Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dressing down CPAG

Oh joy. Someone other than me having a go at the Child Poverty Action Group. Big ups to Dr Rosy Fenwicke for her column in yesterday's DomPost;

OPINION: KIWI mothers are battlers too. Donna Wynd and Susan St John need to be enlightened about this fact before they consign all mothers in New Zealand to the state-funded victimhood they seem to be advocating in their column Enlightening the Welfare Working Group.

Sometimes events beyond our control conspire to undermine our abilities to look after ourselves and our children, which is where a caring community kicks in.

The Welfare Working Group seems to be offering hope with help and the Child Poverty Action Group is offering help without hope to Nikki - the solo mother example. It is the second option that riles me the most.

Let's look again at Nikki. She has two children aged six and three and works part-time at night to help support her family. Let's not talk about a nebulous no-good partner, but give the father of her children an identity - Sam.

Sam and Nikki, for whatever reasons, have decided to split. Nikki keeps her night-time job because she likes it and it is the place where she is treated like an adult after day-long childcare. Sure, she is tired but sometimes she gets help from her family.

It does not require magic to continue working and looking after children. New Zealand mothers (and fathers) do this every day and we cope. Support is nice but not always available.

Accessible, safe and affordable childcare close to the workplace is essential, or mothers of children aged under five are not able to work. Once this is properly addressed, there are no barriers, other than choice, to a mother working after having children. Lots of us do it (alone). We have to. Our kids are fine.



Anonymous said...

What always seems to be left out of the discussion is where the responsibility lies for the decision to have children in the first place, and what arguments ought to play a role in that decision making, as well as who should provide the services that nowadays seem to be required in parallel to the roles of parents.
It is frankly disgusting that people do not contemplate any of the real life issues that are involved with childcare before they go ahead and procreate, apparently based on the assumption that the rest of society (through government) will step in and resolve any problems that may arise.
We will never find an answer to this conundrum without going back to the premise that parenthood is a voluntary choice with consequences, including difficulties if the relationship between parents turns sour. These difficulties are not hard to forecast at all, but in fact operate within narrow probabilities for various characteristics of parents and their socio-economic circumstances.
People must be weaned from the concept of the total welfare state before this can be tackled for real.


Anonymous said...

Bez writes so much better than I on basically what I was going to comment on. ~ "The difficulties aren't hard to forecast" know in advance that 50% marriages are likely to falter; if a cad and a bounder or worse a basher and a drunk before marriage, then highly unlikely to change with marriage, and certainly not suitable for breeding with

Anonymous said...

If there was a social consensus that cads and bashers should be genocided, I wonder what revenge they would feel entitled to take.

Also, the positions in the comments above leave out the unreasonable optimism that we are all encouraged to have at the beginnings of our relationships, and the possibility that we might choose partners with undetected heart defects or future road accidents.