This mum can’t vouch for the Premier’s $250 voucher

Dear Premier, I just received news of your lovely gift of a $250 voucher in appreciation of my home-schooling my
13-year-old daughter. This is excellent news! I used online shopping as a coping strategy during lockdown, and this will help to offset the cost of my new tracksuit pants, my wearable blanket and my copious amounts of gin.

Having said that, Premier – and I don’t mean to look a $250 gift horse in the mouth – this does feel a
little … random?

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Treasurer Matt Kean announcing the $250 voucher on Thursday.

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet and Treasurer Matt Kean announcing the $250 voucher on Thursday.Credit:Nick Moir

For one thing, I haven’t actually home-schooled my daughter. Her teachers did that, and I applaud them for their efforts. All I did was wake my kid up every morning, and then wave to her every time she wandered out of her room when she should have been doing something educational on Zoom. (She did ask me to help with her maths homework once, but I decided our relationship was more important than her ability to understand linear graphs, and also, Premier, I don’t understand linear graphs.)

But my kid is in high school. Frankly, Premier, it’s the parents of the really young school kids who have suffered the most. You can’t leave a five or six or even 10-year-old to work independently in front of a computer all day. I know mums (and they do, usually, seem to be mums) who have barely been able to work for the entire period of lockdown. These women deserve far more than a $250 voucher – a few thousand dollars plus a crate of wine might help – but they’ll never get back the time they’ve lost.

Speaking of young kids, Premier, why is there no gift for the parents of kids too young for school? I still remember the intense claustrophobia of being home with two kids under three. If I hadn’t been able to take my toddlers out to my mothers’ group or the play park or to my own mum’s house, I don’t know how I would have survived. These parents not only deserve the $250 voucher; they deserve an Order of Australia and a wearable blanket.

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And what about the parents of university students who have been stuck at home for two years? Not only has it been distressing to watch my two young adult kids miss out on their formative life experiences, I’ve had to spend $250 on food every few days! If you’d like to compensate me for that, Premier, you have my bank account deets.

So thank you for the gift, but perhaps spread it around? Yours in a wearable blanket, Kerri.


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