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PRICELESS: kids are the future

Some jobs don’t get the credit they deserve.

Secretaries, receptionists and other support jobs come to mind… and many of you may be thinking whatever you do to earn money qualifies as well.

But there is one job that gets overlooked more than most.

So much so that many people don’t think of it as work… well, at least when someone else is doing it. I’m talking about being a full-time, stay-at-home parent.

Well done to the mums and dads who still choose to devote their energy to raising children and running a home.

They are versatile, they are on call 24 hours a day and they probably burn more energy that most wage earners. I know this because I have done it myself.

Many other men have done the same in recent years but it is far more common these days for both parents to work while they pay for other people to watch the kids.

I realise there are financial incentives to do that but I don’t see this trend as progress.Not for the kids, and not for the parents.

I’ve been thinking along these lines because my daughter recently started working at a day care centre in England that charges nearly P1000 a day for each child.

That’s right, P1000 a day, and some of the kids are less than two years old.

Both parents need to earn serious money for that arrangement to make financial sense.

But the thing that really got me thinking is that quite often either the mother or father makes less than the couple pay out for day care.

I’m told the reasoning is that they would rather lose money than jeopardise their place in the workforce by staying home with the kids.

Okay, I admit taking time off isn’t good for the career, but there seems to be mounting social pressure on both men and women to see their jobs as more important than their families.

Or at least to see money and the ability to buy things for the kids as more important than spending time with them.

I disagree; and while I referred to running a home and caring for children as work, I’d like to stress that it’s the house work part that burns up most of the energy.

There are massive benefits to looking after your own children full time and many of the experiences you’ll share can give you energy.

You really get to know your children as they develop, and all that time allows them to know you.

Wandering around with a child also permits you to act like a kid yourself in public.

You can ride swings and go down slides in the playground and you can run up the down escalator in public buildings and airports.

That was a real bonus for me. When I’ve tried doing things like that without the kids,people have been far less tolerant.

Anyway, if any of you are considering giving up the job to watch your children full time, I urge you to go for it.

I found it extremely rewarding.And if you are already a full-time parent, I’d like to give you the credit you deserve.