Wednesday 18 September 2019

Have Your Say: 'Most Irish mothers want to be at home, not at work'

The report, commissioned by Sudcrem, gives an insight into exactly how valued Irish mothers feel, if at all, and where they themselves fitting into Irish society. (Deposit photo)
The report, commissioned by Sudcrem, gives an insight into exactly how valued Irish mothers feel, if at all, and where they themselves fitting into Irish society. (Deposit photo)
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

Almost two out of three of Irish mothers would prefer to stay at home to raise their children, given the choice, a new survey has found.

If they had the option and if they were in a financial position to do so, 62pc say they would stay at home with their children.

The findings have been released just as the Government's affordable childcare scheme is off the ground.

But the rigours of balancing the modern-day workplace with school runs, routines and crèche fees, is something that Irish mothers would wave goodbye to in a heartbeat, given half the chance.

Mothers were asked about their feelings towards motherhood, whether “me-time” happens for them, and about their general quality of life, in a survey by Amárach Research.

The report, commissioned by Sudocrem, gives an insight into exactly how valued Irish mothers feel, if at all, and where they themselves fitting into Irish society.

I would go insane if I didn't work . However I only work about 12 hours a week but I love going to work . I'm also home a lot for my kids especially my eldest daughter who is dyslexic and really struggles with homework. I highly recommend getting a part time job if possible to keep you sane lol

Via Facebook

I gave up my career to be at home with my children. We missed out on a few hoildays and changing the car, but it was so worth it. Total respect to working mothers, they are amazing

Via Facebook

I spent the first 3 years at home with my kids, it was so tight financially but I got something that being at work would have taken away from me, time with my children. My mother passed away two months before my first child was born so it put a lot of things in perspective. I knew I'd be back making money eventually, I now work part time, but I learned that time with the people you love is worth so much more. I'd do it all again in a heart beat xx

Via Facebook

Would love to be at home with my kids just can't afford to. I feel my kids miss out when when mum's not at home after school for homework and freashly cooked dinner I hate mot being there for them

Via Facebook

 I did, as we worked from home ,I always say I had four jobs in one, housework, children, answering the everringing phone and doing accounts, I initially qualified as a nurse. Of course that was all back in the early seventies when one had to resign from the health board on marriage. How stupid was that after spending years in training.....not for motherhood,or marriage.

Via Facebook

Most women want flexibility. Fulltime is stressful and hard on families and good part-time is very hard to come by

Via Facebook

Almost nine out of ten of today’s mothers (89pc) say they are satisfied with their role as a mother.

But only one in three mothers (35pc) feel valued by their family, with an even smaller number, one in ten (12pc), feeling valued by society.

Many mothers say they lack self-confidence and struggle to get their partner to contribute to household chores.

Maia Dunphy, who runs a blog The M Word said Irish society needs to change how it treats mothers, in order to facilitate more time at home for parents.

“The fact that two-out-of-three of today’s mothers would like to be stay-at-home mothers perhaps indicates a shift from the attitudes of their own mothers, many of whom encouraged their daughters to pursue a career outside the home.”

“Our society must consider how we can facilitate mothers (and fathers, too) in having greater time at home with their young children.”

“A number of factors, like extending maternity and paternity leave, more flexible working conditions for parents, more affordable housing and reducing commute times all come into play.”

“As a mother, a lot of the findings struck a chord with me.  Motherhood is a wonderful, life-changing and hugely positive experience, but as this report’s findings show, it can also be challenging.

“The vast majority of mother’s relish and enjoy their role, but the fact that they don’t feel valued for the work they do should make us all sit up and evaluate how mothers are viewed and respected by society and most importantly, what can be done to change this.”

In relation to "me-time", a third of today’s mothers rarely or never have time for themselves, while 60pc say they were not able to continue to pursue hobbies after becoming a mother.

And finally, arguably the biggest bug bear of all is the issue of housework.

For the grandparent generation, only 14pc of grandmothers say their partners undertake at least half of all housework, while 19pc undertake no household chores whatsoever.

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