Stay at home parents...

Friday, 4 October 2013

If you're a parent you've probably seen the phrase that being a stay at home parent is a 'lifestyle' choice being touted around from the deplorable government as they target stay at home parents into returning to work under the hideous conditionality clauses of the infamous Universal Credit.  In case you've been hibernating (to which end I'm hideously jealous) In order to make sanctioning more vile they're condensing benefits and tax credits into one, so not only can they sanction away your benefits but your credits too.  Charming.  Whereas under the current system of tax credits, so long as one part of a couple or both combined make up to 24 hours of work a week they will be entitled to tax credits which gives families an iota of choice and flexibility, they can choose how they balance it based on hours not income. Under universal credit one partner must work full time and upon the youngest child turning five the named primary carer must also look for work or face being sanctioned.  It doesn't stop there, if you are deemed to not be earning enough or working long enough hours you can also be pulled into the job centre and wait for it.....forced to apply for another job if you can't increase your hours and wage at your current job under the threat of being sanctioned.  Bloody brilliant.  Genius idea.  Thinking of working from home to have the best of both worlds?  To be blunt, under the Universal Credit, you're essentially fucked.

For you see, I don't see being a stay at home parent as a lifestyle choice I see it as a responsibility.  Before I go on I'd like to state from the start that I personally have absolutely nothing against mothers who choose to work, the emphasis here being on choice whether it's to sustain the lifestyle to which they're accustomed to or to achieve a better lifestyle than that which they already have, to further a career they're passionate about or even if they just need to work for sanity sake.  However, I do find it utterly ridiculous that should a family choose to sacrifice lifestyle in order for one parent to stay at home that they should be penalised for this.  If one partner is prepared to work full time at minimum wage to support his/her family, is it their fault that minimum wage isn't enough to provide even the most basic lifestyle/existence when they're already on the basic lifestyle so perhaps can't downgrade in house size, they're already living in an undesirable area, they have no holidays or even short breaks, no car which are all sacrifices families of a higher income could make to enable one parent to stay at home should they so desire.

Many families in the past were brought up on the breadline so to speak to enable one parent to stay at home, yet then even low wages could support this at a stretch.  Sometimes the primary carer would undertake evening work occasionally to top up the pot so to speak be it for birthdays, Christmas or even an annual family holiday but again this would be for extras not for survival.  

How much would a full time nanny cost? a full time house keeper? Nurse? Book keeper?  Personal shopper? Child minder? What if they were on 'duty' 24/7?  The government are willing to subsidise paying someone else to look after your children so they can tax them and then tax the parent for returning to work however, to actually stay at home and bring up your own child yourself is somehow absurdly considered a privilege as opposed to a duty or responsibility.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using childcare, but it should be a choice not a necessity.  

It would appear that the government is diabolically anti-family what with suggestions to extend the school day, shorten the holidays and to implement free/subsidised childcare from an earlier age.  Now don't be fooled into thinking the latter is to help those already in work, it's merely a move to enable them to bully stay at home parents into work sooner, as they seem intent on separating children from parental influence and deposit them into the system as soon as possible.  This is in addition to the early age to which our children are expected to enter full time education despite other countries starting several years later and out performing ours academically.

Yet what about when they're at school, do they suddenly cease to need a parent?  My mother stayed at home and the security of knowing she  was there was enormous.  She was there when I left for school, there when I came home, there should I have an accident or become ill, there for all assemblies, plays and sports days, there for all holidays.  To a child, it matters

We all know how vulnerable and subject to external influences teenagers are, and yet the government expect stay at home parents to work full time once their child is in high school creating essentially a latchkey generation.  

Childhood is so short and so utterly precious and parenting full time is a job, it's a job that determines how the world will be as we nourish the future generation, the future leaders, nursers, lawyers, builders, we essentially build a future society.

Whatever next, mandatory nursery from birth? If an animal is separated from their mother too soon they fail to thrive mentally, emotionally and socially, what are we if not animals?

Bring back family.

Give us a living wage and allow families the choice to have two working parents or one stay at home instead of a ridiculously high increase in living costs and a far too low minimum wage that essentially cripples low income families making them dependent on the tax credit crutch and victims to ruthless conditionality.  Wages wouldn't need topping up and supporting if we had a living wage.  The fact so many families depend on tax credits is testament to the fact that wages are simply too low.  Stay at home parents aren't asking nor expecting to be paid, they're just asking not to be penalised.

The country is in a recession.  There aren't enough jobs for those already desperately seeking employment yet the government seem to think it a jolly good idea to add more people, by force, to the pool of job seekers.  Once again, utter genius. Eradicate financial dependency on the state, introduce a living wage and give people back control on how to live their lives.

Choice is freedom and we all know that is the very last thing our government wish us to have for they fear it will dilute their control over us.


  1. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment, it's appreciated.

  2. I can't really argue against anything you said. What kind of world are our kids going to inherit?

  3. I don't disagree, but point out that early years education is also there to ensure that all* children have the opportunity to be stimulated and engaged before they start school.

    Sadly, some children come into such denuded and sterile home environments that by the time they start school they are way behind their peers, and never catch up.


I love receiving comments so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Don't worry if your comment doesn't show up immediately, in order to avoid that pesky captcha I've activated comment moderation instead so as soon as i'm online i'll publish your comment :)

If you like the blog feel free to link it on your page.

All content by L Seddon / MamaUndone | (© Copyright 2015) Design by Studio Mommy (© Copyright 2015)