Monday, March 27, 2006

On being a mama and strawberry jam

I've been reading over at redcurrent about being a mom and the difficulties/balance of staying at home or working, etc. Some people do not have a choice. It's a matter of having food on the table or (if you're lucky in a progressive country) going on some state aid program for awhile. However, a lot of people don't do this or don't have that option. Also, some women are single either divorced or spouse past away. They have to work.

Another factor, if you worked and have a spouse to help out would your working be worthwhile in regards to paying for quality childcare. This is one of the biggest question I can think of and is really why we haven't put our gals in daycare/preschool. Quality childcare costs a lot. And with women still only earning 80 cents to the dollar, it’s actually more affordable to have the kids taken care by me. However, what all parents want is a place that is safe, clean and has teachers that are near duplicates of our selves...well, at least like our selves in a few ways...

But what we normally have are people who are paid minimum wage or just slightly above this (I know this to be true because I applied, awhile ago, for a job as a preschool teacher and found out the starting pay around here is $5.25 an hour! I guess I was over qualified as I didn't get the position...thankfully!). But would you really want someone who is caring for your kids to be getting just the minimum? What sort of quality care would you get for that? Sure there are people out there that are just good people and will "sacrifice" for kids. But there are many people who wouldn't and would just do the minimum amount for such a job.

In California, there is a hamburger place called "In-N-Out Burger”. Two things set this hamburger place apart from other fast-food places. The first is it was apparently started by a family with strong Christian ties. This doesn't really go for much in my book. People claim a lot under such headings and usually to manipulate trusting people. However, the second aspect that sets this company apart is the treatment of it's workers. They do not pay minimum wage (or at least didn't when I was in California...about three years ago) but a living wage. They have very low turn over and the quality of service is excellent. The place is always PACKED. But you don't wait long and you get your food hot and with care. The fries even tasted differently from In-N-Out Burgers. Now, what does this have to do with minimum wage paid childcare workers? It has a whole lot to do with it. If you pay people wages that are fair it seems you get people that care about their work and their job. Yes, there are a few people out there that are never happy or else taint things like tenure for teachers...but on the whole there are people who do their work because they love it and are being respected by their employers.

So what's the answer. Do you stick your kid in the nearest public school and say good luck? Or do you get on top of the school board and demand fair wages for your teachers, and clean, safe and attractive schools for your kids? Or do you stick them in private school or homeschool them? There are many choices and there isn't a perfect answer.

I will, however, always side with teachers rights because I know the crap they have to deal with in regards to administrations. And I will vote people in who are for teachers, too...and not just in going through the motions.

It's a tough job to take care of kids and mothers should all get aid esp. for the first year of their children's life. In fact, in Canada women can get a mother's check which enables them to stay home for their child's first six months+. We don't have that in the US. I wish we did.

The word mother is the most loved word in all the world. However, few recognize the importance of mothers in regards to treating mothers and their children with respect.

So, I say pay all mothers for the first year of the child’s life, give universal health care to all and have free college especially for women with two or more children. There I said it! Lol!

A quick note…Strawberry Jam.

To make: crush 4 pounds of strawberries (or left over strawberries. I know it’s not the season but we’ve been getting them from Calfornia).

Squeeze fresh lemon juice and add about half a cup of sugar (or more). Put in a pot and boil. Mash in between boiling.

After it starts to liquefy, spoon some on some bread and make a Peanut butter sandwich. This is the BEST PJ sandwich you’ll ever have.

Next, to make the jam thicker, let the pot cool. Next, boil again to almost burning…it will thicken and be just the right consistency for jam. Enjoy! Store after cooling in a bowl or jar and put in refrigerator. Should keep for a week.

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