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Re: sense of entitlement?

(106 Posts)
thebirthlyhallows Fri 28-Mar-14 11:31:22

My DB and SIL do not have children nor do then plan or wish to in the future.

During a recent conversation SIL said that when she hits the menopause she should be allowed to take a 9 nine month break from work in order to do whatever she wants whilst receiving "pay" from the government.

I am currently on maternity leave with my first child and it is definitely not a "break" from work!

This makes me feel uneasy but I'm not sure if I'm being unreasonable. Why should she feel like she wants 9 months off work just because she has decided not to have children? Should men also be entitled to 9 months off if they decide not to give birth!?

AIBU to feel that she is being ridiculous? Has anyone else ever met anyone with the same view?

WhatchaMaCalllit Fri 28-Mar-14 11:36:26

I'm confused. Doesn't your SIL know that you don't get 9 months off work while you're pregnant and you only get maternity leave after you have the baby? This in turn means that you basically swap one type of work (that which is done in an office for example) with another type (that which happens to be rearing of said baby/children)??

If she wants to take 9 months off, leave her away with it but don't get dragged into her silly nonsense ideas...

thebirthlyhallows Fri 28-Mar-14 11:39:28

I don't think she sees child rearing as work. I think she thinks I spend my time watching TV not elbow deep in dirty nappies!

BuzzardBird Fri 28-Mar-14 11:40:57

...or on MN? wink Take no notice, does she ever babysit?

Kaluki Fri 28-Mar-14 11:43:11

This is a stupid ridiculous argument that I have heard time and time again throughout my career.
Tell her your child (and any subsequent children) will no doubt end up paying tax when he/she grows up and will contribute far more to society than her and she should quit her moaning!!!

OutrageousFlavourLikeFreesias Fri 28-Mar-14 11:43:57

I think she is being ridiculous, yes. Mat leave is a way for society to value the contribution parents make by investing their own resources in having and raising children. Child benefit, tax credits, funded childcare etc are the same. They recognise the principle that society as a whole benefits from a productive adult, but parents as individuals bear the cost of raising a child to become that productive adult.

If SIL wants to take 9 months off to do something she wants, that's up to her. Whether the government funds this in any way is down to whether we, as a collective democracy, decide that what she wants to do has any value for society as a whole and therefore if we're going to pay for her to do it.

Tell her to lobby her MP and see what happens. :-)

WooWooOwl Fri 28-Mar-14 11:44:05

You SILs opinion is slightly skewed, but I can see where she's coming from.

People who don't have children do get a very raw deal in the scheme of things. They cost the government less, in general, workers at the same level put in more because they don't have breaks to have children, and then many employers have the cheek to tell them they can't have annual leave when they want because parents are prioritised for leave over the school holidays.

I can totally understand why the childless feel like they get shafted, and I do think they should be able to apply for flexible working and sabbaticals paid at the same rate as Mat Leave.

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 28-Mar-14 11:46:01

I'm sorry, but I think it's utter nonsense childless people get a raw deal.

Children are bloody expensive and time-consuming, and childless people get their old age paid for by someone else's kids.

I think the OP should tell her that this is fine, so long as she's also happy never to draw on public funds after she retires.

ItsNotOnlyTheGoodBits Fri 28-Mar-14 11:47:12

FFS. It's called maternity/paternity leave for a reason.

There are lots of companies that offer a sabbatical after a certain length of time worked, usually five years. So if she was employed in such a place she could get a three month paid holiday, followed by an additional three months unpaid. That is a six month holiday to go and see the world.

She has plenty of time to find a job in such a place and do her five year stint way before menopause hits. And she will come back to a job without the additional hasssles many parents face on rejoining the workforce.

Birdsgottafly Fri 28-Mar-14 11:49:19

Some people can't comprehend what Patents do when they are off work.

I always counteract this by asking if Nursery Nursing is an actual job, then there is your answer, except you don't get a start and end time.

Don't justify your choices.

I direct people to Book Titles about Social Policy, if they don't understand the how and why of our Welfare set up in the UK.

I also ask if they would rather live in parts of Africa, India, South America etc and have taken their chances from when their Mothers conceived?

If so fuck off there now and also grow old there (if you don't die quickly). We all benefit from the society that we have created.

I don't smoke etc, does that get me free cosmetic surgery because I won't suffer the ill health others will?

Or time off because I am careful and don't have hobbies that cause fractures etc.

MrsCakesPremonition Fri 28-Mar-14 11:49:44

Perhaps your Sil could spend her 9 months volunteering to do a physically and emotionally draining job, many companies support staff who wish to take a sabbatical. That might be comparable to early motherhood, having a nice holiday is not at all comparable.

Tell her that your child and his peers will be the people paying the taxes to fund her care when she is old.

BillyBanter Fri 28-Mar-14 11:51:42

Why do you think she begrudges you or something?

It's quite a common sentiment I think.

I don't have kids. I'm not going to now. But I still would like 9 months sabbatical from work with the equivalent to maternity pay. Because, you know, it would be nice. Doesn't mean I think having a baby is 'not work'. I'm jealous of having children for one reason and the 9 months not having to come into the office for another reason.

BillyBanter Fri 28-Mar-14 11:52:03

I'd also like a house instead of a flat.

Joysmum Fri 28-Mar-14 11:54:45

By having a child, that child will continue to be a tax payer to meet the needs of an elderly population. Governments don't save the tax we have paid and then pay out for the needs of the population as required. Without the next generation, there's nothing left in the pot for anyone at whatever stage of life they are at. Parents have chosen to spend income raising a child rather than spending disposable income on themselves. Maternity leave is investing in the next generation. It could be argued that childless couple and those only having one child are actually a drain on the economy I fall in that category myself before anyone starts getting offended at that observation

WillieWaggledagger Fri 28-Mar-14 11:55:32

the only really vaguely comparable situation for a person without children would be 9 months' paid leave to take care of another family member - e.g. ill parent, which actually i would probably support. totally different to nine months off to do whatever you want

Nancy66 Fri 28-Mar-14 11:56:04

childless people must cost the government a lot less surely?

No babies in NHS hospitals, no sick kids, no state education, no child benefit.

dorathedestroyer Fri 28-Mar-14 11:56:04

While I don't think the SIL is being reasonable, I definitely don't think you should ' tell her your child (and any subsequent children) will no doubt end up paying tax when he/she grows up and will contribute far more to society than her '. That's perhaps where some of this attitude stems from - the perception that those who don't have children aren't contributing anything to society.

thebirthlyhallows Fri 28-Mar-14 11:56:08

Thank you for your responses. On one hand I could see where she was coming from but I think lack of sleep made it impossible for me to come up with a reply.

OurMiracle1106 Fri 28-Mar-14 11:58:50

Can I point out that I thought when you retired that was when you got to do whatever you felt like?

TruffleOil Fri 28-Mar-14 11:59:14

Not having children is a contribution to society. The world is overpopulated. The governments have decided to build pensions on a pyramid scheme doesn't change that fact.

EEatingSoupForLunch Fri 28-Mar-14 12:03:48

Your SIL can request a nine month unpaid leave stint if she likes? Nothing to do with other people's decision to have children, suuuuurely.

PiperRose Fri 28-Mar-14 12:05:48

woowooowl I am with you entirely. Thank you for saying your bit.

Birdsgottafly Fri 28-Mar-14 12:06:25

"childless people must cost the government a lot less surely?"

No they don't, on average.

Or rather people without family that aren't all committed/relying on paid work, cost a lot.

We have the Community Care Act and Health Acts etc which puts a duty on LA's to provide a level of Care.

We need families to pick up most of this.

If we had to replace all of the Neighbours, Mums, Sisters, Nieces (most caring is still picked up be females) that make up the gaps in Social Care, or even replace it completely.

We couldn't afford to run the country.

That is beside the point that we we plus due out, have no new inventions, have no sport etc.

We need people to reproduce and make it through childhood, be educated etc.

Most people don't earn enough to have enough cover to carry them through ill health and old age, to be able to buy in private carers etc.

Out society works well, Sweden etc works bloody well.

Birdsgottafly Fri 28-Mar-14 12:09:30

"The world is overpopulated"

The wrong parts of the world could be said to be overpopulated.

But, we are also using to much of the plants land with our farming methods etc.

It's the crap that people want and eat etc.

Rommell Fri 28-Mar-14 12:11:38

I wouldn't dignify a remark like that with a response of any kind - if you do, you're just getting into a one-upmanship debate that doesn't help anyone. We are all part of society. We all have our roles to play. The biggest takers from that society are the ones at the top of the pile, passing around govt contracts like they're sweeties, engaging in cartel-like behaviour, shafting the poorest and most without resources. As long as neither of you are up to those kind of shenanigans, we're all pretty much equal and we would do well to remember this and not fight amongst ourselves about who is most useful/deserving, because that kind of narrative is exactly what the parasites at the top want us to buy into, so that they can get away with greater excesses at our expense. Let her think what she likes - you know what you're doing is useful and if she had a proper think about it so would she.

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