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Long hours, families

Linnea Ista lkista at unm.edu
Fri Apr 21 15:32:58 EST 2000

Paula Jean Schlax wrote:

> Another recent thread is that everyone should be allowed a life- I
> agree with that- however, I think a family has special obligations-
> you don't have to miss work to restring your violin- but you do when
> your child is ill. When daycare ends at 5 or 5:30- you have to be done
> with your day at work (and take it home if necessary). Family
> obligations are different than "wanting a life".

Sorry, but I take issue with this.  Each person makes her own decisions
and her own priorities.  For some people, getting that violin restrung
is a priority. YOU may not view it as being as important as getting your
kids from daycare, but that is based on YOUR priorities.  For me having
children was not a priority.  I know there are some people who do not
understand this. Nor do they understand that having children of their
own is still, I hope a choice one makes.

Where this "families trump everything else" leads to problems is when,
for example, I have tickets to the symphony but am told that I have to
chose between doing that and using the evaporator after 5:00 P.M. that
night because Joe has to use it before then so that he can pick up his
kids at daycare. In other words, his priorities must become MINE. His
choice has affected my life. He is allowed to live his AS HE CHOSES at
my expense. The symphony may not be such a big deal to him, but it is to
ME, especially since my best friend was playing a solo that night.  I
did feel the need to go support her.

 There is a somewhat disturbing attitude that those of us without
children have some sort of special obligation to those who do.  Yes, I
agree with the idea that "it takes a village" and all that. But *I*
should get to have some say in whom I help and when. Just as I really
feel those who have kids should not be penalized, neither should those
of us who do not be made to feel that our life choices are any less
important. They may not be to you, but they are to me.


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