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Time for Parenting...

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

October 2000 Newsletter

Editorial; Notice 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 motherhood:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. She will ensure that she has good breast-feeding equipment to save the considerable expense of formula milk, bottles, sterilising kit.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 Should his income be taxed at higher rate, the allowance will be withdrawn, despite his having a non-earning wife and children.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Favourite family activities should include walking, visit ing parks and window-shopping.
  11. 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 child.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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