Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Whose cost, caring?

Tapu Misa's latest column is a criticism of the Welfare Working Group's focus on paid work to reduce dependency on the state.

She "whines" (her word) that stay at home mums feel worthless and undervalued. She presumes to speak for all at home mums. Collectivists have to do that in order to find collectivist solutions. Personally I never, ever felt undervalued as an at-home mother but what I and my family think is more important to me than the views of any other faceless community.

But the picture Misa concocts is of a society increasingly ganging up on all stay at home parents.

These days the idea of staying at home to look after young children seems increasingly old-fashioned and indulgent.

Yet, strangely, more and more men are doing it. Any 'indulgence' arises from the fact that many parents are using public money to stay home. Not money their partner has earned.

But Misa never makes any distinction between the two.

Some mothers (I imagine most) work because of economic necessity, but I've had more than a few women confess to me that they needed to work for their own sanity.

The mothers I know who are resisting that trend, despite the personal and economic costs, find themselves swimming against a tide that is increasingly unsympathetic, even dismissive of the role they play in raising and supporting their children.

There it is again. A 'tide' of collective opinion.

This leads to the predictable assertion that society puts no value on 'caring', or not enough anyway.

What she really means is that the state puts no value on caring because she observes the state getting increasingly reluctant to pay for it.

That is because when the state takes on responsibility for the upkeep of individuals they do less and less for themselves and each other. Families have fewer reasons to stay together and rely on one another. I am sure that the members of the WWG do value individuals caring for one another but understand that the welfare system has undermined this.

With its narrow focus on paid work rather than care, it continues to miss the bigger picture.

No. I think it is Tapu Misa who misses the big picture.

And one more thing. She alludes to a situation developing in the US;

As the New York Times reported last week, budget cuts in schools, for example, have heightened the need for more volunteer help just as parents have less and less time to give.

The unpaid work that would have been done by stay-at-home mothers is now falling on over-burdened working mothers, who are starting to "say NO to volunteering".

High unemployment has meant more people have more time on their hands. People are stepping forward to fill roles in schools that were previously paid positions and perversely, the unions are fighting them. Out of necessity the state is shrinking and the left do not like it.


Anonymous said...

I don't see that the work is unpaid. The wife gets food, a roof, clothing etc.
What is unfair is making other people pay for your wife or whatever.

Falafulu Fisi said...

This woman Tapu Misa is daft. She whines useless & irrelevant topics and her facts are wrong most of the time.

I hope that our Pacific Island community ignores useless ranting on the media, because obviously, what she writes do not inspire islanders. It make islanders want to feel oppressed in a free society like NZ, therefore they see themselves as victims (of no ones fault except themselves). We know that when people feel this way, then all drive to succeed in life disappears.

Tapu idiot Misa, should do us islanders a favour by stop writing nonsense, because her idiotic articles only exacerbate the problems, since they make islanders feel that they're helpless, but in reality there is no such thing, it is just in the minds.

connie raiwhara said...

As a old stay home mum. I have had to get a hobby. I work at the Pikorua Community House as a voluntee and have done for 2half yrs.And have enjoyed every bit of it. Dew to other challenging events in my life, working is not and option, especially full time work. My husbands sickness and my dedication to my Community takes up a lot of my time. If I could find work at night or during the weekends I would take it. The benefit is helping, but it only keeps my head above the first bill, and under the rest. There are people out there that jimmy the system, and you can understand why. I am not one of those people and life is very hard for people like myself who just want to live. PLaces like winz donot help the people in need,Just make it harder to want to live.