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Middle Class Mothers Deserting Workplace To Care For Children, Government Study Shows

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Single mum, when asked about affordable or free nursery place child care....was told give up your job and claim benefits, the state will pay the rent/mortgage interest......look to other countries such as Denmark and see how their system works, we have much to learn. ;)

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I would think that there's a fair gap between a rather cyncial view of relationships in the Gen X population and misogyny?

Depends what you call 'cynical'. There have been plenty of posts on the lines of All Women Are Just Gold Digging Bitches , very likely posted by blokes who have been daft or unlucky enough to pick wrong 'uns.

While we're at it perhaps we could also have a Misoboomer thread, where those so inclined can rant away about how they should all die horrible deaths from cancer, but not before they have had their BTLs all repossessed and are reduced to scavenging in dustbins for a mouldy crust of bread.

Just saying... ;)

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I think the trouble is that the decision makers consists of people raised by a nanny (and/or can easily afford them for their kids) and career-orientated women who do rewarding jobs (including financially).

Or by relatives. My wife's parents have spent the last few years doing school runs, afternoon babysitting etc. for the children of my wife's two brothers (nine kids in total, with ages currently between six months and 8 years). This free childcare has enabled the parents to develop and maintain high-flying (and in three cases, high-paying) careers - a hospital doctor, a senior hospital manager, a dentist and a pastor. Whenever we visit Mrs. Ayatollah's parents, we are now guaranteed a sermon on how we must start a family before it's too late. We would like to, but don't feel that it would be financially responsible to do so: my wife has health issues meaning that she can only really work part-time (albeit in a relatively well-paying job: she's also a doctor), and I have been a self-employed consultant since moving to the US to join her, and do not have a stable enough income to take on the cost of bringing up a family.

But here's the kicker: her parents have announced plans to move to another city 30 miles away within the next couple of years (they currently live just around the corner from us), to be nearer her brother with the youngest kids! This basically means that if we have children, they're not going to be able to support us in the way that they supported her brothers. Yet they still give us the sanctimonious lecture, having previously supplied free childcare to two families, one of which probably takes home around $400-450k a year and the other around $200-300k a year. So having children for us is going to mean professional childcare, which for the first 6-7 years means finding in the region of $40k a year at the very least. For us, this is not small change.

Yet another symptom of the boomer generation being divorced from the real world, IMO, combined with those in very high-paying occupations being divorced from the reality of those who are not.

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I continue to doubt the economic implications of this. They seem to use the same argument for more immigration as they do for getting more women into the workforce. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with women being in the workforce, the economic benefits of it are, at best, limited. (just as they are for immigrants) It's barely more than a zero sum game, with men being pushed out of the workforce. (or, british nationals, in the case of being replaced by immigrant labour) to make way for the new supply of labour - Overall participation increased barely 5%, with male participation falling 10%. All that was achieved before 1990, with overall participation falling since then.

So, putting more money in more peoples pockets is largely a lie. Its taken money from mens pockets and put it into womens pockets. Socially, thats a good thing, long may it continue, but to say that its increased aggregate income is demonstrably false, just as mass immigration has either increased unemployment or else supressed wages.

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While we're at it perhaps we could also have a Misoboomer thread, where those so inclined can rant away about how they should all die horrible deaths from cancer, but not before they have had their BTLs all repossessed and are reduced to scavenging in dustbins for a mouldy crust of bread.

HPC isn't quite that bad, I think more common than the suggestion that all Boomers should die horrible deaths is the suggestion that maybe a few more Boomers should open their eyes to what life is actually like for people younger than them and cut down on the uninformed preaching. It's not their most endearing trait.

Edited by Dorkins

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Or by relatives. My wife's parents have spent the last few years doing school runs, afternoon babysitting etc. for the children of my wife's two brothers (nine kids in total, with ages currently between six months and 8 years). This free childcare has enabled the parents to develop and maintain high-flying (and in three cases, high-paying) careers - a hospital doctor, a senior hospital manager, a dentist and a pastor. Whenever we visit Mrs. Ayatollah's parents, we are now guaranteed a sermon on how we must start a family before it's too late. We would like to, but don't feel that it would be financially responsible to do so: my wife has health issues meaning that she can only really work part-time (albeit in a relatively well-paying job: she's also a doctor), and I have been a self-employed consultant since moving to the US to join her, and do not have a stable enough income to take on the cost of bringing up a family.

But here's the kicker: her parents have announced plans to move to another city 30 miles away within the next couple of years (they currently live just around the corner from us), to be nearer her brother with the youngest kids! This basically means that if we have children, they're not going to be able to support us in the way that they supported her brothers. Yet they still give us the sanctimonious lecture, having previously supplied free childcare to two families, one of which probably takes home around $400-450k a year and the other around $200-300k a year. So having children for us is going to mean professional childcare, which for the first 6-7 years means finding in the region of $40k a year at the very least. For us, this is not small change.

Yet another symptom of the boomer generation being divorced from the real world, IMO, combined with those in very high-paying occupations being divorced from the reality of those who are not.

Perhaps I'm being cynical here (and this is as someone who has no family support with both sets living in different countries not just 30 miles away...) they did tell you to hurry up and get reproducing. Perhaps they were saying also that they can't envision doing childcare when they're in their 80's when you've saved enough to buy that house outright (or spent years moaning on here about people who have bought). Sometimes you really just have to take a jump and hope for the best.

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The female angle on expensive debt (CCs/long mortgage term/MEW) may differ severely from the male when it comes to relationships.

I'm sure the HPC view that women largely drive the demand side of converting loose credit to heavy mortgage debt holds water, but very difficult to quantify.

The cost of education is surely a function of loose credit, so the same drive may apply there. I suspect much of it is absorbed in MEW/charging orders, like unmanageable CC debt. I know private schools are quickish at suing parents and securing the debt against the family home.

I'm mystified by the astronomic cost of childcare, but it's probably a reflection of the value of women's work in the home. The true value of women's work in the home is a different matter.

The most cynical bankrupt I ever came across (among hundreds) was a woman who blew through £60k on "stuff" bought with CCs. She then got pregnant by a boyfriend whose father supported her during "the time of no plastic". She then ditched the boyfriend and threw herself on the state. She didn't fall into this, it was planned. But to be fair, she did have nice legs.

I wouldn't be hard on men who feel bitter about the "hand wavey" attitude to expensive debt among many women - given a correlation in relationship break-down and debt problems, those men will suffer a permanent set-back in their prospects.

Maybe none of that would matter if the prospect of economic growth were real. I don't buy it - pessimist, not optimist - which may be the distinguishing feature for men and women in a relationship. We're on the same voyage, but one thinks we're coming into dock while the other thinks we're casting off.

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But here's the kicker: her parents have announced plans to move to another city 30 miles away within the next couple of years (they currently live just around the corner from us), to be nearer her brother with the youngest kids!

I think they are telling you to get on and access some free childcare from them while you still can - and maybe another younger grandnipper might persuade them to stay.

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so if we could really just stop with the ridiculous stereotyping that would be good.

That would be a good start

when you've saved enough to buy that house outright (or spent years moaning on here about people who have bought).

Oh wait...

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The female angle on expensive debt (CCs/long mortgage term/MEW) may differ severely from the male when it comes to relationships.

I'm sure the HPC view that women largely drive the demand side of converting loose credit to heavy mortgage debt holds water, but very difficult to quantify.

Sure, because single men never buy overpriced properties and there are no women on HPC whatsoever :blink:

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I do enjoy reading this forum (though hardly contribute tbh) however sometimes the shite that comes out is a bit incredulous...

Really? Women rack up debts and the hero, sorry Daddy, pays it back?? I work full time and earn more than my husband, as well as run the house and do childcare (sick days/ CM drop off, collect). My husband wouldn't even bother reading a forum like this, he lives in the 'everything will always be OK, right?' world so if we could really just stop with the ridiculous stereotyping that would be good.

I knew I'd have to explain my comments. Misogyny and all that.

First, when I say 'women', I mean 'women I know'.. Ditto for men.

Mainly thru the last 80s (teens), 90s (20s), 00s (30s) and 10s (40s).

I did use to believe women were worst spenders than men.

This is just coz what the women I know spend it on visible stuff - clothes, shoes and maybe a car.

Bar the car, blokes seem to spent it on less visible stuff. Probably chasing women . . . thats a joke. a bit.

So, I don't think women are any more or less financially incontinent than men.

Now Im in my 40s I find the following observation - not opinion - to be true:

There are a massive number of women who want (and do) to quit their job and let their partner to pick up the slack.

Seriously, couples I've know for 20 years, done stuff together etc etc, both chip in to struggle, they both get to early 40s and the woman wants to pack it all in.

I've never heard a man say the same thing. Ever,

Its not kids. Some of the couples have kids, some don't.

If this applied to just a couple of women than I would have disregarded it.

It doesn't. Its a significant number - about 30%*

* - your observation of this phenomena may diiffer from mine

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I think toiling and working hard for your £1 helps people to value it.......getting money given on a plate, be it by a father a partner or the state often sees it easily spent/wasted...slips far quicker out of fingers.....more from where that came from mindset. ;)

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Hold on, lets bring technology into the mix. What about home working, the opportunities are far greater now than they used to be. My son for example can work one or two days a week from home if he wants to. There is a lot more flexibility in the work place than there ever used to be.

I recall when I was a child that some of my friends mothers used to work from home, light assembly work, can't remember what they were assembling. I helped out a bit out of curiosity once or twice. Now though there surely is far more work that can be carried out at home, without restriction on the time of day that the task needs to be done . I'm thinking of tasks like bookkeeping/accounts, telesales, marketing proposals, market research, etc,

Obviously far more difficult when the child is still a babe in arms, easier when they are a toddler and a doodle when they are at school. If both parents can share the child caring and housekeeping tasks then it becomes quite manageable.

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Hold on, lets bring technology into the mix. What about home working, the opportunities are far greater now than they used to be. My son for example can work one or two days a week from home if he wants to. There is a lot more flexibility in the work place than there ever used to be.

I recall when I was a child that some of my friends mothers used to work from home, light assembly work, can't remember what they were assembling. I helped out a bit out of curiosity once or twice. Now though there surely is far more work that can be carried out at home, without restriction on the time of day that the task needs to be done . I'm thinking of tasks like bookkeeping/accounts, telesales, marketing proposals, market research, etc,

Obviously far more difficult when the child is still a babe in arms, easier when they are a toddler and a doodle when they are at school. If both parents can share the child caring and housekeeping tasks then it becomes quite manageable.

True.

[And this is true]

One of my school friends use to having 'paying gentlemen' upstairs whilst he watched TV.

Not much fun being the town whore's kid.

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True.

[And this is true]

One of my school friends use to having 'paying gentlemen' upstairs whilst he watched TV.

Not much fun being the town whore's kid.

Bit difficult when its the husbands turn to be at home. I suppose there are some families where it could work out :o

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Hard to say. Probably some public funded group trying to shake the money tree.

I disagree with this.

I think the reason is that the cost of child care is so high due to double taxing on nanny salaries - if you work, and hire a nanny, the mother ( I say that in general terms) would need to be earning close to £60k to break even after paying their salary and employers NI. A child minder is a bit cheaper for 1 kid, but if you have 2 then you probably still need to earn £50k to cover the cost and then you have less flexibility which means it is harder to hold down a well paid job.

My wife is back at work, and we have a 18 month old and a 3 year old, and we hire a nanny as well as sending the 3 year old to a private nursery. But my wife earns closer to £70k, I earn quite a lot more than that, so our position is not in anyway representative of the general population and we still find it expensive after taxes, mortgages etc, but I know other couples on more average salaries, say £40k and £30k, and they really struggle with child care except for the fact they use grandparents on certain days, otherwise it would be cheaper for the mother to stay at home.

To set this in context, whilst we pay our nanny £9.60 per hour, that is a net figure (standard for nanny contracts) and this equates to a gross salary of £33k, but then you have to add employers NI on top of that.

I am sure I'll be shot down for this, but if the Government wanted to raise employment for women they should probably allow more tax breaks around the hiring of nannies and the use of child minders.

Edited by Mikhail Liebenstein

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Sure, because single men never buy overpriced properties and there are no women on HPC whatsoever :blink:

Well, I was talking about the debt dynamic in a relationship.

And I did specify not all women, ie. we're pretty much all the same on the supply side of credit - sources of rent - yet somehow different in laughably obvious ways on the demand side. Plus you have to look at the sales pitch - think of how new developments and subsidy-rich mortgages are sold to young(ish) couples, how store cards are pitched.

The only insight I have is from dealing professionally with a lot of creditors & debtors. But I don't have relevant stats 'n stuff - it's just a bunch of anecdotes.

I'd like to read a lot more critical stuff from women - the best blog commentators are split 50/50, but not so in the forums where we seem to have the pessimism of HPC v the Hugz & xxx* of Mumsnet.

Do you see?

*HPC doesn't even have a smilie for that. Case closed.

Edited by okaycuckoo

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I do enjoy reading this forum (though hardly contribute tbh) however sometimes the shite that comes out is a bit incredulous...

Really? Women rack up debts and the hero, sorry Daddy, pays it back?? I work full time and earn more than my husband, as well as run the house and do childcare (sick days/ CM drop off, collect). My husband wouldn't even bother reading a forum like this, he lives in the 'everything will always be OK, right?' world so if we could really just stop with the ridiculous stereotyping that would be good.

He sounds like an immature kidult goon of which there aren't many on here in my experience. There are many of us old school guys on here ( not mysognists ) who beiieve in equal relationships and as well as being the breadwinner and doing our bit.

Perhaps we are a certain profile but our wives/ partners arent running around like a mad thing while we gaze on in some sort of abstract daze.

Interesting about the fact you mention you earn more than him, how long has that been a bone of contention. ?

Edited by Greg Bowman

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Hold on, lets bring technology into the mix. What about home working, the opportunities are far greater now than they used to be. My son for example can work one or two days a week from home if he wants to. There is a lot more flexibility in the work place than there ever used to be.

I recall when I was a child that some of my friends mothers used to work from home, light assembly work, can't remember what they were assembling. I helped out a bit out of curiosity once or twice. Now though there surely is far more work that can be carried out at home, without restriction on the time of day that the task needs to be done . I'm thinking of tasks like bookkeeping/accounts, telesales, marketing proposals, market research, etc,

Obviously far more difficult when the child is still a babe in arms, easier when they are a toddler and a doodle when they are at school. If both parents can share the child caring and housekeeping tasks then it becomes quite manageable.

Working from home actually means working, not looking after junior though. I WFH now & then - I get more done at home, but that is expected to an extent.

Personally, I think employers are mad not to offer more part time work. I have no doubt 2 people doing half my job each would get more done than me. On PAYE, it would be way more tax efficient for a couple to do a 20 hour 25k job each than to have one on 50k and the other at home - which is perverse in itself.

Edited by disenfranchised

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Working from home actually means working, not looking after junior though. I WFH now & then - I get more done at home, but that is expected to an extent.

Personally, I think employers are mad not to offer more part time work. I have no doubt 2 people doing half my job each would get more done than me. On PAYE, it would be way more tax efficient for a couple to do a 20 hour 25k job each than to have one on 50k and the other at home - which is perverse in itself.

People I know who WFH with small kids can find it hard excluding junior from part of the house.

Older might be fine, in fact very good.

Different kinds of work will be fine, but tele-conferences with people in other countries (dodgy connections, accents) or concentrating hard doesn't fit well with 'Look I drew a picture...'

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Working from home actually means working, not looking after junior though. I WFH now & then - I get more done at home, but that is expected to an extent.

Personally, I think employers are mad not to offer more part time work. I have no doubt 2 people doing half my job each would get more done than me. On PAYE, it would be way more tax efficient for a couple to do a 20 hour 25k job each than to have one on 50k and the other at home - which is perverse in itself.

One of the benefits of home working is that it doesn't have to be done at set hours of the day. I know when our children were younger I could have started early before the children were awake or later, when they were asleep. There are lots of jobs where the work can be done at hours to suit the one doing the work, not necessarily just in usual office hours. And these days there are lots of household chores shared between husband and wife. Sure my wife did a greater proportion of house work than I did, but I did a lot more than my father did. He wasn't lazy by any means, it was typical of how families were in those days.

I remember shortly after we were married that my wife's mother was quite amazed that I actually went into a supermarket with my wife and we did the shopping together. She was used to the normal routine then where the wife would do all the household chores and the weekly shop. Another factor is that the type of work now is less heavy manual than it was then.

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This is a touchy subject in our household...

Mrs Whitemice is highly qualified, but in a non-businessey area, hence it's not financially worthwhile for her to work and pay for childcare. This is made worse by the way German married tax breaks are structured to discourage second earners. While this is technically gender neutral, it does put women back in traditional gender roles. Something which must feel pretty weird for her after years of study and hard work.

I don't like the assertion that the mother is isolating the kid at home.

Whitemice junior is spending lots of time with local kids his own age, at play-parks, playgroups, Krabbelgruppe, etc. All the while his mother is on hand for cuddles, diaper changes, etc. A society should provide lots of stuff for the pre-school age kids to do with their parents during the week.

I wasn't insinuating that children whose mothers choose not to return to work and instead become 'traditional' stay at home mums/housewives end up inadvertently resulting in their children having a slightly more 'isolated' upbringing.

I was merely asserting that one of the benefits of pre-school nurseries is that social skills, and indeed intellectual development, is at least 'guaranteed' by virtue of the ensured interaction with lots of others children of same age - whereas for children with stay at home mums this is not guaranteed and will down to the energy, resources and imagination of the mother.

It was brought to my attention that even pre-school nurseries have, for what its worth, OFTSED standards to meet vis avis providing 'structured' developmental skills development, etc. They are not just places to 'dump' ones kids for the day.

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This thread is both illuminating and depressing. Why do we have a need to prescribe a single solution to other peoples' lives? Surely none of us really believe that one size fits all? And why is there this need to judge other peoples' choices if they don't directly impinge on your own?

Struck to by the emotive language in the article: 'deserting' the workplace? Why not just 'leaving'? 'Plunged'? Why not just 'fallen'?

Plenty of people in both camps making all kinds of choices for reasons not reflected in the article or the discussion. Odd to be prescribing solutions on the basis of so little information.

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A woman over 35 with children to raise has a full time job in the house!

Yes great idea, institutionalise the children and get the proles working harder at their unproductive non-jobs.

They want to split the family unit, to increase the reliance on the state. How anyone could think that fracturing the family unit is good for society is beyond me. It is one of the many madnesses of our time.

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I'd like to read a lot more critical stuff from women - the best blog commentators are split 50/50, but not so in the forums where we seem to have the pessimism of HPC v the Hugz & xxx* of Mumsnet.

Do you see?

*HPC doesn't even have a smilie for that. Case closed.

Are you saying Mumsnet is representative of women and HPC of men? Though there is somewhat of a membership bias both sites have posters of both sexes; on HPC both sexes appear to be a similar mix of pessimistic (a HPC will never be allowed to happen) and optimistic (a HPC is inevitable), and both tend towards critical, analytical thinking.

As far as I'm aware most women don't use mumsnet for jack sh*t. Remember this is a site that does not publish it's own membership numbers, only page views and site visits (I considered signing up just to see if they'd assign me a membership number so I could give you a hard figure but I'm afraid I just couldn't bring myself to stomach it). There is a reason for this: Mumsnet has nowhere near as many members as they would like everyone to think. I'm a woman, a fair few of my friends are woman, many of them have children, some of them are being pressured into upsizing by their spendthrift husbands, none of them use that site. In my circle at least Mumsnet is widely regarded as reactionary middle class twaddle. This may be unfair to some of their posters but that doesn't detract from the fact that the overall site is not a representative barometer of woman in general.

I'm assuming the missing emoticon is some sort of kissing thing? In the context of critical thinking this is not feminine it's just assinine.

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