They call it the burnt toast syndrome.
Mum makes breakfast for the family, but one of the pieces is overcooked. She could jump in straight away and grab the good pieces, but she doesn’t. She waits. She offers the plate of toast to the rest of the family and then takes the last piece for herself; the burnt one. Mum puts herself last. She always does. She prioritises family and makes sacrifices so that no one else has to feel inconvenienced or disappointed.
But it doesn’t just stop at toast.
Mum puts her career second to that of her partners and she puts her children’s health and wellbeing above her own. And now we can see from the government’s latest plot to destroy and demonise those dastardly double dipping mums that this culture of putting mums last is ingrained not just in mothers themselves, but also in our public policies.
Putting aside for the moment the fact that a good paid parental leave scheme actually exists not only to benefit mums, but also families, workplaces and the economy – it is mothers who are worst and most directly hit by these proposed changes. Approximately 99% of recipients of paid parental leave are mothers despite the fact that the payments can be transferred to qualifying fathers.
If passed, the changes to paid parental leave will mean an estimated 80,000 women (mums) will lose some or all of the paid leave entitlements.
And not just those high-flying wealthy mums as the government wants you to believe. Mothers who work in healthcare, teaching and retail (the low-paid sectors) stand to lose between $3942 and $10,512 if the changes are passed according to research commissioned by women's group Fair Agenda and conducted by the University of Sydney's Women and Work Research Group early this year.
In fact, according to the research, the worst hit will be a part-time teacher in South Australia, who will lose $10,512 in payments. A mother working in Woolworths in Tasmania, having her first child, loses $3942. A full-time ambulance worker in Queensland is stripped of $9198 and a part-time nurse in Victoria misses out on $6570.
And why the cuts? Well for a couple of reasons according to Social Services Minister Christian Porter.