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Juggling jobs and childcare ? OR Juggling motherhood and work ?

(15 Posts)
jugglingjo Sat 05-Feb-11 13:26:16

Hi, Am fairly new to MN, and not sure how to leave a response for MNHQ on the contents of the home page etc.

But was a bit hmm to see the header "Juggling jobs and childcare"

As this is a forum for and by Mums, does anyone else feel that "Juggling motherhood and work" would give a better perspective on the situation smile

Surely the juggling aspect is very much to do with our concern for our children, and the challenges of being a mother and an employee.

Describing this challenge as the difficulty of finding childcare just doesn't even go half-way to describing the reality for most mums !

Violethill Sat 05-Feb-11 13:53:42

I would prefer it to be 'juggling parenting and work' , as this is something which is relevant to both parents, not just one of them. I'm very against any terminology which makes this into an issue for mothers only- it reinforces the outdated idea that men are the earners, and women either don't work, or spend a major pArt of their life being seriously under employed because they feel juggling childcare/ fitting around the kids is their sole responsibility

pozzled Sat 05-Feb-11 13:57:23

I disagree with you. As it says very clearly at the top of the page, MN is 'by parents for parents', not just for mums. And childcare is not a 'motherhood' issue nowadays, it is a family/parenting issue- just as much a concern for my DH as for myself.

As for work vs jobs I don't really see the difference to be honest.

jugglingjo Sat 05-Feb-11 16:18:42

Fair enough if people feel the term "motherhood" is old-fashioned and prefer "parenting"

But don't feel "pozzled" really got my point. It's the "childcare" part that feels wrong to me.

Plus I feel the care of our children aspect really needs to come first in the equation.

There is such a push to get mothers back to work. Sometimes it feels too pressurised. And I feel that MN should be able to represent us more independently and from Mums/parents perspective.

I think you're fortunate pozzled if childcare is really "just as much a concern for my DH as for myself" in your family.
Many mothers find the responsibility for their children still falls largely to them, in 2011.

( Personally I work P/T in a school while my children are also at school )

littleducks Sat 05-Feb-11 16:34:41

I think that "Juggling jobs and childcare"
is the perfect title considering previous threads on here

Work- can't be used as SAHMs say that looking after the children is (unpaid) work

Motherhood/parenting- WOHMs say that they dont stop being mums just because they go to work

yama Sat 05-Feb-11 16:37:00

Agree with Pozzled. Dh and I share responsibilty jointly for our dc's childcare.

Violethill Sat 05-Feb-11 16:55:44

If you are in a partnership where you feel that childcare by default falls to you, then I think you need to look at the man you partnered and chose to have children with, and ask yourself some honest questions about what you want and the choices you make.

It's all very well to complain that society has different expectations of women and men, or that they are treated differently. Society is made up of US , and the personal choices we make affect society. I have never considered that childcare is my sole responsibility, neither has my dh considered that he should be sole provider.nowadays, men are generally considered as being as capable of childcare as women are, and women are considered as equally capable in the workplace. Thank heavens!

jugglingjo Sat 05-Feb-11 16:57:10

Of course littleducks _ Once a Mum always a Mum

plus whatever else you choose to add to that

that's where the juggling comes in !

jugglingjo Sat 05-Feb-11 17:06:49

I'm just telling it like it is (for me) Violethill.

All partnerships are different, and they're certainly not all equal in every way !

I guess in ours I have more responsibility for looking after our children, and DH does spend more hours at work, and bring in more of the money.

Doesn't mean that I'm not a feminist though, who believes in equality ( as an aspiration)
. I just believe that women, and people in general, should have choices about how we live our lives.

Violethill Sat 05-Feb-11 17:21:42

Absolutely- and choice means not making any assumptions that important aspects of family life such as career and childcare, do not fall, by default, to just one gender

jugglingjo Sat 05-Feb-11 17:56:18

While I was just in the bath I had an idea of how to explain how I'm thinking on this.

I reckon jobs and childcare might be two of the balls we try to keep in the air, but if it was just those two it wouldn't be so hard. I think there's another, perhaps more emotional one, involved - being a mother.

If mothers have the support of their partners in keeping all these balls in the air then that's great - they can even do some juggling together if that works for them.

But for me the juggling is about ways of being a mother, including looking after my children and also WOTH (working outside the home)

WimpleOfTheBallet Sat 05-Feb-11 18:02:15

Doesn't your partner or husband have to juggle at all jugglingjo?

jugglingjo Sat 05-Feb-11 18:07:27

Yes Wimple - Birdwatching, computer games and footie wink

But seriously I'm sure he has his own juggling to do - perhaps he's just not so worried if he drops all his balls ! ( could be painful though I imagine shock )

Simic Sat 05-Feb-11 21:14:16

I agree completely with jugglingjo on the fact that the emotional issues that come with being a mother in market work are too often reduced to "childcare". I think that this causes so much psychological anguish, that it´s a real problem in society. Look at the number of threads on MN of mums going back to work when their child is still small and you get a good picture of how much pain is caused by having child care sorted out but not the mothering role. At my work, there is an assumption that as long as I get a good nursery, I can work from 7am until 10pm no probs. I have to fight and fight the assumption that childcare is the problem. The point is I chose to have kids and not goldfish and now I am struggling to be able to be a mother in the way I feel I need to be. Nursery provision from 7am to 10pm has NOTHING to do with that. In Germany most parents have a right to 3 years parental leave and I think that addresses the real issues (ok. you have to be rich enough to afford it but that´s the next problem...).
On a further point, I think that there is sense in separating motherhood and fatherhood as they are different experiences. Both equally important, but the biological/psychological instincts involved are subtly different. They have to be as the evolutionary roles have been different and the social history is hugely different. Fathers and mothers in the market workplace are fighting different battles - for men it´s harder even to reduce to part time. But, fatherhood must not be pigeonholed as an issue of breadwinning or something - as we see with the intolerable, intense pain of fathers who are denied access to their kids after a divorce. It´s a very emotional thing too.
But, I think there is a lot of harm done by older men in organisations (bosses!) who assume the experience of a young mother starting back to work when her baby is 6 months is the same as when they kept working while their children were small in the 1970s. It is a completely different experience biologically and psychologically and moreover, socially. He never had the comparisons with other dads who were at home full time, he never had the memory of his dad always being at home with him full time. Etc. etc.. So, I would say "motherhood and fatherhood" instead of "parenting".
I just wish that politicians and top managers in organisations would understand something of this... something could really be done about it.

jugglingjo Sat 05-Feb-11 22:01:59

Thanks Simic,

It's always good to be understood ! smile

Maybe it's a subtle sort of thing, but I'm the sort of person who picks up quite strongly on the nuances in communication.

To me, "juggling jobs and childcare" doesn't reflect my experience adequately, and I would hope the MN home page would be able to do that.

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