Sobbing, Sarah and the Senate – what a completely silly story

Isn’t this whole crying kid in the senate ‘furore’ just a big joke?

Greens senator (at left) Sarah Hanson-Young (she would have to be a greenie) tries to get us all feeling sorry for her and says she will attempt to get parliament to change their kiddie-friendly rulings. It’s all just too ridiculous.

The senate, like a dangerous building site, a budget meeting, running a mr Whippy van or standing behind a bank teller’s desk (do they still exist?) is NO place for a two-year-old.

The senate is where major decisions are made _ ones that can affect all of us _ so who wants a senator helping form those decisions when 50% of her mind is placating a sobbing and not concentrating on the senate situation at hand.

And as a working mum who juggled working in an office environment, while my son was in some of his most formative years _ like from 6 months until 6 _ it’s Ms Hanson-Young who needs to work out whats she wants.

Does she want to be a mother 24/7, but how can you bringing in a child everyday, or has she yet to differentiate the working mum and non-paying mum equation? Seems she wants the best of both worlds but the Senate is not a socal experiment for childcare issues.

Sure, as my former newspaper work buddies will attest, there were times I did take my son into the office – certainly not when the newspaper was in meltdown or when an editor was on the warpath – but at times when the mood was subdued and there was no such thing as a major deadline looming which is always fraught, even if everything is going swimmingly on the news front.

Due to the often unusual nature of working hours in the media, yes, more recently I have taken him into TV studios, online and magazine offices, but at seven-years-of age, he is (unlike a 2-year-old) quite capable of understanding when I say ‘Darling, can you sit just over there and either read your book or play with your PlayStation’. He doesn’t burst out into tears. Anymore.

What point the Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, was trying to make is still unclear. Had she promised toddler Kora an excursion to mummy’s workplace? Or was it unfortunate case of ‘dad’ just not being able to get her back home in time to be relieved by a nanny or some other form of Kora childcare?

Whatever the logistics surrounding Kora’s care on that late afternoon is none of our business, but surely what if ‘older’ members of parliament start bringing in their grand kids to a Symphony of Sobs which will start drowning out the result of an innovative tax initiative. I don’t think so, NSW opposition spokeswoman Pru Goward has weighed in on the debate and While Ms Sarah Hanson-Young said she felt humiliated after Labor Senate President John Hogg ordered the removal of her daughter from the Senate chamber Ms Goward, in her ever sensible way said that children in workplaces can be “very distracting”. And I agree whole-heartedly.

“I think if you promise a little girl that she can come in with you and you run down there with her in your arms and then at the last minute because you actually didn’t check, the child is taken away from you and she cries, nobody can really be surprised,” she told ABC radio.
“This really says to me that there should be some laws about this so there are no unexpected situations that arise, so that the senators and the staff all know what’s expected.”

“I think children in workplaces can be very distracting and I would have thought on this occasion it would have been just as easy to have left the child with the staffer. When you put people into dramatic situations don’t be surprised when they cry.”

All up, much ado about nothing and working mums, don’t expect to have your kiddy cake and eat it to, especially when it comes to dealing in serious, not flippant business decisions.

I just had a chat to Nine’s Ali Langdon for the Nine News tonight about it all. Ali tells me Natasha Stott-Despoja has her take on it,as well as a whole swag of full time mums in Sydney’s west, in Parramatta, who have their say on the suject.

So, what are you thoughts? You know mine.