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work and family

I had to take the healing angel to school yesterday as he missed the bus. Several of the schools in town are clustered near each other, so after dropping him at the high school, I cut through the parking lot of one of elementary schools, in time to see a bus park. The bus driver, wearing a vest with reflective tape on it, came out, and with her came her toddler son, also wearing a reflective vest.

postcard 2

Childcare in this country--it's catch as catch can. She has her son with her while she works. I had an office worker friend who kept her daughter with her in a playpen for her toddler years--the place she worked was child friendly, and the people she dealt with (visiting scholars from other countries) enjoyed getting to know her daughter.

Coincidentally, just as I was watching this scene, an R&B song came on the radio, a single dad singing about delighting in doing all the stereotypically motherly/womanly things for his son and not caring if he gets mocked. I wish I could have caught enough of the lyrics to find the song, because I'd share it. All I know is that it's not one of these songs by dads for their kids, some of which are, however, awesome.

Meanwhile, lots of grandparents are raising their grandkids these days--the girl I teach Japanese to, for instance, lives with her grandmother. Unfortunately, many of these grandparents have a hard time making ends meet--rules regarding benefits both to older people and to the children themselves aren't set up to take into account this living arrangement. (Article here: "Measuring Economic Security for Grandparents Raising Grandchildren".)


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 11th, 2014 03:59 pm (UTC)
We have no actual policy here, I don't think, but my boss and I are pretty friendly as far as trying to make it easy for the ladies that work for us if they have child-care issues and need to have their kids/grandkid around for short amounts of time until they can work things out.

I never had a job that was child-friendly, so I feel like I should do what I can to help others.
Jun. 11th, 2014 04:04 pm (UTC)
That's great that you do that. My in-house jobs weren't child friendly either--in fact it was often wakanomori who would have to stay home with them or take them to his work, if there were issues, because I couldn't get time off.
Jun. 11th, 2014 04:04 pm (UTC)
What a charming drawing!

I didn't realize so many grandparents were raising grandchildren--I don't have a lot of contact with people, I guess, and no one I know or come in contact with through my job is doing so. It must be very difficult to make ends meet.
Jun. 11th, 2014 04:11 pm (UTC)
Yeah, you're at a stage where you want to be winding down, if you're an older grandparent, or you're busy with all the demands of a job (but maybe not a very great job) if you're a younger grandparent, and suddenly you're back doing childcare again.

I mean, some people are totally set up for that: my daughters' best friends, when they were little, were two girls who had been adopted by a couple when their biological children, two boys, were at an age to leave home--this couple just liked having young children. By the time the girls were growing up, the sons were having kids, and the grandparents provided daycare--so once again got to have small children in their lives. But lots of other people just aren't in that situation AT ALL.
Jun. 11th, 2014 05:48 pm (UTC)
Awesome songs.

Nifty drawings!

Yeah, I am seeing more people my age now in charge of grandkids.
Jun. 11th, 2014 08:32 pm (UTC)
Yep. All kinds of reasons for it, but it's hard.
Jun. 11th, 2014 08:22 pm (UTC)
PSA unrelated to this post, I'm afraid: I have not stopped e-mailing you because I've run out of things to say about Ann Leckie, I've stopped e-mailing you because my e-mail has gone down completely. Conversation to resume when it gets sorted out again!
Jun. 11th, 2014 08:31 pm (UTC)
Yaaaay! Because we sure as heck have not exhausted that story. I'm sorry your email went down but I also hasten to add that I would/will/do quite understand that you might, y'know, have to leave your desk to get food, do work, play with kittens--other essential tasks.

For the nonce, until your email gets restored, I'll just add that this was a choice quote:

“I say what I think,” said the woman. “My people don’t hide behind masks.”

“You certainly do,” said Awt, equably. “Your mask is rudeness and offensively plain speech. We only see how you wish to appear, not your true self. Mask or not, Watchman Inarakhat has been more honest than you.”
Jun. 11th, 2014 09:26 pm (UTC)
Oh my GOD I love that quotation.
*makes a note to find the context*
Jun. 13th, 2014 12:13 am (UTC)
I can share the context! It's the story "The Night's Slow Poison," by Ann Leckie.
Jun. 11th, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC)
One of my brother's childhood friends was raised by his grandmother. (Technically his father was around, but he had lung cancer so was meaningfully distracted and had some rather serious financial burdens.)

And my best friend from second grade to eighth grade lived with his grandparents along with two younger siblings. (Not sure what was happening there. I was kind of a "don't ask too many questions" kid. I know they sometimes went to visit their parents in another state, though.)

So it's not such a new problem that they shouldn't already have been taking it into account when figuring out public benefits. But, yeah, it does seem to be getting more common along with "blended" families.
Jun. 13th, 2014 12:15 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm not quite sure why it is that the aid doesn't seem to recognize this situation--but maybe it'll be changed.
Jun. 12th, 2014 03:15 am (UTC)
Ugh, more and more parts of life that we don't see and that get glossed over by the world. I've never even thought about people actually having to take their kids to work with them, or about the grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. At least some workplaces are child-friendly, for people in these positions. :/
Jun. 13th, 2014 12:21 am (UTC)
Yeah, it depends primarily on the nature of the job (you couldn't have a kid with you on a construction site, probably--although: there was a female pilot in the Afghan air force [!] who took her daughter up in her plane with her-- but among jobs where it would be possible to have your kids with you (in a pinch), some places are willing and others aren't.
Jun. 12th, 2014 09:47 am (UTC)
Liem thinks coming to work with me is the best day ever, but that's largely because he gets to play on the computer most of the day, while I have meetings, and then we'll go out to lunch. I worry sometimes that all he thinks I do all day is play on the computer, draw on the walls, and talk with my friends (which is largely the truth)...
Jun. 13th, 2014 12:22 am (UTC)
Heh, yes, I'm pretty sure the healing angel thinks I play on the Internet all day long...
Jun. 13th, 2014 12:03 pm (UTC)
Huge cultural difference. I know of just one person who was looked after by his grandparents (as in daycare - not living with them) until he started school.

Parents in Denmark have it good, though, compared to many other countries. We have nurseries, day care, kindergartens, after school care.

If you have a job, it's 4 weeks paid pregnancy leave, 14 weeks paid maternity leave (2 of these are obligatory), 2 weeks paid paternity leave, 64 weeks shared parental leave, as in it's up to the parents to distribute them between themselves (of which 32 are paid).

Plus for children 0-2 years old, you'll get approx. $3200/year/child, the amount goes down as the child grows older and stops at the child's 18th birthday.

The amount is also affected by your personal income, but you'll have to have an individual income of more than $130K/year before it's affected, and then only by 2%.

The municipality you live in will also pay min. 75% of your daycare/kindergarten costs, and you can get an extra discount if you have more than one child in daycare/kindergarten.
Jun. 13th, 2014 12:11 pm (UTC)
It sounds like a dream come true--like a fantasy--if you're dealing with work and childcare issues in this country.
Jun. 13th, 2014 12:12 pm (UTC)
On the other hand, we pay a lot of tax. ;)
Jun. 13th, 2014 01:28 pm (UTC)
Sure: that kind of service costs money!
Jun. 14th, 2014 01:38 pm (UTC)
I don't think I knew that you taught Japanese to someone. :)

And, again, your sketches!! <3
Jun. 14th, 2014 06:39 pm (UTC)
I only just started--I might not have mentioned it before! Glad you liked the picture :-)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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