Sunday, 30 December 2012

Girls to be homemakers? - What a scandal!

I let out a groan the other morning in bed after reading an article on the BBC website on my phone.  Apparently it is shocking that schoolgirls in the year 2012 are still being given the impression that later in life they will become homemakers. This, according to the article, is a scandal that should be rectified with immediate effect.

From my own experience, I went to a girls school in the late 80’s/early 90’s and sadly was not given career guidance on being a homemaker.  Instead, we were told that we would follow an academic route to University and beyond.  We were lead to believe that our options were unlimited, that the glass ceiling was being smashed ahead of us.  Being a mum was never mentioned.   

That was all well and good in my 20’s.  I was inspired and had ambition.  Now, though, I frequently feel unprepared for this stage in my life where I have a child.  My career is now constrained by my son’s need for a stay-at-home-parent and soon, school run times.

I wish someone had pointed out, all those years ago, that I should think about planning my career path to fit in a few years of freelance or flexible hours.  Being the same age, Husband was not given this kind of career advice at school either. 

I was disappointed that the BBC article is still calling for girls to disregard the importance of being a parent.  The call should instead be for more career guidance for both sexes on how to manage the inevitable scrum for a work/parenting balance.  Surely it is time for boys also to be taught that being a parent can be a tough job.  They should be given career advice that includes not expecting your future wife/partner to stay at home with the kids.  Until boys start to think about sharing parenting and taking on the tough role of ‘homemaker’ when they grow up, women will inevitably be the ones to fill the role.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Curse of the Faraway Tree

Well, tonight we read another chapter of the Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton.  Once my son was in bed and snuggling down, he announced that he'd actually like to change his mind on Christmas.  He told me he'd need to write a new letter to Santa asking (instead of more wooden railway, trains, etc.) for some spells, a brush (if the spell came in a can, like in the book) and also for a car.  

Naturally, I asked about the car.  The response?  Well, he'd apparently use his new spells to make me really small, then, of course, he'd need to have a car to drive himself to the supermarket.  He felt confident that he'd manage just fine at the supermarket.  He did check that I'd give him the list first though.  As far as driving was concerned, I would also need to tell him which roads to go on.  Oh yes, I'd be taken along too.  In his pocket.  Apart from in the supermarket, where apparently he'd delight in putting me in a trolley and pushing me around.

I'm not sure if this tells me something about how he feels about being a small child and his impatience to grow up.  Or, if he's just gonna have some interesting dreams tonight.