Lent Day #14

Day #14 (40acts): Waste time with others. The blurb says: “You’ve got a meeting at 4.30, which will probably run way beyond your 6pm clock-off time, and you’d really like to grab an hour at the gym before heading home. You’ve also got that report to write, ironing to do and maybe you’ll manage to squeeze 15 minutes of telly in before you fall into bed in an exhausted heap. STOP. Reclaim the heart of relational life. It’s more important to spend time with a loved one than it is to make sure the ironing basket is empty. Reorder your priorities, and make sure you’re factoring some uncontrollable laughter, mud pies and sofa-jumping into your day”.

So, this lunchtime I couldn’t do my yoga class because my meeting immediately before clashed, so I went to lunch, thinking that afterwards I would go out for a walk. As it was, I ended up chatting with colleagues and had lots of interesting conversations, though I wasn’t really wasting time and there wasn’t any sofa-jumping. Hopefully I’ll do something different tonight.

Day #14 (action): Today is international women’s day. So I went back to the Fawcett Society today and did their action from last Friday, writing to my MP to ask her to take urgent action to increase support for childcare costs for low-income families.

According to the Fawcett Society: “Research published by the Daycare Trust on 27 February 2012 revels that, once again, the cost of childcare in the UK – already amongst the highest in the world – has risen above the rate of inflation, whilst wages remain stagnant.

At the same time, support for childcare costs for low-income families has been reduced:  the childcare element of the Working Tax Credit now only covers up to 70% of childcare costs.

Evidence is showing that this combination of factors is forcing women to give up their jobs as the costs of childcare outweigh the benefits of work. A survey conducted by Working Mums found that 24% of mothers have had to give up work as a result of the changes.

This does not make sense: it contradicts the government’s aim of “making work pay”; it reinforces outdated stereotypes of women as homemakers as it forces them back into the home and; overall, it hits single mothers hardest – a group the government is particularly keen to see in paid work.”

You can join the action here.

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