Full-time working parents need more support in raising children

My parents had problems at times, but were able to run the household on their own with Dad’s wages.

When I was about 14, my mother returned to work. What a contrast – our homecoming wasn’t the same greeting thing. The house felt cold and there was no smell of food that would tantalize your taste buds.

Also, there was no one to deal with the siblings’ disputes, which led to many arguments over the TV shows.

As a child, I would have much preferred my mother to be at home than out at work. Back in the 1960s and 1970s, every family I knew had a stay-at-home mom.

When I became a mother in the mid-1990s, it was very different. At the end of my maternity leave, we could not afford me and my husband – men are equally capable full-time parents – to stop working. For many years, our lives were chaotic and our homes disorganized as we juggled work and raising children.

Most of our friends had the same scenario. We only knew a few families that could survive on a salary. The situation has not changed since then. If anything, it’s gotten worse.

The days of housewives may be coming to an end. Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of people not working or caring for their families has halved in three decades to just 1.6 million

In 1993, homemakers made up 35 percent of the “economically inactive” population – today it’s just 19 percent.

It’s a great shame. Whether mom or dad, kids benefit from having a full-time parent at home. It offers more stability and comfort and also allows parents to be more involved in their children’s everyday life as they get older.

When my daughters were in elementary school, they were among the countess children who were shuffled between breakfast clubs and afternoon clubs. Some children arrived at school at 7am and were not picked up until 6pm. When we brought ours home, they were exhausted and grumpy, just like us.

My life changed when I was allowed to work part-time. The days I didn’t work were fortunate; not that I sat around sipping tea and watching Loose Women – as all parents know, staying at home is like being a full-time housekeeper – shopping, cooking, washing and so on. Even at home, actual “child care” is minimal.

MEPs have urged the government to step in with more support, stressing that many parents would rather focus on looking after young children than return to work.

We’ve heard it all before. Until parents who choose to stay at home or work less can get more financial support, both parents are forced to go back to work. With the cost of living rising, many families can barely afford to live on two wages, let alone one.

The funny thing is that many parents who continue to work don’t see any financial benefit. The UK has some of the highest childcare costs in Europe. Parents like me return to work because they don’t want to give up their career for fear of never getting it back. This too should be addressed, with structured career breaks and a return guarantee.

This isn’t really about parents, it’s about children. Being able to pick them up from school, take them home and make them tea. It’s about being there for them when they need us most. Let’s put them first for a change.

https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/23547456.full-time-parents-need-support-raise-children/?ref=rss Full-time working parents need more support in raising children


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