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Time to switch? (If you haven't already)(11 Posts)
Just read this intresting article about more and more men giving up high level jobs to spend more time with kids and the keeping or upping the women into the full time bread winner slot and progressing her career.
This is also the model in one of my freinds young family. They were in the same job (same sallery) and he gave it up to work part time (3 school hour day a week) and look after their child. His wife often says she is jealous of him because she works long hours and he gets to do a lot of the fun stuff with their child in the week. As the bread winner she has the main responsibility to keep the roof over their head and therefore is trapped in the breadwinner role and the hours away from the family. My mate cherishes the time he gets to raise their child.
Of course it's individual choice but would this be a good thing if it was the norm? Or would it become an issuse of regret for more and more women that they did not get to spend more time with their children? Who with young children given the choice would chose full time work and career progression over being a sham/part time worker and having more time with there children? Out of those who would prefer to work full time would you expect your other half to work FT if they didn't need to? Personally I think it's a shame that any parent has to miss out. But nice to see that more men are being liberated from the restrictions of gender role and being allowed to reap the benifits of more time in their children's lives. Its nice to see men seeing/being seen that their value as parents can be more than their value as cash providers. Despite the stereotypes men are not all big useless man babies and it's nice that we are more open to men getting the oppertunities to be the parent who does main parenting of young children and managing of the household. Once a position almost locked out to them by attitudes and social norms.
I prefer our model - both of us went to 4 days a week when I went back to work after our first, suited us really well, our son was with at least one parent four days a week, at his grandparents for one and at nursery for two. We were both near enough to full time to be taken seriously at work and now both of our kids are at senior school we've upped our hours to 33 a week each. Don't understand why it has to be all or nothing and why is part time working sham working?!
Well is doesn't always when you have the flexibility. But for many people the option to select the days/change the hours they work is not there. So often someone has to stay in ridged full time hours to bring in the bulk of the income.
Talking about flexibility one example in the article (Coventry couple) said they chose the woman to go back to full time work because as a woman she gets to option of more flexibility in the work place . I don't know a lot about employment law. Do mothers get more rights than fathers in terms of employment and children? I can't imagine this to be the case. Are not things like maternity/paternity leave the same now?
kissing, I think op means SAHM not 'sham' - typo!
FWIW it seems to me that, with a lot of unemployed, yet those in work working very long hours (no stats to hand), the solution is part-time working as a norm. It would save several problems at a stroke - if only wages were sufficient to meet living costs on a part time income!
For me the main thing is to recognise that every family is different. Some women want to stay at home and some don't. Likewise we should also recognise that some men would love to stay at home. Both sexes are equally capable but it is up to individual families to work out who is best placed to take what role.
I would like to see less focus on the gender of the sahp (if there is one at all) and more on if they suit the role and want the role.
It's all about equality of opportunity.
I don't know many dad's who are the primary caregiver or settle for a job, rather than a career, to fit in around support their spouses career and care for their children.
I don't think this is because men don't want to. There is an inherent expectation that mum's are primary caregivers, even if in full time work, and dads don't have days off due to a child's sickness or medical appointments.
The equality of parenting rights and expectations is one aspect where men are disadvantaged by society and need to seek equality of attitude and opportunity.
Ah yes, obviously (it was late...!)
Now that we've got shared parental leave, I think men and women get the same rights and even before that either or both parent(s) could apply for flexible working. In fact, you don't have to be a parent these days to be considered for flexible working if you have been employed by a company for 6 months.
If you both continue working and share the childcare, then one parent isn't left having to take a job far below the one they left when the kids go to school.
I agree with you, walkAcross, it would solve a lot of problems if fewer hours were the norm in general. House prices rose when women came into the workforce in larger numbers, I wish they'd stayed at multiples of one salary :-/
Everything is supply and demand ... I'm buying a house that was on the market for 2 people's combined salaries at least and I offered and offered what I could afford until somebody accepted.
Honestly feel this is the only way to take control the best we can ... pay what we can afford not what the banks will lend. Off topic I know but people power would provail in the end
Newbrummie A house is only worth what people are willing to pay, not its price tag. For the house I bought I made what was considered a cheeky offer. I could afford a fair bit more but never like to stretch my self, live well within my means gives me more flexibility and protection again the future unkown. Anyway got it for pretty much what I offered. I don't pay much attention to asking price, just to what I want to pay. But yes a little off topic.
It is but you should here some of the shite my friends come out with ... we just fell in love with the house, had to have it, offered £20,000 over the asking price because we borrowed more.... my head banged on the table at that point
Newbrummie palm in face moment? Sounds like we are from the same school of economics. Sorry side tracking again
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