It was always a plan to get pregnant but I never would have referred to it as a choice.
Do we choose to be parents or is the fact that we reproduce something that we do to create our future?
Some people don’t want children, and I get that, and absolutely am not of the view that having a child makes you more accomplished at life or a better person.
However, I read a letter recently suggesting that people who “make the choice” to have children should not get any “special treatment”. (His words, not mine) from businesses. The context was that he felt that parents shouldn’t be allowed time away from work for a year, or to be given any sort of a leg up when coming back to work, he was worried that there was going to be a culture of positive discrimination towards working parents, and that it wasn’t fair as it is a choice to have a baby, a lifestyle choice that shouldn’t impact on the workplace.
I have to disagree with this sentiment. As it gets closer to having to face the reality of being a working mum I see that it is going to be near on impossible without a “leg up”, and too right I’ll be taking a year off to be with my child.
I will need flexible working, which I will get to an extent, but I have no option to work from home, and can have two absences in a year before being managed for not attending work.
My friends little girl has been poorly at least three times already this year and on these occasions she’s worked from home to be there for a cuddle if needed. Too right.
What do us working parents do in that situation who don’t have that option? The people in the service industry, the pubic sector workers or people working for small businesses who don’t have the funding to support these needs?
I’m a capable, fairly intelligent human who has given 15 years to the business I work for. Is it unreasonable to ask for a little help making a side step into a job that would work better for my parenting needs? I don’t think so. I’m not sure it’s even a leg up- I’m already on the back foot. (Working parents are still viewed as a pain in the arse by many).
This doesn’t just apply to women, it would be amazing to see support for the working Dads out there too. Maybe, even families having the option where both parents can raise their children with two adults in a household being allowed flexible working without it bankrupting them. Single parent families getting even more support, not just from companies but from the government as well.
Surely it’s better for the economy for businesses to go above and beyond for those raising the next generation? You never know, they might be the future leader of that company?! It must be better for businesses not to loose years of experience and loyalty.
I feel this has to get improve, I don’t think we should have to sacrifice because we’ve made a “choice”. These choices we make are our future, and we need to be given the tools to do best by them, to raise good humans.