Are Mums and Carers Valued Enough?  

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Today we are going to talk about an issue that many mums and careers have to deal with. ‘Lack of self worth’...uh oh!

Those of us who do not leave the house to do a conventional job, often feel like we're not seen as productive, contributing or valued members of society. Of course no-one sees the sheer magnitude of the stuff we have to deal with on a daily basis. There are days when as a parent/carer we’ll have a ‘to do’ list that would make a grown man cry…and all on less than four hours sleep in many case.

We’re not just housewives (god I hate that word!) like any mum, we’re cooks, cleaners, nurses and anything else raising children and running a home entails. As carers, we have the added opportunity to experience being physio therapists, psychologists, support workers, speech and language therapists, dieticians, occupational therapists…we have to keep up with dozens of appointments, add to that the fighting the system for school placements, key workers and equipment…are we having fun yet?

Then there’s often physical stuff, the lifting and handling…honestly I could arm wrestle Hulk Hogan and win after the lifting I’ve done over the years. I’m stronger than I look…and my godson deeply embarrassed his parents with a comment a few weeks ago as I helped them move furniture…”Auntie Sal aint ‘alf strong for a skinny bird” he said….his mum was affronted that he used the word ‘bird, and an argument ensued with his father on encouraging improper labels…I was just sadly thrilled that he thought I was skinny!

I have a feeling that a lot of women share these same thoughts of not being appreciated. Why is it that women are generally the ones that end up in this role in the first place. Is it by choice of by accident? Is it because the roles are so inherent in society. Women can earn as much as men now, so why are men still predominantly the breadwinners while women take care of the house and the children. Regardless of whether the woman works too.

It’s time that society started to recognize the importance of carers and all they do and contribute. What we do is beyond monetary value. As mothers we are raising the next generation of people who will be running the country. What we do is the most important job in the world. Can’t we acknowledge this on whole?

So the radio blog this week will explore and identify the value of our contributions as a mums, carers and friends. We can talk about how we feel our role is valued by society at large and also how it’s valued closer to home. If it was men having to make the decisions regarding their children’s schooling, hospital appointments, medical care and deal with the day to day running of the house, would it be more valued by society? Would it suddenly be an essential contribution to society as a whole.

We will also talk about how we ourselves contribute to this perception and what are we doing about it. Should we be asking if it’s acceptable, should we be demanding the respect we deserve?

Who are we? What makes us ‘us’, you and what example do we set for the people around us? Are we setting our children up to take on these same roles later on in their own lives.

None of us have all the answers but we can learn a lot by talking, listening and changing the negative mindsets that society, the government, our own families and we often seem to have of ourselves. This may be a good way to explore these issues and at the same time make a difference to someone else in a similar position.

These blogs have always been about reaching out to others and this way we can hopefully reach some of the least appreciated people in today’s society.

So let us know your views, if there is something specific you want us to talk about, and of course tune in to the show, you can phone in and have your say.

Right, I’ll take a breath now, as you can see, I feel strongly about these issues, I hope you do too.

Sal xxx

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2 comments: to “ Are Mums and Carers Valued Enough?

  • Rosemary
    12 November 2008 at 20:15  

    Hi Sal,

    Your blog came through on a google alert I have set up.

    If you get time can you look at the following petition please to see if something you will support.

    A member from Carer Watch created it and it has received widespread support across the internet from both carers and disabled alike.Also from the carer organisations and several for the disabled.

    It has been discussed on many forums and media sites too.

    Thank you

  • Sally's World
    13 November 2008 at 19:16  

    Thank you Rosemary,this is great, it is so hard to make people understand, but definitely feel it needs to be questioned regardless of whether it makes people uncomfortable.

    Thanks for your comment, I've passed your link on to many people who will be interested.

    Take care


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