Walk away Renee (before I slap you)

Now and then I make the mistake of read the letters page of the newspaper. I really should stop – all it does is make my blood boil and my jaw clench.

Latest example: The Sydney Morning Herald ran a story last week about the lack of after-school places for kids in OSHS (Out of School Hours Services).

It reported: “Families in some areas of Sydney are resorting to extreme measures, including moving suburbs, to cope with the critical shortage of after-school care.

“Other working parents are forking out five times as much money for a private nanny while some are enrolling their children in activities like sport or art classes simply because the after-school care service at their school is full.

“Many public schools in areas like the inner west, lower north shore and eastern suburbs have long waiting lists for after-school care services, which are under increasing strain due to significant growth in enrolments.”

So the very kind, thoughtful and empathetic Renee wrote to “The Forum” page and said: “Funny that it is the north shore than has the biggest problems. I expect that is because both parents are working to afford the huge mortgage, or because they both want to have careers. There are people genuinely struggling to put food on the table – they need the help. Those that just want to maintain a certain lifestyle or their careers should get a nanny or, I don’t know, not have kids maybe?”

Isn’t she a sweetheart?

And don’t you just love it when people make incredibly simplistic arguments. Although in her case it’s a whole string of them.

Let’s see, according to Renee …

* People who live on the North Shore shouldn’t have access to after-school care unless they are very, very poor.

* People who have large mortgages (in general) shouldn’t have access to after-school care.

* If a couple are both working to afford their mortgage, they shouldn’t have access to after-school care.

* If a couple both want careers, they shouldn’t have access to after-school care.

* If there’s a shortage of after-school care in your area and you have a large mortgage or both want careers, you shouldn’t have kids.


OK, I agree with Renee on one point: people who are genuinely struggling to put food on the table do need help. But the rest of her letter/email is complete freaking balderdash.

I am incredibly lucky not to need after-school care because I have managed to find a job that allows me to leave at 2.30pm every day. Not every mum is as fortunate as I am.

If I hadn’t scored my current gig, I would absolutely need after-school care. But would I qualify under Renee’s strict guidelines?

I have been paying down my mortgage for almost 20 years to the point that I would not describe it as large. Tick.

My husband and I both want careers. Cross.

We have the audacity to want careers AND kids. Cross.

But we are not working simply to “maintain a certain lifestyle”. (Although it is a nice bonus getting my extra income. ) Tick.

So I’m not quite sure where we stand in Renee’s eyes … but I’m guessing she wouldn’t view us as candidates for OSHS in her narrow-minded view of the world.

And I’d like to know how she justifies people who struggle to put food on the table procreating, since they obviously can’t afford to “maintain” their “lifestyle” either.

A checklist of suburbs that qualify for Renee’s OSHS assistance scheme would also be appreciated.

Climbing down off my soapbox now …

4 thoughts on “Walk away Renee (before I slap you)

Add yours

  1. What’s funny is that when we were looking, it was cheaper to buy in places on the North Shore than it is in the Inner West. Good luck making the sums work on a Newtown abode these days, Renee.

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