In our effort to gain rights for individuals, one significant collective was left out of the equation: family. But change is afoot. Something new and exciting is happening in feminism and it's about children and their care. In academia, the need to address childcare has been called "the unfinished business of feminism" and "the unfinished revolution."
As a woman and a mother, who has been both a SAHM and working mum, here's a few suggestions as to how you can really repay your beautiful wife. I apologize in advance if you are already doing all of this. You sound like a great guy, so it's quite likely that you are. If you're not, here's what you could do.
People, not parents, struggle to find the time and energy to do the things they know they should. Anyhow, it struck me that there are some things I can (and will!) blame my children for, cheerfully, and some things that I resolve I will not blame them for. I want them to know I can prioritise what's important for my own wellbeing, so that they can learn from me.
When did the term "working mom" come into the popular vernacular? I cannot, for the life of me, figure out why any woman with a job and children would describe herself as a working mom. My husband is a wonderful father, and great business leader, however, he does not refer to himself as a working dad. In fact, I don't know one man who works while raising a family and calls himself a working dad. So why do we?
Parents are subject to the same questions child-free people are about their tardiness and absences. The difference is that, yes, parents have more reasons that this might happen. We can't make our four-year-olds walk to school themselves or walk themselves home from school, let themselves in and boil up some chicken soup. The issue is how employers treat these differences between employees' life styles.
A Canadian federal court upheld a human rights tribunal's finding that employers have an obligation to try to accommodate employee needs as they pertain to childcare. That means if your boss can reasonably let you work the day shift so you can drop your kid at daycare, then she has to. This isn't about every parent trumping every non-parent. It is designed to protect those who would otherwise be forced to leave their job. Having children may be a choice, but taking care of them is not. Juggling work and childcare is hard enough for working parents on a typical schedule.