There's an eye-popping story on working mothers in Sunday magazine. Much of it consists of the "childfree", as they prefer to be called, complaining about co-workers who are also mothers getting flexible working hours, too much time off, the best choice of holidays.
(Strangely, no complaints about "working dads" are reported - is it that they never need any of these concessions because the mums do it all???)
Here's "Anna", whose biggest gripe is "wellness leave":
"When you've got sick kids it effectively doubles the time you take off. In general, it's just another way of taking a mental health day. Suddenly it's a nice day and you think of them out there having a great time because they're not at work."
I so see where she's coming from. As every mother knows, it's so much fun dealing with sick kids. I mean, when employers are so generous as to let mothers have time off like this, I wouldn't be surprised if some women MADE their kids sick on purpose, just so they can stay at home.
Anna would "love a day off a week to indulge in her outdoor interests and would come in early or work in the evenings to make up the time. 'Most employers would say that's not on. But for those with kids it's suddenly okay, yet it's a choice to have children.' "
That is so true! Everyone knows that having a child is just the same as any other really expensive hobby, like having a vintage car or a yacht.
And I bet Anna would not be impressed by arguments about needing the next generation to work so as to keep the economy going and meeting her needs when she's retired. I mean, what's wrong with just importing people from some poorer country to do it?
The article's final message is that the aggrieved should make their managers understand that "flexibililty needs to work for everyone, not just parents." Because there is absolutely no difference between outdoor interests and sick children.