Really, it's like the difference between Ford and Holden

I would complain about the heat once again, but what would the point of that be? We have interstate guests in transit, returning from the mook homeland. They're electing to sleep outside or in the shed. Despite the fact that I'm mortified that the couch of shame in the loungeroom is not good enough, and that the foldout in the study would be unbearably hot and stuffy (and noisy with the calls of neighbourhood hoons and heat amplified traffic sounds), I can't say I blame them. We've offered every sleeping possibility inside but no takers. I've been thinking of sleeping in the backyard too, but it's getting crowded out there and I need to be close enough to hear Grace. We ate inside, but sat out under the vine as darkness fell. Drinking beer and explaining the difference between left and right to a bemused nineteen year old.

Emboldened by the beer, I ranted about the new momentum of conservative family values and a perceived push to have women at home looking after the kids in a "traditional" setup. But only if the family is well off and middle class. And only while the kids are little. After that there's all sorts of pressures on women to rejoin the workforce. Because we need more workers (outside the home) so as to keep on top of economic growth. Not that we don't have more than enough of everything in our world as it is. Too much even. It's sharing it around that's the problem. Don't get me wrong here, I love the home life and part of me would love to stay at home full time. And I'm fully aware that it's still work, hard work even. I'm not even bitter that others can and I can't. Indeed I feel extremely lucky that our circumstances are such that I can still work (outside the home) part time. Like everyone else we make certain financial choices to do this. It's just that on a bigger picture kind of level, it irks me that this is choice is seen as viable for only some families. Mind you I think that for most women, no matter what our class or financial position, we are damned whatever our choices. You know, have children, don't have children, stay at home, work part time, work full time, childcare, not childcare etc and etc. Am I right, or is it the beer and lack of sleep speaking?

In my lefty utopia, it's all family friendly workplaces, a 36 hour week, part time hours for those who need them, shared parenting, excellent affordable childcare for those that choose it, good conditions and balancing work and home.  All very well on paper. What I really need is more hours in the day.  La la land. My part time contract is up for discussion again. I'm torn between wanting to work more hours and being paid more in a job I consider useful but infuriating at best, and wanting to be a home with Grace more. I'll probably feel better once the discussion has been had.

It was a long day today. The heat is not making it better. Sleep might.


h&b said...

Definately not the beer, although they sure are cooling in this heat ;)
I still have my proud letter to my ex-workplace, which was fwd'd with glee amongst my still-working-with-bebes-no-choice friends. I ripped it to them. In eloquent, edumacated words. I spend 2weeks composing the thing. Damning them for their lack of care, for their lack of women, for their lack of trained staff. For everything.
No P/T available at my company, no shared-job access, no flexi-working-hours, and any returning woman that shuns an impromptu meeting at 6pm because she has to 'pick up the kids' et al, is derided, sneered at, non-respected.
All under-the-table of course. Nothing overt.

VictoriaE said...

It does seem that women cop it from everyone around them, no matter what choices they make, and no matter if they don't have a choice in what they do - people are very happy to push their opinions and criticism on women (mostly in relation to what they do with their kids), especially when the woman does not need/want to hear these opinions, and then, MEN - well they don't get any of it pushed at them - weird. I mostly try to find it amusing.

Lazy Cow said...

My former workplace offered me 2 days a week after my maternity leave. It was good of them - considering the company had just STOPPED allowing mothers to work from home (which I would have LOVED to do). I turned them down knowing that 9-5 wouldn't cut it, and though they promised I wouldn't have to travel (I was a library software trainer), I knew I'd get roped back into it. And almost everyone in the office was single, so there would have been no sympathy for sick children and the like. Six years later, I'm very happy with my choice.