The musings of a juggling mother

Rants & raves about life as a woman today, juggling work, home, kids, family, life the universe & everything.

© Mrs Aginoth. The right of Mrs Aginoth to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents act 1988

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The richest country in the world

has just released details that it is ranked 42nd in the "development index"

you can read some factoids here, or the full report here but below are some interesting snippets about the civlisation that the whole world is apparently stiving to emulate!

The U.S. ranks #24 among the 30 most affluent countries in life expectancy - yet spends more on health care than any other nation.

The U.S. infant mortality rate is on par with that of Croatia, Cuba, Estonia, and Poland;

By age three, the children of affluent mothers have vocabularies twice as large as those of the children of low-income mothers.

Twelve percent of Americans lack the literacy skills to fill in a job application or payroll form, read a map or bus schedule, or understand labels on food and drugs.

More than one in five Americans - 22 percent of the population - have “below basic” quantitative skills, making it impossible to balance a checkbook, calculate a tip, or figure out from an advertisement the amount of interest on a loan

The top 1 percent of U.S. households possesses a full third of America’s wealth.

Households in the top 10 percent of the income distribution hold more than 71 percent of the country’s wealth, while those in the lowest 60 percent possess just 4 percent.

In 1980, the average executive earned forty-two times as much as the average factory worker; today, executives earn some four hundred times what factory workers in their industries earn.

The real value of the minimum wage has decreased by 40 percent in the past forty years.

In every racial/ethnic group, men earn more than their female counterparts.

In 2004, median net worth was $140,800 for whites, and $24,900 for nonwhites.

In 98 countries, new mothers have 14 or more weeks of paid maternity leave. The U.S. has no federally mandated paid maternity leave.


Premature death by homicide is more than five times higher in the U.S. than the OECD average; 68 percent of U.S. homicides in 2006 were committed with a firearm.

In absolute numbers and as a percentage of the population, the U.S. has more prisoners than any other country, including China and Russia.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Silver lining

Every cloud has one, and I am pretty good at finding it in even the worst thunderclouds.

Mstr A's suspension was a pretty ugly cloud, but it did make me decide to be a bit proactive and get some help. First off, the return to school interview was very good, with a bit more explanation about what actually happened from the school, and no difficulties agreeing the best ways forwards. Now we have that "violent behaviour" tick box ticked, we may even be able to get him properly statemented and apply for some funding for the school to get hi more one-to-one time.

I also spent friday afternoon looking into what help might be available to us. If was a fiarly unfruitful search in that there was a lot of "you may be entitled to..." and "some people can get...", but it did culminate in me contacting social services to see what they could offer.

Sadly, they haven't answered. I mean, it's only been a week since I emailed saying that I didn't now where to turn with a violent son & disabled husband, no money and two younger children to care for...... I've been told that the only way to get an answer is to personally turn up, with kids in tow, and annoy them until they do something about it! I may have to get round to that some time, but I don't feel like it right now tbh!

However, having decided that if we're going to get social services involved in any way, we might as well get them involved in every way, I also contacted the disabilities team about getting a carer's assessment for me. They seemed a bit confused as to whether I cared for an adult or a child, as different teams do the assessments, but today I spoke to a ver sensible woman who agreed I cared for both and therefore either needed a joint assessment or two separate assessments - depending on what the teams liked best. So I am waitng to hear back from them.

I also discovered that I don't have to wait for social services to refer me on to other things, and self referred myself to the local Children's Centre and applied for a family support worker. I don't know what they can offer, but some suport would be welcome:) I think I only qualify for that because of the younger kids, but it may well help Aggie out during the summer holidays.

Finally, although work was not overly impressed by the whole situation, they also did let me have the time, and let me take leave at short notice to attend the meeting at the school. Although I did mention that I was a carer before this, it has made it very official - which will make it easier when I ask for some carers leave later in the year to attend the National Autistic Society's course on managing ASD's. I'm hoping they might let me swap my days for the ten weeks, as carers leave is unpaid, and I need the money. But we'll see.

So now it's just a matter of waiting for everyone to get back to me and see what help they might be able to offer. And see where they suggest we go next....

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Hitting home

Mstr A was suspended from school yesterday. He's not allowed on the school premises until Tuesday morning, which means he is missing the end of term party for his after school club (which he absolutley adores and was really looking forward to), and the school fete today.

Yesterday was not a happy day:(

I don't think he's grasped the severity of suspension, despite the fact that I have tried in every way I can think of to explain it, and terrify him into believing that school is his best option by far....

I was at work. I KNOW that nothing would have been different if I'd been at home. But I was at work. He's 7 years old, suspended from school, and I wasn't even there to talk to the teachers.

I spent the afternoon adding up the sums every way possible. If I leave work we would have to sell the house. Renting a property would be more expensive than paying the mortgage, but welfare benefits only cover rent, so that would be the only way to have a roof over our heads. So I'm staying at work. I'm quite concerned about the summer holidays, but.....

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It makes you think

There was a biker down on the way to work today. It must have happened about 5 minutes before I got there as the ambulance & police were both on the scene already.

I was about 5 minutes late leaving for work today.

Most bike accidents are not the bikers fault.

He was OK, in that he was sitting up and responding to the parmedics, but his bike was write off, and I doubt he'll be working today, or for a few days yet. I've seen him ride - you get to know each other when doing the same journey each day - he rode sensibly, and didn't take risks. Rather like me really......