Wednesday, May 3, 2006

I see a bad Mom Rising

A friend just sent me an email to join a group called MomRising. I’m a Mom, I should join right? Hmmm, I know I’ll most likely butt heads with my friend over this one, but I don’t agree with a lot of their issues.

It’s not that I don’t think all of these things are wonderful and necessary, but I don’t think they should be government mandated.

Paid family leave is great, but if I’m an independent business ownerwho, by law, has to pay for my employees NOT to be at work for 6-12 weeks, and pay someone to actually do the work while that person is out, where’s the money coming from?

Flex time, yeah I’d love flextime and the ability to work from home whenever I wanted. Some companies do that, but again, I don’t think the government has the right to make companies offer that benefit. Companies are running businesses to make money not to work around our schedules. It sucks sometimes, well ok, often, but in some instances flextime just isn’t feasible or possible.

TV, I have a huge issue with this one—free speech for one, and I see it as parents pawning off their responsibilities on a government agency or technology or whatever. If you don’t want your latchkey kids watching something when they get home either lay down the law and hope they obey, block the channels or have a babysitter.

Healthcare for all kids—I agree 100%. I don’t know what the solution is to the healthcare problem this country is facing. I do know that both my husband and I work and pay a lot for health insurance while my sister, who’s single, with two kids, gets a free ride because she wasn’t responsible enough to not have kids when she couldn’t afford them. I know my brother and his wife haven’t yet had a second child they both so desperately want to have because they’re being responsible and realize they can’t afford one right now.

Excellent childcare—again, I’m all for this. Teachers, daycare workers etc. should make more money. I don’t know the solution to that either. Here again, we bust our asses to make a living and keep out kids in a cheap daycare that is good but not stellar because we can’t afford anything more while my sister pretty much can put her kids anywhere because she gets government assistance.

Realistic and fair wages—yep, we should all earn enough to adequately care for our families, and women should be paid the same as men, etc. But how many families, us included, have bought into the hype that you need this and that, digital cable, high speed online, big honkin’ SUVs, brand name clothing, big vacations, more more more stuff and they get in debt and then say, well I don’t make enough money.

Facts on the Web site point to the fact that Sweden has about a year of paid family leave for the birth/adoption of a child. That’s awesome! I’ve seen the Dateline or 20/20 show on all the bennies available there and in other Nordic countries. Free childcare, free healthcare, etc. Awesome things—but they pay for them with incredibly high taxes.

I know many of you reading this will probably get pissed at me or be incredulous that I think this way. I’m not saying things don’t need to change, but I am saying that I don’t think the government should step in and be the police or the policy makers or the dictators.

From the Web site:
M - Maternity/Paternity Leave: Paid family leave for all parents after a new child comes into the family.
O - Open Flexible Work: Give parents the ability to structure their work hours and careers in a way that allows them to meet both business and family needs. This includes flexible work hours and locations, part-time work options, as well as the ability to move in and out of the labor force to raise young children without penalties.
T - TV We Choose and Other After-School Programs: Give families safe, educational opportunities for children after the school doors close for the day, including: Create a clear and independent universal television rating system for parents with technology that allows them to choose what is showing in their own homes; support quality educational programming for kids; increase access to, and funding, for after school programs.
H - Healthcare for All Kids: Provide quality, universal healthcare to all children.
E - Excellent Childcare: Quality, affordable childcare should be available to all parents who need it. Childcare providers should be paid at least a living wage and healthcare benefits.
R - Realistic and Fair Wages: Two full-time working parents should be able to earn enough to adequately care for their family. In addition, working mothers must receive equal pay for equal work.

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