studying and ‘mother’ing and ‘housewife’ing. And April was so full on with the two long weekends, visitors, trips away and people getting sick.
So I felt that something had to give and like I said, unfortunately it was this blog.
I normally get quite disappointed in myself when I don’t achieve all the things that I set out to do. But in this instance I was actually proud of myself for standing back and recognizing that I just didn’t have the time. The course I have been engaging in has really helped me put a bit of perspective on my life.
Since having kids I feel that my brain is on a constant whirr of ideas, dreams, future goals etc. I imagine what I want my life to be like for my family and there seems to be this inner battle going on in my brain.
Career or no career? Do I follow my career path? Do I focus more on the kids? Is it important that I have a job that will challenge and evoke me? OR Is it more important I just bring in some money but have flexibility for my children’s sake? Do I stay true to myself or sacrifice for my children?
I don’t live close to the city (I mean seriously, who the hell can afford to live close to Sydney city) but that is also fine by me cause I love where I live and I am glad we are here for my children’s sake. But again that comes with a price and that is the travelling to and from work, which means less time spent with my darling cherubs.
For the past 2 years I traveled 1&1/2 hours to and from work, 5 days a week, sometimes when traffic was bad that could blow out to 2 or 3 hours travelling. It was tiring and my mother’s guilt got to me many times about the fact I was abandoning my son or my employee’s guilt when I couldn’t stay back like my fellow colleagues did.
My eldest is three now and in two years time he will be off to school and there he will have 11 weeks off a year. Yep, you heard me right, 11. Hmmm, lets ponder this for a moment… I get four weeks off a year and so does my husband. So that is a total of eight weeks off a year. Not really sure how that works if you have no family to support you on those remaining three weeks. And does this mean the end of joint holidays with my husband?
The era that we live in today, unfortunately requires two incomes to support a family. Our expenses are ridonculous (yes that is ri-donc-u-lous) from housing, electricity, petrol and everything else that comes with having a family. On the other hand the era we live in today also has a lot more equality with the sexes and there are a lot of great policies out there supporting families. Maternity leave, paid parental scheme, paternity leave, flexible hours and conditions etc.
Yet, unfortunately a lot of these policies are implemented by people not machines. So you have to rely on the fact that your managers will allow you to incorporate these policies into your life. I do also feel for the employers too. They have a business to run and I am sure it is a right royal pain in their arse that parents ask for flexibility.
But as my Dad once said to me “Where do these employers think their next generation of employees come from?” Hmmm true dat Dad.
Sometimes I think that maternity leave is all wrong. Yes a newborn baby needs you for survival and I think we definitely need to be able to take time off to nurture the new baby. However I think kids really need their parents when they are at school. This is a vital part of growing up and becoming that ever so important member of society. Those years at school can make or break someone and really it is up to the parents to guide their children through the tumultuous years of school.
Maybe (and I am sure all those non-parents out there will boo me down for this) parents of school children need to be given 6 weeks off a year. Or 4 weeks annual leave and 3 weeks work from home leave.
Parents are so under the pump these days to raise their children the right way yet we have less flexibility to ensure we are doing the job right. We feel pressure from all corners to ensure we do all our roles properly and at 100% at all times.
I also don’t think these flexibilities have to just be for the Mothers either I think it is important that Fathers get flexible working arrangements too. They are parents too and they play a vital role in the upbringing of our next generation.
Ok, maybe I should get off my soap box now.
All I am saying is that I think that we can really look at and re-work what paternity leave means. Let’s ensure that the next generation is raised appropriately and with as much love and attention as possible.
Then hopefully, Mothers and Fathers all over Australia, can release their inner battles and just get on with enjoying their children and careers. I think it would definitely make for a happier society with a hell of a lot less guilt.
What do you think about re-working the paternity leave in Australia?