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ONS: One of 11 mothers is now a stay-at-home mum

By Helen Carroll for the Daily Mail

Published: 17:52 EST, 12 December 2017 | Updated: 18:27 EST, 12..

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By Helen Carroll for the Daily Mail

Published: 17:52 EST, 12 December 2017 | Updated: 18:27 EST, 12 December 2017

Just one out of every 11 mothers is now a stay-at-home mum, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The decline of the traditional housewife and the rise of the working mother has been one of the major societal shifts of the past 50 years.

While in the Sixties, the majority of mothers did not have paid jobs, by 1997, 2.5 million women (13.5 per cent) were full-time mums.

Today, just 1.86 million (nine per cent) of mothers choose not to work outside the home.

Here, we speak to 11 mums, from Ely, Cambridgeshire, who all have children at the same primary school. In a reflection of the national picture, only one of them is not working. So how do they all feel about their roles in society? Helen Carroll investigates . . .

1: I hope I'm a good role model for my children

Karen Thorpe, 44, works four days a week as a communications manager. She lives with husband Andy, 47, a secondary school assistant principal, and children Lily, ten, and Mackenzie, seven. Karen says:

Karen Thorpe, 44, lives with husband Andy, 47, a secondary school assistant principal, and children Lily, ten, and Mackenzie, sevenKaren Thorpe, 44, lives with husband Andy, 47, a secondary school assistant principal, and children Lily, ten, and Mackenzie, seven

Karen Thorpe, 44, lives with husband Andy, 47, a secondary school assistant principal, and children Lily, ten, and Mackenzie, seven

Occasionally, when I’m having a frantic week in the office, or I have to miss a school event, I think how nice it would be not to work.

But I think it’s important for my children to see their mother pursuing a career and earning money. When I was in my teens, my mother got a job in Waitrose. She wishes she’d worked sooner — back then, women were expected to stay at home with their children.

Having two wages doesn’t give us a lavish lifestyle, it just means we don’t worry about money so much and can enjoy the odd foreign holiday.

The children go to after-school club on the days I work and do lots of activities they enjoy, including Beavers, Brownies, tap dancing, football and theatre club.

2: Working means I feel like 'me' again

Lina Karpiniene, 36, works full-time as a processing administrator at Cambridge University Hospital. She lives with husband Ed, 37, a delivery driver, and children Mia, ten, and Oskar, four. Lina says:

Lina Karpiniene, 36, lives with husband Ed, 37, a delivery driver, and children Mia, ten, and Oskar, fourLina Karpiniene, 36, lives with husband Ed, 37, a delivery driver, and children Mia, ten, and Oskar, four

Lina Karpiniene, 36, lives with husband Ed, 37, a delivery driver, and children Mia, ten, and Oskar, four

I used to work part-time at a local supermarket, as I couldn’t fit anything more demanding around having a pre-schooler.

However, when my youngest started school I took on a full-time job at our local hospital. I feel so fulfilled and ‘myself’ again.

There are things I miss, such as taking my children to swimming lessons, but I did it for years, and it’s my husband’s turn now.

Ed and I have always shared the chores. He gets home before me, so he cooks most evenings.

Weekends are taken up with cleaning, shopping and staying on top of things, which I think is the case for most working parents. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

3: I just hate having to leave my boys

Kate Swan, 41, is pictured with sons Adam, seven, and Oli, fiveKate Swan, 41, is pictured with sons Adam, seven, and Oli, five

Kate Swan, 41, is pictured with sons Adam, seven, and Oli, five

Kate Swan, 41, works two days a week as a local authority leasehold services contractor. She lives with her husband Craig, 44, a technical engineer, and sons Adam, seven, and Oli, five. Kate says:

I took three years off when my sons were babies — we were told we wouldn’t be able to have children, so I wanted to savour every moment — and went back part-time to my old job two years ago.

It was really hard because, on top of the sadness I felt leaving the boys with a childminder, I also felt far less confident in my workplace. But we needed the extra income.

It’s difficult trying to cram all my work into two days. And I still have a bit of guilt at not being there to pick the boys up from school!

There should be more financial help for parents of pre-schoolers, which would give families the option for one parent to stay at home. Ideally, I’d be at home full-time, but who can afford that luxury these days?

4: I can't afford to be a full-time mum

Lauren Dawson, 33, works four days a week as a pharmacy technician. She lives with husband Simon, 39, an electrical engineer, and children Khloe, six, and Lili, two, and is expecting her third child next spring. Lauren says:

Lauren Dawson, 33, lives with husband Simon, 39, an electrical engineer, and children Khloe, six, and Lili, twoLauren Dawson, 33, lives with husband Simon, 39, an electrical engineer, and children Khloe, six, and Lili, two

Lauren Dawson, 33, lives with husband Simon, 39, an electrical engineer, and children Khloe, six, and Lili, two

During school holidays, I envy full-time mums. They’re having days out with their kids while mine are with a childminder.

Even two incomes don’t stretch to luxuries. We live in a four-bedroom semi, drive old cars and haven’t been abroad for years.

My mum worked full-time, in admin, so I always imagined I’d work after having children — but I hoped the balance would be more weighted towards time at home.

Everything we do has to fit into my three days off, from swimming lessons to visiting family. We try to do chores when the girls are asleep, but it’s not always possible.

I don’t expect the Government to pay me to stay at home, but if childcare was subsidised I could work three days a week, which would be the perfect balance.

We’ve talked about me working full-time, so we could have a bit more coming in, but I cherish my one day at home with the girls. I wish there were more of them.

5: What would I do if I didn't work?

Linzee Kottman, 38, is a PR consultant who works 30 to 40 hours a week. She lives with husband Tobie, 38, a regional sales director, and their children Ruben, 11, and Naiomi, six. Linzee says:

Linzee Kottman, 38, lives with husband Tobie, 38, a regional sales director, and their children Ruben, 11, and Naiomi, sixLinzee Kottman, 38, lives with husband Tobie, 38, a regional sales director, and their children Ruben, 11, and Naiomi, six

Linzee Kottman, 38, lives with husband Tobie, 38, a regional sales director, and their children Ruben, 11, and Naiomi, six

My work ethic comes from my parents — they were both great role models. They each retrained when I started secondary school. My dad went from being a welder to a social worker and Mum from selling clothes to being a lecturer.

After they qualified, we moved to a nice area and got a new car. It showed that, with hard work and a good attitude, it’s possible to make a better life for yourself.

A few years ago we moved from a flat to a four-bedroom house. That wouldn’t have been possible without two incomes.

Because of my upbringing, it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t go back to work after taking a year’s maternity leave. And, now they’re at school, if I wasn’t working, what would I do between 9am and 3pm each day?

6: Working is better than housework

Rachel Haynes, 36, is pictured with children Daniel, 11, Levi, nine, Kiera, seven, and Nieve, twoRachel Haynes, 36, is pictured with children Daniel, 11, Levi, nine, Kiera, seven, and Nieve, two

Rachel Haynes, 36, is pictured with children Daniel, 11, Levi, nine, Kiera, seven, and Nieve, two

Rachel Haynes, 36, works as a music teacher three days a week. She lives with husband Stephen, 43, a sales manager, and children Daniel, 11, Levi, nine, Kiera, seven, and Nieve, two. Rachel says:

It’s easier meeting all my children’s needs doing part-time hours — I’m always there for pick-ups and drop-offs, which is important to me. I’m not highly paid, but I have a passion for helping children learn to play the piano, and we’re lucky that my husband has a good income.

Stephen and I share the cooking and cleaning between us. He would never come in, like many husbands used to do, and just plonk himself on the sofa for the evening.

We’re a team, and that works well for both of us.

7: It's lonely as the last one standing!

Leyla Newling, 40, was a fund administrator and is now stay-at-home mum to Amelie, 11, Mia, eight, and Eliza, three. Her husband Jay, 43, is an aircraft engineer. Leyla says:

Leyla Newling, 40, is now stay-at-home mum to Amelie, 11, Mia, eight, and Eliza, threeLeyla Newling, 40, is now stay-at-home mum to Amelie, 11, Mia, eight, and Eliza, three

Leyla Newling, 40, is now stay-at-home mum to Amelie, 11, Mia, eight, and Eliza, three

There’s so much to do as a mother — washing, cooking, cleaning, spending time with my daughters — I often wonder how those who also work fit it all in.

I went back to my old job one day a week for a while after my eldest was born, but felt guilty about the time away from her, so when I was made redundant I didn’t look for another position.

Still, I do sometimes envy my friends their careers, instead of spending every day looking after everyone else’s needs as I do. Anyone who imagines full-time mums are swanning off to the gym and for lunch doesn’t know how demanding it is with three kids, one of whom isn’t yet at full-time school.

I think working parents often assume the stay-at-home ones will run things like school committees. I have been having treatment for breast cancer for a year, so I only volunteer occasionally.

When Eliza starts reception class, that will be the first time in 11 years I’ll have whole days at home without any children. I might take on some book-keeping and accountancy work.

My only concern is that I might be lonely — there aren’t many of us stay-at-home mums left!

8: Our grandparents make it all possible

Katie Barry, 36, works four days a week as a health and safety adviser. She lives with husband Paul, 34, a financial adviser, and sons Daniel, six, and Owen, three. Katie says:

I love spending time with my boys, but I also really enjoy the challenge of work.

If I didn’t, we wouldn’t be able to afford the extra pleasures in life, but I do feel guilty sometimes, especially when one of my children is unwell, and I have to leave them with Grandma.

Without the support of my parents and in-laws, I wouldn’t be able to work as much as I do.

My husband is also a very hands-on dad and we share the chores.

I’m not at all surprised to hear the statistics bear out what I’ve long observed among my friends — the vast majority of mothers now work. It’s so very different from a generation ago.

The cost of living is so high that very few families can manage on only one wage.

9: I hate not being there at bedtime

Kelly Parker, 42, is pictured with Olivia, ten, Raffaella, six, and Isabella, twoKelly Parker, 42, is pictured with Olivia, ten, Raffaella, six, and Isabella, two

Kelly Parker, 42, is pictured with Olivia, ten, Raffaella, six, and Isabella, two

Kelly Parker, 42, works 20 hours a week as a mental health nurse. She’s married to Mike, 44, a teacher, and they have Olivia, ten, Raffaella, six, and Isabella, two. Kelly says:

I cram 20 hours’ work into two days to save £50 a week in childcare costs. It’s tough not getting home until after the girls have gone to bed, but needs must.

We have spreadsheets to keep track of all our outgoings and, although we have a nice four-bedroom detached house, luxuries, like takeaways, are rare.

Sometimes, when I’m particularly tired I think: ‘What would I give not to have to go to work?’ But I’m pretty sure I’d go a bit mad if I was at home all the time.

I’m probably one of the lucky ones because I get a balance between home and work.

10: I’d miss the adult company at home

Claire Mooney, 41, works full-time as a district catering assistant in primary schools. She lives with husband Derek, 42, a survey technician, and daughter Leni, six. Claire says:

Claire Mooney, 41, lives with husband Derek, 42, a survey technician, and daughter Leni, sixClaire Mooney, 41, lives with husband Derek, 42, a survey technician, and daughter Leni, six

Claire Mooney, 41, lives with husband Derek, 42, a survey technician, and daughter Leni, six

I went back to work when Leni was ten months old and felt terribly guilty. I was able to leave her with my mother-in-law and my sister, but I would have taken longer off if I’d had a better maternity package.

But, once Leni started school, I was glad I’d kept my job going.

I only work during term time and school hours, so I get to see my daughter as much as if I was a stay-at-home mother.

At home I do the shopping, cook all of our meals, plus the cleaning, because I don’t work as many hours as my husband.

The majority of mums I know have jobs, which is a change from our mothers’ generation. My mum didn’t go back to work until I was about ten.

11: I’m torn between two worlds

Amanda Slater, 43, is pictured with Poppy, 11, Jessie, six, and Max, threeAmanda Slater, 43, is pictured with Poppy, 11, Jessie, six, and Max, three

Amanda Slater, 43, is pictured with Poppy, 11, Jessie, six, and Max, three

Amanda Slater, 43, works three days a week as a learning and development trainer. She lives with Simon, 44, a sales executive, and their children Poppy, 11, Jessie, six, and Max, three. Amanda says:

With three children, it’s a juggle keeping on top of everything at home, plus working. But I enjoy the dimension to my life that my job provides. I’m not just a mum — I have skills that are valued.

However, I often feel torn between being the best mum I can and earning money, as we do need both incomes. It’s something I know a lot of other mums feel too.

My mum worked part-time and was always at home after school, which is maybe why it’s important to me to be around as much as possible for mine.

I do sometimes envy stay-at-home mums and wonder if they have it easier, but I’ll never know.

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Australia: Scott Morrison saga casts scrutiny on Queen’s representative

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In the past fortnight, Australia has been gripped by revelations that former Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison secretly appointed himself to several additional ministries.

The move has been labelled a “power grab” by his successor as prime minister, and Mr Morrison has been scolded by many – even his own colleagues.

But the scandal has also dragged Australia’s governor-general into the fray – sparking one of the biggest controversies involving the Queen’s representative in Australia in 50 years.

So does Governor-General David Hurley have questions to answer, or is he just collateral damage?

‘Just paperwork’

Governors-general have fulfilled the practical duties as Australia’s head of state since the country’s 1901 federation.

Candidates for the role were initially chosen by the monarch but are now recommended by the Australian government.

The job is largely ceremonial – a governor-general in almost every circumstance must act on the advice of the government of the day. But conventions allow them the right to “encourage” and “warn” politicians.

Key duties include signing bills into law, issuing writs for elections, and swearing in ministers.

Mr Hurley has run into trouble on the latter. At Mr Morrison’s request, he swore the prime minister in as joint minister for health in March 2020, in case the existing minister became incapacitated by Covid.

Over the next 14 months, he also signed off Mr Morrison as an additional minister in the finance, treasury, home affairs and resources portfolios.

Mr Morrison already had ministerial powers, so Mr Hurley was basically just giving him authority over extra departments.

It’s a request the governor-general “would not have any kind of power to override or reject”, constitutional law professor Anne Twomey tells the BBC.

“This wasn’t even a meeting between the prime minister and the governor-general, it was just paperwork.”

But Mr Morrison’s appointments were not publicly announced, disclosed to the parliament, or even communicated to most of the ministers he was job-sharing with.

Australia’s solicitor-general found Mr Morrison’s actions were not illegal but had “fundamentally undermined” responsible government.

But the governor-general had done the right thing, the solicitor-general said in his advice this week.

It would have been “a clear breach” for him to refuse the prime minister, regardless of whether he knew the appointments would be kept secret, Stephen Donaghue said.

Critics push for investigation

Ultimately, Mr Hurley had to sign off on Mr Morrison’s requests, but critics say he could have counselled him against it and he could have publicised it himself.

But representatives for the governor-general say these types of appointments – giving ministers the right to administer other departments – are not unusual.

And it falls to the government of the day to decide if they should be announced to the public. They often opt not to.

Mr Hurley himself announcing the appointments would be unprecedented. He had “no reason to believe that appointments would not be communicated”, his spokesperson said.

Emeritus professor Jenny Hocking finds the suggestion Mr Hurley didn’t know the ministries had been kept secret “ridiculous”.

“The last of these bizarre, duplicated ministry appointments… were made more than a year after the first, so clearly by then the governor-general did know that they weren’t being made public,” she says.

“I don’t agree for a moment that the governor-general has a lot of things on his plate and might not have noticed.”

The historian says it’s one of the biggest controversies surrounding a governor-general since John Kerr caused a constitutional crisis by sacking Prime Minister Gough Whitlam in 1975.

Prof Hocking famously fought for transparency around that matter – waging a lengthy and costly legal battle that culminated in the release of Mr Kerr’s correspondence with the Queen.

And she says the same transparency is needed here.

The Australian public need to know whether Mr Hurley counselled the prime minister against the moves, and why he didn’t disclose them

The government has already announced an inquiry into Mr Morrison’s actions, but she wants it to look at the governor-general and his office too.

“If the inquiry is to find out what happened in order to fix what happened, it would be extremely problematic to leave out a key part of that equation.”

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull – Mr Morrison’s predecessor – has also voiced support for an inquiry.

“Something has gone seriously wrong at Government House,” he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“It is the passive compliance along the chain… that did undermine our constitution and our democracy… that troubles me the most. This is how tyranny gets under way.”

PM defends governor-general

Prof Twomey says the criticism of Mr Hurley is unfair – there’s was no “conspiracy” on his part to keep things secret.

“I don’t think it’s reasonable for anyone to expect that he could have guessed that the prime minister was keeping things secret from his own ministers, for example.

“Nobody really thought that was a possibility until about two weeks ago.”

Even if he had taken the unprecedented step to publicise the appointments or to reject Mr Morrison’s request, he’d have been criticised, she says.

“There’d be even more people saying ‘how outrageous!'” she says. “The role of governor-general is awkward because people are going to attack you either way.”

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also defended Mr Hurley, saying he was just doing his job.

“I have no intention of undertaking any criticism of [him].”

A role fit for purpose?

Prof Hocking says it’s a timely moment to look at the role of the governor-general more broadly.

She points out it’s possible the Queen may have been informed about Mr Morrison’s extra ministries when Australia’s parliament and people were not.

“It does raise questions about whether this is fit for purpose, as we have for decades been a fully independent nation, but we still have… ‘the relics of colonialism’ alive and well.”

Momentum for a fresh referendum on an Australian republic has been growing and advocates have seized on the controversy.

“The idea that the Queen and her representative can be relied upon to uphold our system of government has been debunked once and for all,” the Australian Republic Movement’s Sandy Biar says.

“It’s time we had an Australian head of state, chosen by Australians and accountable to them to safeguard and uphold Australia’s constitution.”

But Prof Twomey says republicans are “clutching at straws” – under their proposals, the head of state would also have been bound to follow the prime minister’s advice.

“It wouldn’t result in any changes that would have made one iota of difference.”

 

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-62683210

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Australia election: PM Morrison’s security team in car crash in Tasmania

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A car carrying the Australian prime minister’s security team has crashed in Tasmania during an election campaign visit.

Four police officers were taken to hospital with “non-life threatening injuries” after the car and another vehicle collided, authorities said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not in the car, but the accident prompted him to cancel the rest of his campaign events on Thursday.

The other driver involved was not hurt.

Tasmania Police said initial investigations suggested the second car had “collided with the rear of the police vehicle, while attempting to merge”. It caused the unmarked security vehicle to roll off the road.

The two Tasmania Police officers and two Australian Federal Police officers were conscious when taken to hospital for medical assessment, the prime minister’s office said.

“Family members of the officers have been contacted and are being kept informed of their condition,” a statement said.

“The PM is always extremely grateful for the protection provided by his security team and extends his best wishes for their recovery and to their families.”

Australians go to the polls on 21 May. Mr Morrison – prime minister since 2018 – is hoping to win his conservative coalition’s fourth term in office.

Polls suggest the opposition Labor Party, led by Anthony Albanese, is favoured to win. However, Mr Morrison defied similar polling to claim victory at the last election in 2019.

Mr Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition holds 76 seats in the House of Representatives – the minimum needed to retain power.

Political observers say the cost of living, climate change, trust in political leaders, and national security will be among key issues in the campaign.

In recent weeks, the prime minister has faced accusations of being a bully and once sabotaging a rival’s career by suggesting the man’s Lebanese heritage made him less electable. Mr Morrison has denied the allegations.

Mr Albanese stumbled into his own controversy this week when he failed to recall the nation’s unemployment or interest rates.

Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-61103987

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Sydney airport warns delays could last weeks on third day of travel chaos

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Long queues at Sydney airport’s domestic terminals have continued for a third day, with some passengers missing international connections, as the airport warns delays resulting from a surge in travellers and a shortfall in security staff could continue for weeks.

Chaotic scenes were reported in the departure halls as early as 4.30am on Saturday, with some frustrated travellers, many of whom heeded the pleas of airport chiefs to arrive at least two hours before their domestic flight was due to take off, claiming only one security line was operating.

While the queues that formed early on Saturday are understood to have cleared later in the morning, the airport apologised to affected travellers.

“Traffic numbers are picking up and the close contact rules are making it hard to fill shifts and staff the airport. We appreciate your patience,” Sydney airport said on its Twitter account.

A wave of families travelling as the term two school holidays begin this weekend, combined with close contact rules that are understood to be taking out about 20% of security shifts in any given day, are driving the problem.

Certis, the company that Sydney airport contracts for its security operations, is desperately trying to recruit personnel, while the airport has reallocated back office, IT and retail workers to the departure hall to comb queues so they can prioritise passengers at risk of missing their flight.

“We are working around the clock to resolve these issues and have teams in the terminals bringing passengers forward in order of priority,” a Sydney airport spokesperson said.

He added that the airport is “anticipating it will [be] busy right through the school holiday period and peak over the Easter and Anzac Day weekends, in some cases at 90% of pre-Covid passenger levels”.

“We’re deeply grateful to passengers for their ongoing patience and we’re sorry to everyone who has been inconvenienced,” the spokesperson said. “We would also like to thank passengers for getting to the airport early and treating staff and each other with kindness and respect.”

The Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce was forced to clarify comments he made on Friday that passengers were “not match fit” and that those forgetting to remove laptops and aerosols from their bags at the security check contributing to the delays.

“Just to be clear, I’m not ‘blaming’ passengers,” Joyce said. “Of course it’s not their fault,” he said.

Qantas shed thousands of staff during the pandemic, and outsourced ground crews in a decision that was challenged in court.

On Saturday, Qantas also apologised to a Melbourne family left stranded in Sydney, after domestic flight delays caused them to miss an international trip.

Javiera Martinez, her partner Daniel Capurro and their three children were supposed to be flying to Chile on Friday to visit relatives they had not seen in three years.

But after their 8am Qantas flight from Melbourne was delayed by half an hour, baggage handling and airport transfer delays in Sydney meant they couldn’t make their 11.30am LATAM Airlines flight to Santiago.

Martinez said the airline’s procedures at the airport were chaotic.

“We think Qantas didn’t behave appropriately. I got berated by the person at the counter – they never apologised, they never assumed any responsibility at all,” she said. “It was a rude conversation. We have been mistreated badly I would say.”

The PCR tests they need to travel have now expired and they will have to take them again as they wait for seats on the next flight to Santiago from Sunday.

The airline has apologised and paid for a night’s accommodation in Sydney.

“We sincerely apologise that the family missed their connecting flight on another airline due to delays moving through Sydney airport on Friday,” a Qantas spokesperson said.

The family is among many affected by hold ups amid the busiest travel period in two years, with Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports warning passengers to arrive two hours before domestic flights.

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