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Time for Parenting...

...because raising children is a full-time job

May 2002 Newsletter

From the chair; New members write; Then and Now; A Mum's CV; Women's National Commission; What the papers say; What the committee does

New Members Write

I first heard about you on Women's Hour. I feel very strongly that motherhood as a job is undervalued. My husband works away in order that I do not have to work yet we get no tax benefit for being a single income family. I would like to help promote your organization here in the north east.

I returned to work as a solicitor on a part-time basis when son was 9 months old. I left nine months later having suffered the common fate of a lot of women who return part-time (not taken seriously, smaller office, no support, etc. etc.) I have been a FTM ever since and would not have it any other way.

I have information about the US Mothers Hearts at Home and Full Time Mothers - looking for a UK equivalent and read about it in a book - so thanks for writing back.
I am an Educational Psychologist and have four sons and feel very much the importance of mums at home. I run a small mothers' group so we are all very interested in any information you can offer.

I have worked for the same organization for fourteen years, ever since leaving university. I am currently in a managerial position. After having Bethany (now 2½ years) I returned part-time, two days a week. I have been considering giving up work completely and when I found out I was pregnant this has made me more determined. I am currently on maternity leave but intend not returning after this time. A friend told me about Full time Mothers and spoke highly of its aims. After reading its aims I too felt that I could fully support them.

Your leaflet was included in the Natural Parent Magazine some time ago and your aims seemed to reflect what I believed about caring for my children and my family's rights. I had a period between my older child going to school and the younger being born of struggling with work and home commitments (especially being a single parent at that time, and dumping him with childminders, etc. before and after school. I feel I failed him but there seemed no alternative. The time I have spent as a full-time mother has been the most rewarding of my life but seems to be seen as a 'cop out' and displaying a lack of purpose in life by those who have no real understanding of its value. It would be good to be part of an organisation making a positive contribution to a society which is failing its children.

I want to be a full time mother but am under considerable pressure from family, partner, friends and work colleagues to go back to work as if it is the only worthwhile thing to do. It makes no sense to me to pay someone else to care for my child while I work and, after paying, come out with the equivalent of £1 or £2 per hour. I support changes in the tax and benefit system designed to support mothers who want to bring up their own children.

I am a qualified Steiner kindergarten teacher who has chosen to become a full-time spiritual homemaker. I whole-heartedly agree that one parent ideally should be a full-time home maker and that this occupation should be revered and offered financial, political and social status. It is a job that benefits society in the long term and is the most important job on this planet. Why don't people, society, politics realist this?

I could receive up to £100 per week to pay for childminding for my young son if I take a part-time or full-time job (kindergarten teacher - taking care of other children!) yet I do not get any payment for choosing to stay home and take care of my own child! It is not the easy option either. For conscientious parenting is the most difficult thing I have ever done.

I got your leaflet with my Natural Parent Magazine. I am a full-time mother of four children who do not go to school. We made the decision to home-educate five years ago and have, in that time, been joined by many others.
A few of us set up a support group for home-educators here on the Isle of Wight and I am the secretary for the group. I very passionately believe that being a mum is the most important job in the world! What could be more important than bringing up tomorrow's generation?

I am a full-time mother of four who gave up my degree to support my husband's career and provide cohesion in our family. I am pleasantly surprised to find out about the existence of this organisation. I feel its support would be invaluable, within the present setup of discrimination against mothers. I feel discriminated against financially - there is no reward for what I do - and in terms of being accepted as a 'worker' and not someone who is the equivalent of unemployed. Attitudes like this have made my work and choice to support the family much harder.

I am a full-time mum and intend to stay that way for as long as my children need me to be (at least until they reach 18 or so). I am also home educating them both, as is my partner, which is something we take very seriously as part of our parenting roles. I was disgusted at my treatment when I went to register my first son's birth - the registrar said he was 'unable' to mark me as a 'full-time mum/housewife', so I was put down as unemployed. Up until two years prior I had been a clerical worker. On the other hand, even though my partner is on long-term sickness benefit (and said so) the registrar noted him down as his previous employment!

I am a single parent and have enjoyed being a full-time mother to all my six children. The two eldest went part-time to nursery but the youngest I have chosen not to send as I feel they need the full-time close relationship. All the children have been taught to read fluently by me with a reading age of eight before starting school.

I earn my living by trading on the stock market - done at night when children in bed, so that the day is free for the children. I graduated with a 2.1 BSc in social sciences two years ago, which I did part-time in the evenings. I would like to meet other like-minded mothers locally and attend any meetings

I have been a full-time mum since taking maternity leave with my first son in August 1998. I had always wanted to be a full-time mum and have not regretted my decision. I feel that I am primarily responsible for them and want to remain that way. It isn't always an easy role and one I often feel unprepared for but both I and my husband are committed to doing the best we can and undertook the Positive Parenting course last year. Financially it isn't easy either and for all these reasons I feel that FTM is an important organisation to help raise the issues and concerns from ordinary families like ourselves who really need more support to help raise happy, healthy children. I also would like to be in contact and receive information from like-minded FTMs as I do feel isolated at times.

How wonderful to hear that you exist! You are doing a fantastic job in raising awareness and promoting understanding of the real issues around mothering. I myself have become a strong advocate of attachment parenting and believe in meeting the real needs of babies and children.

I am a holistic childbirth educator and doula and I would be more than happy to distribute leaflets in my classes. As a doula I am passionate about support (general lack of it in our society!) around pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Women and their children deserve to be honoured and supported. Well done.

My three-year-old son has Down's syndrome. This also makes me a carer officially - this has extra challenges, financial implications, etc. For example, we have lots of appointments which would make it hard for me to work. We receive DLA for James and I receive ICA benefits. We would both like to work part-time to even out the pressures but still have someone at home all the time, but we would lose the ICA because we would both be working earning more than £70 per week even though our household income may go down. My son is in a day nursery rather than an education nursery because of his special needs. He is fortunate enough to have been given a free place; otherwise we would have to pay £18 per day. Because I am not working this would not be taken into account in Working Family's Tax Credit. Why can't I transfer my personal tax allowance to my husband? Why am I a second class citizen!

I heard about Full Time Mothers through The Universe. I have three children and I have been married for nine years. By profession I am a journalist and I still do occasional writing work from home. I feel that some of my friends and relatives make condescending remarks and I feel that they undervalue the importance of women who stay at home with the kids. The encouragement I get is from my husband. Also my kids are happy and well adjusted and that keeps me going. I feel a sense of solidarity joining Full Time Mothers. Keep up the good work.