October 2000 Newsletter
of AGM; Feeling under pressure;
Marriage and Parenting; Motherhood
mady sexy; Survey Results; Warning!
Motherhood can damage your wealth; What
the papers say
Warning! Motherhood can Damage your Wealth
Kerry Chodera offers the following
(slightly cynical) financial advice to all women contemplating full-time
- Before her first child is
born, the FTM-to-be will make financial provision for the time when
she becomes completely dependent on her partner.
- During pregnancy and for the
first year thereafter she will have all her dental work completed and
will virtually live at the doctor's surgery, stocking up for the time
when she'll have to pay for her own dental treatments and prescriptions.
- She will ensure that she has
good breast-feeding equipment to save the considerable expense of formula
milk, bottles, sterilising kit.
- She will ensure that her baby
has a cast-iron bottom to withstand the ravages of terry nappies. A
sensitive bottom will require exorbitant disposables, regardless of
her ecological leanings.
- Her shopping bag will contain
a small purse and a peg (for her nose) which she will take with her
to find second-hand clothes, equipment and furniture for her growing
baby and the ever-changing needs of her family.
- She will have a carefully
chosen partner/husband who is self-employed so that she can draw wages
as his 'assistant' thereby utilising her Personal Tax Allowance, which
is otherwise wasted.
- Her selected partner's income
will be carefully planned to coincide with tax at the standard rate
so that he will be eligible for the Children's Tax Allowance, to come
into effect next April. Should his income be taxed at higher rate, the
allowance will be withdrawn, despite his having a non-earning wife and
- The FTM will be careful to
keep her man. Should she be careless enough to lose him, it could cost
her her pension and any reasonable standard of living she might aspire
to (unless she is able to find a replacement for him). At the same time,
she must be careful to ensure her savings do not exceed the DSS threshold
for eligibility to claim benefits for herself and her children.
- FTMs will be clever enough
to realise that the best way to get a cheap holiday is to swap homes
with FTMs elsewhere in the country.
- Favourite family activities
should include walking, visit ing parks and window-shopping.
- The FTM will nurture good
relations with nearby family and in-laws to ensure free baby-sitting,
particularily if she contemplates going into hospital to have another
- The FTM will maintain herself
in perfect health. So vital is she to the efficient running of the family
that she cannot afford to be ill or in hospital for any longer than
it takes to give birth.
- She will discourage the acquisition
of a pet. Should she still have one from a previous existence, she will
waste no time in taking it to the animal shelter, where it will be found
a more affluent home which can afford the vet's bills.
- When her eldest child comes
of age, prudence will dictate that neither she nor her partner will
have cash assets, so that they will not be billed for their offspring's
tuition fees. Failing this, they would be wise to deter him/her from
entering higher education.
- Most important of all, the
FTM will prepare to become an Economically Invisible Citizen. Helping
to give the best start to a future generation, whilst supporting her
partner and possibly helping ageing parents and in-laws to avoid the
indignity of residential homes, is of course undertaken with a soft
heart and has no place in the tax and benefit system.
PS Perhaps it would be unwise
to show this advice to a woman considering embarking on motherhood. Only
the most short-sighted and biologically indulgent of women would relinquish
their place in the labour market for the position of Full Time Mother