Thursday, February 23, 2012

Care vs. Work

In the "Hey, that's old news" file, when dad stays home to care for kids while mom goes to work, that's officially a "childcare arrangement." This is according to the United States Census. Hello, 1954! How are Ike and Mamie? It's pretty neat that we can vaccinate kids against polio now, but that H-bomb is a little scary.

I am freshly unemployed, which makes me a specific statistic (sorry, President Obama. It's truly not your fault), and for the moment, babywhumpus is still in day care full time, which does not change our statistic in that area. Were we to bring him home if I don't find work, or if my personality entirely changed and I became a stay-at-home mom, I would indeed be another statistic, but not because our child care arrangement changed. Apparently, me taking care of my child during the day is the baseline. I am the "designated parent." While it's nice of the Census Bureau to acknowledge that women in two-parent, heterosexual households still do the majority of the housework and childcare, I don't think we need to be disregarded when it comes to "Who's Minding the Kids" by being assumed. (The link to the Census report is contained in the above article. It leads to a pdf.)

It's hard for me to wrap my head around this one, so I am sitting here convinced that I have it wrong. It doesn't make logical sense, and it seems like bad data gathering. Plus, I am mostly just taking notes here and trying to catch up. Unemployment has made me busier than ever.

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