Call your mum

  • Sumo

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, so you should be able to cheap flowers on Monday!

I guess it’s normal for papers to include an article on the general topic: mothers, families, fertility, singleness, marriage, etc. There are plenty of big topics connected with mothering. And that’s precisely as it should be, since family is at the heart of who we are as individuals and as a community. But I was left wondering a little at this article in today’s Melbourne rag.

Its title speaks of supporting families, but its whole point is to argue for paid maternity leave. I know paid maternity leave is a current political and economic question. I also know that I’m unaware of the reasons put forward for and against this proposal – I have no personal ‘position’ to argue for. So this topic should be discussed, and I’m not even disagreeing with the article.

What struck me is that it’s a limited way to support families. A government-sponsored standardised system which regulates employee conditions may help parents spend time with children in the first three years (the author sees these formative years as important). I can’t help feeling that this is a long way round to the intended destination. Can’t we do something else to make parents love their time with little Johnny and Jane?

Regulation is such a blunt instrument. I pity the governments we call on to do things which are matters of life and of character and of love. Governments just don’t have the tools for this. I thank God I’ll be at church tomorrow with a bunch of God’s people, reading Jesus’ life-changing words.