Mummy / So, what do babies do?

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MY little boy asked me: “Mummy, what does our baby do?”

Kate Meikle.

I didn’t know how to answer his question. The short answer was “not a lot right now!”

At six months, our baby has come a long way – she can smile, laugh, kick her legs on the mat, put things into her mouth and she can sure cry!

As a three-year-old, my boy is investigating the world and beginning to understand that people, in addition to his beloved diggers, do indeed work.

Every morning he will cheerfully wish his dad a great day at work. He has temper tantrums when he is told he can’t play with the coffee machine or the dishwasher – “I need to do my work!” he yells.

Our baby’s work consists of eating, sleeping and exploring. In my little boy’s eyes her progress is clearly rather slow, although I feel she is growing up way too fast!

My friend tells her son when she drops him off at preschool that she is going to work, even though she is returning home to care for the baby. She told me she wants to teach him that she might not be working in an office, she has a lot of work to do to look after him and his sister, that it’s an important role and it is indeed “work” albeit unpaid and for the most part undervalued.

I hope that in years to come my daughter has equal opportunities to her brother in her chosen field of work and that her options are as open and her pay the same. This is something that doesn’t exist right now, despite the advancements in equality between my and my mother’s generation.

In the future, will my girl think it bizarre that in her “mother’s day” women were paid 16 per cent less than men across the board? I hope she will think the gender pay gap that exists today as bizarre and shocking as I do when I think that my mother was not able to buy property as an unmarried woman.  

Yes, my boy, our baby girl doesn’t “do” a great deal at present, but I’ll settle for her sweet baby smiles, cuddles and coos. And I can hope that when it is her turn to work her future will be just as bright as yours.


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Kate Meikle
Kate Meikle is a staff reporter for "CityNews"

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