This week’s guest posting is from the Australian Fair Work Ombudsmen. In Australia tens of thousands of pregnant women and working mums report discrimination in the workplace each year. Make sure you know your rights.
It is not surprising that parents sometimes struggle to handle their work responsibilities and be with their child the way that that want to be; especially in the early years.
Managing the needs of your toddler is a demanding task. A day at work might be more structured and predictable than a day with your family. Or it could be the other way around. Every family and workplace is different and it is good to think creatively about how you might balance the two.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s working parents campaign is all about making sure parents and their employers understand their rights and responsibilities. If you’re unsure of where to start, visit fairwork.gov.au/workingparents to access information and resources including helpful checklists and templates.
Working parents in Australia have entitlements such as the right to safe work during pregnancy and parental leave to be with their new baby. They can also request flexible working arrangements that will help them accommodate work and family life.
The National Employment Standards provide the right to ask for flexible working arrangements. Flexible working arrangements can include things like changing your hours or patterns of work or working from home. These requests can only be refused for certain reasons.
Follow these steps when negotiating an arrangement to suit you and your workplace
Think about a solution that suits the business as well as your own needs. You might find it helpful to discuss your ideas with your employer before making a request. A conversation can give you both enough lead time to make suitable arrangements for you and your workplace.
Write to your employer (via email is a good idea). Outline the arrangement you think can work and offer reasons for the change. There are request templates available at fairwork.gov.au/workingparents to help you get started.
Once you have sent the request, your employer must respond in writing within 21 days saying whether they accept or refuse the request. If they refuse, they need to explain why.
Whether your employer agrees or disagrees with your request, flexibility arrangements will require ongoing negotiation. If the initial arrangement is not suitable, follow the process again and see if you can find something that works for everyone.
After 2 babies I decided to give myself an overhaul. While doing this it has made me think of the imprints we leave on our babies/children. One of the things that I have kicked off my overhaul with is joining a group training session.
Now, unlike most group sessions this one is targeted at mothers with babies/children and we all generally bring a baby/child (unless we are lucky enough for a loved one to take care of them).The trainer, Charlotte Hay from SOLMAMAS Slice of Life Fitness www.solfitness.com.au, understands what it is like being a mother and trying to squeeze in time for You. While we might be willing to find a sitter to go out to dinner every now and then, it’s not on a high priority to find yourself a sitter/carer on a weekly biases to look after your baby/child while you workout.
Before having children we thought we knew it all. We attended the antenatal classes to learn about labour, breastfeeding and how to generally care for our newborn baby. We left with a wealth of knowledge or so we thought.
At this stage I had set ideas on parenting. In regard to breastfeeding, I thought I would have no problem with it and therefore would breastfed our baby for the first year.
When our little girl was born these set ideas all went out the window.
Breastfeeding wasn’t easy
After a terrible labour that lasted two days, my milk supply was fairly nonexistent and our daughter was practically starving.
A lactation consultant told me I would need to supplement the breastfeeds with formula. I would also have to express after each feed to help my own supply.
This was a long process. In the early months of our daughter’s life I hardly slept. By the time I had breastfed her, bottle fed her and expressed it was time to start the whole process again.
Weaning. Ah, the joy of carrot puree up the walls and your baby sending projectile missiles of mush right into your coaxing face. Weaning’s a really exciting stage in parenting – your little one’s expression as he experiences new flavours! – but it’s also a whole new world: What foods to offer? How much? When? What about milk feeds? And allergies? And choking? Parents in the throes of weaning can find themselves floundering and anxious and suffering from ‘spaghetti bolognaise aversion’. So here are some top tips for weaning to make the whole process much easier – and much more enjoyable:
1. Arm yourself with info.
Read one or two childcare books or baby websites that include guidance on weaning to establish the basics of how it works, such as which foods to avoid for the first year and how to transition from smooth-mush to lumpy-mush. Note the words ‘one or two’ in the last sentence – no need to become a weaning expert, which simply leads to obsessing over each detail of weaning.
It is quite common for boys to continue bed wetting for longer than girls. For example, most girls have broken this habit by the time they are 4 years old, it is more common for boys to be still bedwetting at this age.
My son continued bedwetting until he was over 7. It was as frustrating for him as it was for me,
It is easy to call into question your own parenting skills when a child suffers from bed wetting, although it’s important to remember that it’s rarely your fault. If your child has previously been dry then a visit to the Dr is advisable just to rule out any infections. Continue reading →