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Mothers on the payroll?

(61 Posts)
Anne58 Thu 29-Nov-12 17:07:56

I have just read this letter in todays Telegraph, and must admit to being puzzled by the second sentence:

Mothers on the payroll

SIR – Like the Queen, I agree that motherhood is the only job that matters (Notebook, November 23). Why then are mothers who long to stay at home forced to work in order to pay for nursery fees, which are subsidised by the Government?

Why not pay mothers to stay at home with two children up to when they start school? Any more children they would have to fund themselves. This works very well in other countries, so why not here?

Gill Travers
Wimborne, Dorset

I truly don't understand what she is saying. How are mothers who "long to be at home", being "forced to work in order to pay nursery fees" ? I may well be out of touch with these matters, so if anyone can explain I would appreciate it.

Also, at risk of being shot down in flames, who does this woman think is going to provide the money for mothers to be paid to stay at home? I suppose that it will be the ubiquitous "tax payer" , i.e. us. Surely having children is a choice, and as such those making that choice should not expect to be subsidised by the rest. When I had my children the only government money I received was child allowance. I took an evening job cleaning offices for any extra income.

I hope that this doesn't offend anyone, I really am perplexed by this womans letter.

Greatnan Thu 29-Nov-12 17:18:19

She had my hackles up with her first sentence . So motherhood is the only job that matters? I wonder if she would think that if she needed a woman surgeon? Motherhood is not a job, surely, although it is very hard work.

I used to know a lot of mothers who enjoyed their non-working life very much, with coffee mornings, mums and toddlers groups, etc. Why the hell should that be funded by taxpayers?

Greatnan Thu 29-Nov-12 17:19:18

And isn't being the queen a pretty important job? The Telegraph.....hm, might have guessed.

Ana Thu 29-Nov-12 17:22:37

I agree, phoenix, it doesn't make sense. Mothers who 'long to stay at home' may be forced to work for economic reasons, but not solely to pay for child care. I think she probably knows what she means, but has expressed it badly.

Anne58 Thu 29-Nov-12 17:26:05

Thank goodness it isn't only me! I read it a couple of times, none the wiser, then ran it past Mr P (who again is home a day early, yippee!) and he didn't get it either. I'm expecting a few responses in the letters column of tomorrows paper!

Greatnan , I only buy the DT for the crossword, honest!

Greatnan Thu 29-Nov-12 17:30:43

Phoenix, I am not the newspaper police! I can't get any English papers here so I just read every one that is free online, which gives me a pretty wide spectrum of views!

Mishap Thu 29-Nov-12 17:42:08

I think the point is that motherhood is not the only important job, but it is an important job.

I can see how mad it looks to be subsidising nursery fees so that mothers can go to work to earn enough to pay the mortgage, when, given the choice, they would prefer to stay at home and bring up their children. The only thing stopping them is lack of dosh. I am sure that some families would much prefer the nursery subsidy to be paid to them directly so that they can bring up their own children and not have to farm them out.

One of my DDs is in a job that she hates but she has no choice but to do it to pay the bills - she would far rather be at home giving her children the sort of upbringing that she wants for them rather than the one the care facilities give them.

However paying mothers for being mothers is a can of worms open to exploitation - I do not know what the answer is, but I do think that mothers who are not career-minded but would prefer to mother their children need to be given some sort of chance.

Greatnan Thu 29-Nov-12 18:18:35

I am trying to envisage how this would work. Would a woman who is struggling with a job and family be required to contribute through her taxes to another woman who chooses to stay at home. Why should she?
I have a horrible feeling that the middle class woman who stays at home will be lauded as a good mother, and the less privileged mother will be dubbed a benefits scrounger.

Anne58 Thu 29-Nov-12 18:40:40

It does seem to raise a lot of questions, but provide very few answers.

Anne58 Thu 29-Nov-12 19:06:40

I can understand mothers having to return to work to pay the bills, mortgage etc, but fail to see how this fits with the second sentence of this womans letter, namely:

Why then are mothers who long to stay at home forced to work in order to pay for nursery fees, which are subsidised by the Government?

I really don't understand.

Ana Thu 29-Nov-12 19:10:29

She just got her logic askew. Don't worry about it too much, phoenix! grin

JessM Thu 29-Nov-12 19:17:32

Must have been really short of letters worth publishing methinks.

Anne58 Thu 29-Nov-12 23:33:10

Well, they've never published any of mine, the bastards.

absentgrana Fri 30-Nov-12 09:07:08

phoenix grin

Greatnan Fri 30-Nov-12 09:14:54

I got red arrowed on the Mail comments page yesterday, for saying the story about the Liverpool Care Pathway was just scare-mongering. They don't usually print my comments, as they are nearly always extremely scathing about the way they have treated some story.

absentgrana Fri 30-Nov-12 09:18:09

What does the red arrow indicate Greatnan?

Barrow Fri 30-Nov-12 09:24:17

The question of paying women (why only women) to stay at home and look after their children raises it head on a regular basis. In my opinion this is a non starter - in these days of contraception having a child is a choice so to then expect to be paid to look after that child does seem a little strange.

Yes, I know there are women (and men) who are left alone through no fault of their own to look after children and these are the people we should be helping.

Greatnan Fri 30-Nov-12 09:25:26

They don't like me! There's a surprise!
In general, they want to bring back hanging and the birch, put all single mothers out on the street, increase prison sentences tenfold - you can see how well I fit in there.
It does amuse me the way they fill pages with photos of courtrooms or hospitals, as if they add anything to a story. And , of course, being very highly moralistic, they never miss a chance to show scantily clad women and they practically salivate if they can show a 'wardrobe malfunction' showing a nipple. No woman is ever just wearing a bikini on a beach - she is 'flaunting her toned body'. I love it. And it is free. grin

annodomini Fri 30-Nov-12 09:45:16

Congratulations on that, Greatnan. grin

Anne58 Fri 30-Nov-12 16:35:12

I always think of the Mail as a sort of "Indignant of Acacia Avenue" paper, but perhaps I'm being unfair?

Greatnan Fri 30-Nov-12 16:39:25

No, you are spot on!

Ana Fri 30-Nov-12 16:41:44

Someone on here actually said they would not respect anyone who read it! hmm I'm not sure why the DM is always singled out for such opprobrium, but no doubt someone will enlighten me.

Nonu Fri 30-Nov-12 16:46:10

Mishap , like !

Anne58 Fri 30-Nov-12 16:48:38

My boss read the Times from cover to cover every day, his wife took the Mail. I wouldn't go so far as not respecting anyone who read it, but the few times I've read it, it always seemed like a red top masquerading as a broadsheet. (I know the Times is now "compact" but hopefully you will know what I mean)

In that respect it fitted my boss's wife perfectly, as she seemed to always be trying to give the impression that she was a sort of upper middle class "laydee", but the odd mispronounciation and table etiquette faux pas let her down.

Greatnan Fri 30-Nov-12 16:49:45

I have no wish to rehash old posts but I think I might have given a few clues as to why I don't like the DM! I have never criticised any individual for their choice of newspaper. I don't really carry a candle for any of them, as I feel the Guardian sold out to Blair and the group is a big tax-avoider. The only publication I respect is Private Eye.