A few minutes ago I read a post by the Queen of Spain on the politics of breeding. I was amazed at how fired up I felt and I knew that I had to post because 1 comment wasn’t going to be enough. I am not sure where this post will end up but I am sure that it is something that needs to be said. At least it needs to be said by me.
As a teacher I am already on the bottom of the politician’s totem pole. Which is really a funny analogy when you think about it because the bottom of the Totem pole is the most important. If the base isn’t strong and steady the whole thing just collapses. It is definitely like that with teaching and childcare, and parenting. How can you have a stable society if you make the stabilizing professions so difficult to be part of that many talented people don’t take them up?
As a teacher it is so difficult to get into the public system in BC that many people stay on a “teacher on call” (toc from now on) list that they end up having a few part time jobs as well, live with their parents or depend on their spouse to make ends meet. (It can take as much as 2-4 years to get a year long contract and at any time that contract can be terminated for the next year and you are right back on the toc list.) If people are in a situation I was in, they end up working for an independent school for much less pay (and the pay is pitiful for public school teachers) and delay the time you must put in on the toc list of the public school, just so they have a dependable income to pay the essentials like rent and food. Let me tell you when you are making less than 30 K a year you are not buying a house any time soon. Not only do a lot of new teachers end up with mounds of student debt, they end up behind schedule if they take the independent school detour (to pay said debt)and even further from being a big tax paying individual. Isn’t that what the government wants, a big tax paying individual? Then why do they not make education a priority. They under fund it, make our stupid union (another topic for another day) fight for wages, overpopulate schools with students and underpopulate it with teachers and then wonder why teachers are unhappy.
If teaching is so unimportant to people, child care seems to be worse. The lack of daycare in this country is pitiful. The money that Harper’s government decided to send us monthly does absolutely northing to remedy this. A hundred dollars a month, that they are going to tax back, (which is really going to screw up the people that really need it) is not going to make more child care spots. It is to going to change the 1-3 year waiting lists for spots. It is not going to make it any easier for a parent to stay home with their child. The main reason I am taking care of my friend Gen’s child is exactly that. She put her son on a waiting list before he was born! She still does not have a daycare spot for him. In fact we both need to get our sons on pre-school lists yesterday.
The child care issue is one of the reasons I decided to stay at home with my son. I also decided that since we could make the sacrifice to have me stay at home that it was well worth it. Who needs to be able to buy a house anytime soon? The fact that I am still a toc also was a factor. My detour of three years seems to have made a big difference. I was on the toc list only about half a year before I got pregnant. So now I have detoured again. Sigh, I am never going to get a permanent position. The thought of having no discernible schedule for Aidan was too scary to contemplate. We also live across the country from all our family. The 6000km commute is a little much to get a reliable babysitter. All of these factors are not the most important in our decision to have me stay home with Aidan. The most important factor was and is that I want to stay at home with my son. I want to be the one who teaches him all kinds of things. I want to see him in all kinds of firsts. I want him to be a well adjusted social being who loves life and knows without a doubt that he is loved. Now this is not me saying at all that children without a stay at home parent do not have these things and are not loved as much. I just had the choice and for me there was no other one.
I am so glad that I made this choice. I am SAHM. SAHM I am. I made this choice, and I was fully supported by my partner-in-parenting-crime. When I was pregnant I wasn’t sure if I was going to be totally happy as a SAHM, but when push came to shove and I was in the thick of it I realized there is nothing else I want to be right now. I am Mother. I can and will be part of a movement of mothers for choice. Choices for childcare, choices for education, choices for the kind of blogging you choose to do. The choice to be a mom or not. Strap on a vagina and join me.