Thursday, September 07, 2006

Those poor stay-at-home moms

The recent blogosphere dust-up between conservative special interest group "REALwomen" and supporters of the Status of Women Canada has spilled over into the stay-at-home mom-osphere.

Stay-at-home moms (SAHM's), who make up a large part of RW's constituency, are raising a stay-at-home stink over what they see as Status of Women's discrimination against them. One SAHM has written to Status of Women to complain that the agency discriminates against SAHMs because it advocates for working mothers (lobbying for daycare funding) without giving equal time to SAHMs. She says it's unfair that women who are already working and earning money should get even more money from the government (in the form of daycare subsidies), while SAHMs are broke because they opt out of the workforce in favour of "childcaring" their kids at home. The stay-at-home mommy-blogger says that SAHM's should get the same funding as working mothers get for daycare because they are daycaring -- albeit for their own kids. She goes on to say how the unfair policies of SWC have caused her much hardship and made her life a living hell (okay, the "living hell" bit was creative license... but hey).

This woman truly believes that taxpayers should pay her to stay at home and look after her own kids. All things being equal, she says, all mothers should be funded whether they use professional daycare or do their own. And she really seems to believe that working mothers don't need subsidies because they're making such a bundle off those cashiering jobs. Unfortunately, her hypothesis falls apart because it fails to take into account one little factoid: for many working mothers, paying $500/month for daycare would suck up half their salary, and make the logistics of working untenable. The daycare subsidy is the only thing that makes it possible for them to work, a lifesaver for women for whom staying home is not an option. It's left to agencies like SWC to ensure that these women get the funding they need so the jobs they have no choice but to work are at least somewhat profitable. That is why they get subsidized daycare, and that is why Status of Women advocates for them.