Some Outstanding Letters to the Guardian on Mothering and the 4%


“What women would really like is to have a genuine choice whether to work or stay at home with no stigma attached to either. This means an economy that pays a wage enough to live on without both parents needing to work and consistently sympathetic employers that can offer flexible working hours. Our society needs to start respecting women who stay at home with their children and appreciate that a woman’s contribution to society is not necessarily immediately financially assessable …

I hope my being at home will signal to my children that loving them, enjoying them, and enjoying myself is more important than an extra 4%. I hope it tells them that women, and all people, are more than workers. We work to live, we don’t live to work. I hope it tells them that we must fight for real choice: for a society that values caring, and structures paid work so that both women and men can participate in caring and thus be truly fulfilled, successful humans …

When one parent opts to leave paid work in order to care for and support a growing family, it costs a whole salary. Meanwhile families on two substantial incomes can continue to claim child benefit (long after the single-income family has lost theirs) and they pay far less tax. This is not about somehow indulging cupcake-baking mummies, this is about levelling the playing field so that individual families can make sensible choices about what is good for them over the entire period of having dependent children at home …”


photo credit: <a href=”″>OldLetterBox</a&gt; via <a href=””>photopin</a&gt; <a href=””>(license)</a&gt;


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