Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chop chop!

Hurry up! Move it! Jallah jallah!

I'm sure you recognize some of these lines to say the least. How often have we heard these sentences while growing up?
Kids can no longer be kids these days. Always in a hurry. Always stressing out. They leave their house as babies in their pajamas to be dropped off at daycare. Their teeny baby friends are awaiting them to spend the day together, while mom and dad race off to give their best shot at work. Later that day, towards the evening hours, the same movie is being played but in the opposite direction. Babies need to be picked up to hurry home, where their bottle is ready to be heated. A nice warm but quick bath helps the child relax before it is being put down to sleep. The parents are getting ready to do their household chores, while the little one holds its blanky and pacifier, its eye lids getting heavier and heavier, until baby is ready to doze off. Mom and dad fall down in their chairs, using their last energy to discuss their day and organize the agenda of the upcoming week.

Nowadays parents have a tough life. Although they no longer raise a household of 10 children, there's so much more pressure. Both parents need to work fulltime if they want to keep up with the Joneses. They need to make so many sacrifices if they want to keep those two cars, a yearly vacation abroad, dinner parties with friends, membership cards to the gym, .. I hear my friends complain about burn-outs, bore-outs, difficult children, terrible bosses and envious colleagues. They are not happy with the situation. They feel like they don't perform their best at work, because their heart is with their offspring. But is the solution to keep moms home with the kids again? Probably not.. It has been such a struggle for women to get education and decent jobs. They have every right to have a good job and feel the fulfillment and appreciation you feel as an employee. Not all women are fitted to live their lives as stay at home moms. They are of no use to their children if they are unhappy without an outdoor job and a salary that makes life more convenient.

Why is there no option for women to raise their children as a paid, fulltime job? Daycare centers keep waiting lists - you need to make reservations on that list by the time you get pregnant, to make sure your child-to-be will be in good hands once you go back to work. How stressful is that? Would women prefer to raise their kids themselves if they were paid to stay home? Or would they miss the grown-up contact?
What do you think? What would you do?

What's best for the child? I don't know. All children are different. Some children need more attention and affection than other children. Some parents prefer to spend quality time with their kids over quantity time. Happy parents make happy children. So whatever will be your choice, make sure it's a choice well considered and not an obligation. And remember: you always have the chance to think things over. Even parents are allowed to make mistakes..


Upje said...

Ik denk dat het gemakkelijker zou moeten zijn om gewoon minder te werken. Nu werken veel mensen 4/5, maar dat kan ook niet overal. (Bij ons al niet, bijvoorbeeld.) Maar 3/5, da's al minder evident, en financieel vaak ook al een stevige domper.
Of het zou mogelijk moeten zijn om je werkdagen anders in te delen. Wat minder uren op je werk aanwezig moeten zijn, maar dan wel in ruil thuis je pc nog eens openslaan, als de kinderen in bed liggen bijvoorbeeld.

Volledig thuisblijven, dat zou ik misschien ook niet zien zitten. Maar voltijds werken mét kinderen? Het lijkt me ook geen sinecure ...

Ik blijf er overigens ook van overtuigd dat kinderen liever een rustig en gelukkig leventje hebben, dan dat ze alles kunnen kopen wat ze maar kunnen bedenken. Maar het is wel geen evidente keuze!

Bittersweet said...

Zo is het maar net, Upje. Er moet toch een andere manier zijn, om de ouders bij te staan. Het moet ergens mogelijk zijn om andere werkkeuzes te kunnen maken, zodat En het werk wordt gedaan EN de kinderen een warme thuis hebben.

Anonymous said...

Per dag een uur minder werken zou ook al helpen, voor de kinderen, voor de ouders, voor het verkeer.

Bittersweet said...

Krijg dat maar uitgelegd op het werk. Het zou fijn zijn mocht die mogelijkheid bestaan. Er zouden vast veel mensen gebruik van maken.