Tell us about YOUR ASPIRATIONS for your family…
In the post election debate there’s now a focus on the kind of aspirations people have for a better life for themselves and their children – and the policies needed to make this possible.
We all want a better life for our children.
So let’s look at the word ‘aspirational’…. (eg one definition is: ‘having or characterized by aspirations to achieve social prestige and material success‘ – another definition is: ‘wanting to achieve success in your career or to improve your social status or standard of living’). In the policy arena it’s taken as a given – a kind of cross-party consensus – that a more ‘aspirational’ society needs ever-earlier, ever-longer hours of childcare for young children.
In fact it’s seen as a key policy area and we’ll be hearing a lot more about plans to extend childcare provision in the months ahead.
But what are the costs and are we prepared to pay the price?
Tell us about YOUR ASPIRATIONS.
To what extent would you describe more registered childcare for pre-school children (the new policy ‘norm’) as being YOUR aspiration at this point in time – with even longer hours of paid work for working families than they already do? Do you think this family model would give your infant a better start in life?
Do you think you work hard enough as parents or could you be working even longer hours between you?
Have you tried securing more family friendly work in your area – and how are you finding it?
Is your child accessing full time childcare, and if not why not?
Do you have an elderly relative you’re caring for, or a child who isn’t ready for separation for long days?
Or perhaps one of you is busy taking care of children, whilst someone is in paid work earning an income to support his/her family – or perhaps you each do a three day week….
So, if you aren’t maximising time in paid work and you’re diverting some time to taking care of family – then can you really describe yourselves as an aspirational family by today’s standards?
MAHM says there’s a time for everything and a season for every activity – we need time to care and time to work – it doesn’t all need to be all at the same time.
The childhood years are precious. Family is precious.
The question should perhaps be this: ”If we want a happy, healthy, productive, truly aspirational, caring society, can we afford NOT to build in TIME TO CARE and TIME FOR FAMILY?’
by Marie Peacock
13th May (discussed on our facebook page Mothers at Home Matter Too).