Thursday, January 11, 2007


It’s been a week of knackeredness since the last time I updated this blog. This is partly due to Stan getting his first cold. The poor lad couldn’t sleep because he was so congested, which meant that Emily and I didn’t sleep either. Add getting up at 6am to get the boy to nursery, attempting to keep our house in some kind of order whilst servicing Stanley’s practical needs, organising the purchase of our new home, plus the usual work pressures, and it’s an exhausting combination.

In fact, I’m beginning to see why our birth rate is declining – working and parenting don’t really mix in the UK. The cost of childcare, for instance, is scandalous. Putting Stan in nursery for 4 days a week costs roughly £200. I can’t imagine how a low-income family could cover the costs. No wonder people are dependent on benefits. If I were in a position where most of my wage was being eaten up by childcare, I’d be tempted to stay at home and claim benefits too.

Unsurprisingly, women are penalised most as parents. A recent study revealed that the pay gap widens after women become mothers. The disparity in terms of career progress also increases.

Of course, my mum was faced with this dilemma as a single parent when I was a kid, so I’ve experienced it first hand. I wonder how many intelligent, skilled women are still being trapped in poverty as she was.

Ohh, bit serious today! Don’t worry, I’ll get back to torturing chefs and venerating the mighty Ray Mears next time round!

1 comment:

Helen (Codd) said...

Hurrah! Couldn't agree more! I go to Germany every year to lecture and over there childcare costs about 100 Euros a month as it's subsidised. Meanwhile women like me over here struggle to work full-time and pay for chilcare. I mean, we have two incomes coming in but it's still a lot of money.