I am a Primary school teacher by profession. Over the years, if I had received a dollar for every comment from someone wishing they could have the cruisy teacher's life of the 9-3 hours and the 12 weeks of holiday a year I, well, wouldn't have to teach anymore.
I used to bite - seriously justify the realities of teaching, tell them why they had the wrong ideas about hours - until I realised that most people just wanted that reaction. It was then I started replying very simply: Want my holidays? Do my job! That got very interesting responses, usually along the path of hating children/days ending in bloodshed/not being able to cope...
Hey, that is fine, there are loads of jobs out there that I couldn't do, even with a great lifestyle promise I wouldn't love the work side enough to make it work for me.
With the recent exposure of the amount of money 2 women receive on the DPB, there is a lot of people blustering at the huge amount of money it is. Now you can argue the reasons behind their entitlements till you are blue in the face - the fact that a case worker doesn't look at a woman and say 'oh, you look like you like buying nice shoes, let's give you a bit extra than that other woman over there', the fact that there are strict formulas to entitlements that are applied, and the fact that we do not know what exactly makes up the money those women receive - and it still won't get through to people.
So what I now say to people who start talking about this wondrous amount of money these women get - want their lifestyle? Do their job. If it such a great sounding way of life, if you really think that it would be a great 'money for nothing' job, there is nothing stopping you from doing it yourself.
Personally, there is no way I would swap the support of my partner for 'free money'. I like having someone there to support me in raising my child, to have someone to moan to in the evenings when you have had 'one of those days', to have someone there to take turns getting up to the poos and spews of an ill child, to have someone to worry about things with me, to have someone to give me time out when I need to remember who I am as a person. I like having my partner's family there to lean on too (granted not all in law relationships are as rosy, but more hands on deck!) I like that I am not the only person making life long decisions that will effect how my child grows and develops. I like that should something happen and I do end up having to sole care for my child/ren, I am fortunate enough to already have the skills and qualifications that mean that I do not have to worry about where the money for living would come from.
Nothing in the world could make me swap that for a life on the DPB sole caring for my child, having to guide my child/ren through the trauma of a break up (no matter how amicable it is, children still have to process it), being the end of the line, often having absentee non-custodial parents... I could write a thousand reasons why I don't want that job. Most people in that job don't want it, it is something that happens for many complex reasons, not a career choice.
I read a comment from someone elsewhere saying that while privacy should have been maintained, they were taken aback to find that one received over $700 a week, while they, who had a degree received the same amount for a 40 hour a week job.
My response to that is that these women probably would LOVE the chance to get that degree and earn that money in a job - that is what they are arguing for. The support to progress in to a career that creates a better life for them and for their children and the generations that come after.