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That it’s women who are still locked down?

(642 Posts)
Sadie789 Sat 23-May-20 11:04:42

My DH goes back to work next week and rightly so, long overdue in my opinion.

However, I can’t go back to work as with two young DC we have no childcare and it’s not possible to do my job from home.

Under normal circumstances without childcare it wouldn’t really be an issue as there would be classes and clubs and play parks and soft plays and friends to meet up with, so a full weekly schedule out and about with things to do.

I can’t take them to the supermarket or round the shops either, no grandparents allowed etc.

As it stands none of these things are available nor are likely to be for a while, so for me my situation has not changed from the initial lockdown - stay at home, go out for exercise (weather permitting).

Meanwhile my DH and the Hs of my friends are all back at work out of the house living normal days. At the weekends the golf is back on so that’s a leisure option.

Many of my friends are also trying to work from home while looking after children, some also homeschooling older ones.

Women who don’t have children are also on the back foot as many of the professions which are traditionally female - hair and beauty, retail, hospitality - remain closed and will be for some time.

Meanwhile men are back in the workplace. When furlough ends it will be those who are able to present for work and give all their attention to their job who are preferred by employers. Recruitment will be skewed by this too. It’s the traditionally male industries that are able to return earlier- outdoor and manual work.

When it does return childcare is likely to be limited in hours and more expensive- Scotland has quietly dropped the 30 free hours from
August that were going to make it financially viable for me to work. Now it’s going to be a matter of me earning a couple of hundred pounds extra per month instead of nearly £1000 that was previously the case.

I am far from a feminist, but it feels like any equality women had gained is being seriously eroded by lockdown and the exit strategy that has deftly avoided any conversation around how women, especially with younger children, are getting the raw deal.

TheABC Sat 23-May-20 11:09:31

Yep. As always, women are expected to put up and shut up with caring responsibilities. It becomes a vicious cycle: you go into a female-dominated industry because it expected/child friendly, but they are typically low-paid jobs and therefore the ones to be sacrificed when couples consider their finances.

Artesia Sat 23-May-20 11:09:43

But much of this is down to your family’s choice that it is your husband, not you, that goes back to work. Why is it that he can go back and assume you will be the default child care but not vice versa?

Wired4sound Sat 23-May-20 11:09:58

Yep totally agree op this virus has shafted my friends. DHs going out to work and then WFH with all the kids as well.

I was due to take up a great career opportunity before Covid but had to decline it cos of having to WFH with young DS. The person who took it up was a guy with a wife to take care oh the kids (his words)

Why are women always shafted?!

Sadie789 Sat 23-May-20 11:10:40

@Artesia because he earns considerably more than me?

PrincessMaryaBolkonskaya Sat 23-May-20 11:11:07

Can you go back to work and leave DH with children?

Thelnebriati Sat 23-May-20 11:11:33

I am far from a feminist
Not as far as you think.

masonmason Sat 23-May-20 11:11:47

Oh fgs. He earns more than you. So yes he goes back first. This isn't a feminist issue. It is your personal circumstances.

Lots of woman are still working, never mind going back.

Sirzy Sat 23-May-20 11:11:57

But that’s more due to the nature of your families choices with regards to work and childcare surely?

I know plenty of families where the mother has worked throughout because that’s the nature of her job.

I doubt there are many families in an ideal situation at the moment

Wired4sound Sat 23-May-20 11:12:15

Sorry should have been clear - my friends are WFH with the kids to look after at the same time.

My other friend has childminder lined up for 2 year old she has been WFH with but DH does not want her to take it up. He naturally has to go out to work so is not seeing how difficult she has it.

Lovely1a2b3c Sat 23-May-20 11:12:37

I am very pro-lockdown but yes, you're probably right that it is disproportionately affecting mothers, although not all women.

Sadie789 Sat 23-May-20 11:13:26

This post isn’t about me, I’m aware that choices and multiple other factors lead to each person’s circumstances. My point, using my own situation as an example, is that I am still under lockdown.

Men, not all of them, but a large proportion of them, have been released back into “normal” life.

Shouldnthavedoneitthen Sat 23-May-20 11:13:29

Agree.
I wanted my kids to have a parent around a bit more whereas DH wasn’t bothered so it was me who switched to part time, which means I now earn less money, which means I’m the logical choice to stop work through this. This is setting women back massively. On a personal level, I’m really struggling without support or adult interaction or places for my kids to go. It’s so tough.

LochJessMonster Sat 23-May-20 11:13:40

He’s going back to work because he earns more, not because he has a penis.
In my family, my mum earned more than my dad, so it’s just as likely she would go back and he would have stayed.

It’s personal circumstance. Don’t make it a feminist issue.

jetsetter87 Sat 23-May-20 11:15:00

I agree op. I did have a bit of a go at DH last night as feel close to breaking point now. Both working FT (40+hrs) at home and one dc who is getting very little stimulation but somehow he gets to crack on and converse freely with his clients but my meetings are peppered with mum mum mum. I am falling behind at work and hes just cracking on nicely

Also golf back on for DH so hes off out with his mate today. If i want to meet mine its a socially distanced walk in the park and tag along the kids to entertain. Its no headspace.

Witchend Sat 23-May-20 11:15:04

Not in our house.
Normally I work part time, dh does full time in an office.
Since the start of this dh has been wfh and I've been full time at work.

It's shown to both of us that our normal arrangement is best for all.

iVampire Sat 23-May-20 11:15:08

There is another thread running about how women are doing better in the workplace until they have DC

So the underpinning question is why those who are doing just as well in the workplace end up with jobs/roles which make them the one that the family chooses to do the childcare

Because what this lockdown is going is exposing how choices impact unequally (women being the lower earners; so it makes sense, if only one can work, for it to be the higher earning one)

COVID did not cause that imbalance. But it sure as hell is illuminating it,

plunkplunkfizz Sat 23-May-20 11:15:28

I am far from a feminist

I hate to break it to you dear but if you’re in any way concerned about women being disadvantaged in comparison with men then you are a feminist.

Why, for interest’s sake, would you say you are not a feminist?

Sadie789 Sat 23-May-20 11:15:54

Women also bear more caring responsibilities for older people who will still be shielding and need help. Just examples of how, broadly, men are able to go back to normal life quicker and more easily than women.

FergusSingsTheBlues Sat 23-May-20 11:16:38

What do you mean “you’re far from a feminist”?

What’s wrong with being one?!
We should ALL be feminists

FergusSingsTheBlues Sat 23-May-20 11:17:30

Men do not suffer the same physical mental and financial disruption through their lives as women do.

Eckhart Sat 23-May-20 11:17:53

It's just the shape of your family. Lots of women are working/going back to work. Lots of men aren't.

If you're not a feminist, why would you make something into a feminist issue when it isn't? It's like you're actively looking for something to get pissed off about.

Lipz Sat 23-May-20 11:17:56

It's all down to personal circumstances. Your dh earns more so makes sense he goes back first. Just like all the people I know, the higher earner goes back first, most cases happen to be Women who have gone back first as they are the higher earners. You probably just know people where the men are the higher earners and it seems like the women are just being left at home.

burnoutbabe Sat 23-May-20 11:18:46

Why on earth would people be happily saying you go off to golf dear, I shall stay stuck at home as ever?
They take over children and you go out for a walk with a friend surely?

PinkiOcelot Sat 23-May-20 11:18:57

You get yourself back to work and your DP stays home. Sorted.

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