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Just a thought…

Posted on: January 5, 2011

Wouldn’t it be amazing if parenting were valued enough by our truly messed up ‘Western’ society, to allow parents who injure themselves while parenting, some sort of protection? As in, Workcover for parents.

I pondered this question as I lay supine on my bathroom floor at 3am, having just crashed head-over-heels through the door while attempting to respond to Neave’s early morning cries. My inner dialogue went something like this, “What just happened? Tripped over my own feet. Ouch my elbow hurts. And my back. I’m pretty sure I’ve broken something. I can’t move. Wait, yes I can. Let me just roll over. Can I get up? Nope. Ouch my elbow hurts. Okay, now I can get up. Ouch my elbow hurts. I can’t really move it. Wait, yes I can. But it hurts. What if it’s broken? I definitely can’t pick Neave up. Better wake Tom up…”

Okay, so in the end my elbow was fine after a day or two of trying not to lift too much. However, I was only able to rest it because Tom was at home on holidays. If that hadn’t been the case, Tom would have had to take time off, out of his already exhausted sick leave, to allow me to recover. This has happened several times before (not due to injury, but sickness), so that out of about 20 days Tom took as sick leave last year, only three of them were for himself.

If the job of ‘parenting’ were valued enough by society, parents who suffer parenting-related injuries would be able to have their partner/family member/friend take time off, without penalty, to help them to recover. Or perhaps I’m dreaming…

I guess it’s just another example of how it really does take a village to raise a child. Raising children as a group instead of in segregated, ‘nuclear’ families, would surely allow some flexibility for group members who are ill or injured to be put on ‘light duties’ until they recover.

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2 Responses to "Just a thought…"

I totally agree, Anna. One of my biggest fears is being sick myself, not being able to look after Raleigh and Adrian being stuck at work (or travelling with work – worse).

We’ve recently had various stints with Mum staying here for a week, going to the UK with Mum for two weeks and staying with her for 12 weeks. Although at times hard, the good far outweighed the bad. The odd morning when Adrian and I couldn’t get up, Mum just stepped in and fed Raleigh. Or took her for a walk. It was divine.

You should lobby the government!

I agree Anna. I tripped over Adams big tonka truck when he was about one and dislocated my shoulder. Col had to take time off work. I was lucky my sister was able to take some time out from uni and help babysit (me!)

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