Sunday 4 December 2016

Why putting young families first is really best for us all

Published 03/10/2016 | 02:30

Finance minister Michael Noonan. Pic Tom Burke
Finance minister Michael Noonan. Pic Tom Burke

I am lost in admiration for the parents of young children. I am sitting on an Aer Lingus flight where there are way more parents with infants and toddlers than is usual. There has been a little crying, but not much. I am encased in my headphones with Springsteen, so no problem. It always impresses me how every Aer Lingus crew member stops to smile and chat with every child.

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To my mind it looks like these parents are sharing the work. I see as many fathers carrying infants as mothers. I suspect the parents are all travelling with one change of clothes as it seems like the average toddler requires enough stuff to stage a U2 gig. I spent time over the last weeks on the beach and there I saw much the same cooperation between couples, who all seemed very content in each other's company and more than happy to spend endless hours playing with their demanding offspring. I think the ploy is to tire them out.

Now this was holidays. Most of these adults are returning to jobs which may be as demanding as the children. We should give these parents as much support as we can.

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