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Women 'still stuck at home with the kids'

The Local · 25 Sep 2012, 10:47

Published: 25 Sep 2012 10:47 GMT+02:00

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About 70 percent of the women surveyed for the Family Ministry report, said they took care of all the household chores, compared to just 12 percent of men, the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper reported on Tuesday.

More than a third of mothers complained that their partners spent too little time at home. A similar number said they were the ones responsible for taking the children to day care, school and extracurricular activities.

Just 14 percent of the fathers polled in the study said they were the ones busy with chauffeuring the kids around.

More than half of non-working mothers would like to return to the work force, though not necessarily full time. Many men, by contrast, were keen to work less, with about 50 percent of respondents saying it would help to spend fewer hours on the job.

For many families, the problem is the lack of flexibility in the workplace. Nearly 90 percent of respondents want companies to be more family friendly, the taz newspaper said on Tuesday.

“Significantly more than half” of parents surveyed said they wanted firms to set up in-house childcare facilities - since many are sceptical that the government will be able to meet its pledge to guarantee day care for all children between the ages of one and three by August 2013.

The government is planning a controversial child care payment to take the pressure off having to set up the extra child care places. It would give €150 a month to parents who do not send their young children to day care - but has been heavily criticised by those who say it would increase pressure on women to stay at home rather than returning to the workplace.

Parliamentarians were due to put the issue to a vote on October 18, but it was announced on Tuesday that ongoing disagreements between members of Germany's governing coalition would delay the ballot.

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:17 September 25, 2012 by DOZ
Simple solution is to not get pregnant.
12:56 September 25, 2012 by pjnt

Great solution, be happy that idea wasn't presented to you mother.

The system in Germany makes it very difficult for a stay at home parent to break out in to meaningful employment. School ending times are erratic and kindergarten places are difficult to find. Now with the crazy Roman Catholic church saying it will not allow kids whos' parents don't pay church tax in, will only make things more difficult.

Whether this is to limit the numbers of people in the workforce or to maintain a traditional family, I don't know. It is a broken system and needs fixing.
13:44 September 25, 2012 by whiteriver

my guess is that the German system is in order to maintain a traditional family. I didn't know about the church thing and the school ending times and I had already get to that conclusion.

What grabbed my attention here are the tax advantage to be married with kids when one parent doesn't work and that the kindergarten fee is based in the parents income. The German government tries to make people have a better deal by having a home staying parent, and it must be the woman.
14:15 September 25, 2012 by Anglo1
Obviously, its these chauvinistic views that has lead to the problem in the first place. Germany has a woman leading the country, surely this is proof that not all females should be kept at home with the kids. Look to some of your neighbours, Finland for one where men are as involved with the first stages of a childs upbringing and how that has actually aided the family unit. Of course there are many factors to this such as a chnge in taxation, school times, childcare incentives for both sexes etc. Or is Germany prepared to be the archaic cousin in Europe.
14:46 September 25, 2012 by Onlythetruth
Stuck at home? Thats where they belong! The reason society is so screwed up is because there is no one looking after the kids.
15:41 September 25, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
Whiteriver and onlythetruth. There is no such thing as a traditional family anymore. Both parents need to work to have any chance of survival now. The church should not have such control over where one puts their children. All state aid should be withdrawn from the church if they refuse anybods child. The problem is trying to drag Germany out of its archaic traditional values which have no place in this century or the last one for that matter.
15:53 September 25, 2012 by marimay
@ anglo1 - Merkel is a woman?! D:

There is nothing wrong with being a housewife and mother, it is just too bad that women are made to feel that this is not adequate.
16:13 September 25, 2012 by zeddriver
@Berlin fuer alles

"There is no such thing as a traditional family anymore."

Well! That's the problem. As per having to work to make ends meet. I'm not so sure. In some cases yes. It's mostly the mentality that we need to at all costs acquire more stuff. Why settle for a 150 Sqm home. When the bank will loan you the money for a 300 Sqm home. And we will need a BMW M3 to put in the large garage next to the 5,000 Euro Pinarello road bike.

I don't care if the women or the man stays home to watch that little inconvenience to their career called a child. You wonder why the kids and the 20-30 years olds have attitude issues. It's called no parental guidance. As both their parents are to busy making a career. If you can't afford to have one "person" in the family stay home to raise and give guidance to a child. Then you may want to wait or sell the toys and simplify your life to afford those children.
16:14 September 25, 2012 by Onlythetruth
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
17:29 September 25, 2012 by M Australian
Onlythetruths comments confirm what he says.

Germany is very much stuck in archaic gender roles and traditions. This is further compounded by Steuer Splitting which benefits maried families where only one spouse works and in many cases it simply isn't worth it after tax for both parents to work making €400 jobs attractive to the stay at home parent.

Another factor is that outside urban centres a lot of couples marry young ( high school sweetheart ) and have children early - few education/career building opportunites for the mother.
17:37 September 25, 2012 by Onlythetruth
@ M Australian

One man's archaic gender roles and traditions are another man's immutable truths. Just because some segments of society are coming apart at the seams doesn't mean its healthy or good.
18:22 September 25, 2012 by Wise Up!
Why have kids only to have someone else raise them? Children do best when raised by their parents instead of strangers.
21:00 September 25, 2012 by ovalle3.14
One almost gets the impression that a mother staying at home to take care of her children is a bad thing...
22:45 September 25, 2012 by Onlythetruth
Thats what many feminists would have you believe ovalle3.14. Just because they don't fit in they want to warp everyone's concept of homelife to fit their own maladjusted definition of the new family. Its all a big circus to avoid responsibility.
22:56 September 25, 2012 by zeddriver
My wife took a transfer to Germany for her work. As a non EU citizen. I'm not allowed by law to work. So I stay at home do dishes and cook. I go to our local bakery/cafe and chat with my German friends over a cuppa. Then I drive around Germany in my sports car and take a lot of photos (a hobby). Gosh. I feel so restricted and abused.
23:15 September 25, 2012 by marimay
lol that sounds horrible, zed.
09:14 September 26, 2012 by pjnt

Sounds good. I am a stay at home father. Went to uni and worked in Canada for 8 years first. Now in Germany trying to wrap my head around a system that makes raising a family very difficult.

I believe parents should raise their own children. The kids really benefit from this. However, Germany is competing with other first world countries where to have a decent living, both parents need an income. Some of the gifts from the government to keep a parent at home are nice but certainly do no replace a career. One income just does not provide enough any longer. The system is broken. Either more average income, unlikely, or a better system which allows greater employee flexibility, possible with lots of time.
18:40 September 26, 2012 by zeddriver
I think it's all in one's perception of how things should be. Most people in America would say that it takes both parents working to make ends meet. I say no. Not always. If you just have to buy the latest greatest toys. Look at the lines to buy a severely over priced iPhone. It will go on sale at some point in time. But folks will pay hyper inflated prices for the sole point of shoving the phone in their friends face. Then bragging about how cool they are. This applies to homes, cars, Penirello road bikes, 127cm plasma/led T.V.'s. The list goes on and really adds up after a while. Then you add a child and of course the spoiled 20-30 somethings and those of my generation "baby boomers" refused to modify their life style when a child came along. So both parents would go to work and hand the child over to strangers. For the express reason of not having to lower their standard of living. And the children have paid the price. As the normal for the modern child/young adult is always about me and the instant gratification of my wants and has no concept of no or boundaries of any sort. If you try and discipline them. The government might come after you for abusing their rights to do what ever they want. Or the spoiled child can and will find a lawyer to sue you for denying them a $600 iPhone.
22:56 September 26, 2012 by DrWho
@zeddriver So true!

Here is the problem. In the USA, two incomes are now needed to keep a standard of living that a single income used to provide. I would guess that prices went up to match income levels...supppy and demand.

Germany should not go down this road. I find children in areas where moms stay and WORK at home, to be well adjusted and cared for. You can't buy that.
20:28 September 27, 2012 by Berlin fuer alles
zeddriver, you are soo sooo right. Society is sick and those at the bottom are fighting for mere survival. Just look at the case of the killed Job Centre worker. There is no one remedy for all this. The whole of society needs an overhaul in social values and social structure but I fear this will never happen as the top 1% have far too much to lose by such an overhaul.
21:31 September 28, 2012 by zeddriver
@Berlin fuer alles

We do need an overhaul of our social values.

At the very least. It's a difficult problem to solve. I think one area that has lead us to this. Is the quasi socialist governments (to include the USA) that have convinced us to not rely on each other nor ourselves. But only on the bureaucrats in government. Not so sure it's the one percent. As I can't recall having ever met anyone anywhere ever that has been employed by a poor person. And one must remember one thing as per socialism. It will work for a short time. But when you run out of other peoples money to spend it WILL collapse into anarchy. Then you will get the equal spreading of misery like the Soviet Union had. With the exception of the bureaucrats. They will always look after themselves at the expense of the citizens.
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