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Mummy Wars…. Time for a Truce

Mummy Wars…. Time for a Truce

This week the government thought it was doing a fab thing by helping working mothers with child care costs. I know the UK has the highest child care costs in Europe, and I also know many mothers end up working to pay for the cost of childcare… there is an obvious problem here.

However, this greatly annoyed stay-at-home mothers, who also wanted government recognition for the work they do, by way of some sort of hand out. Their annoyance turned to outright rage when a government spokesman implied that stay at home mothers are not aspirational, and that they don’t “work hard and get on”.

Now I do think Mr Cameron ought to consider some research about the detrimental effects of full time nursery care on the development of very young children, and the fact (to the annoyance of feminists) research points to the fact being cared for by a primary care giver is better for a child up to the age of three than full time day care… not everything can be measured as GDP.

However, this whole mess is more evidence of the tasty, catty attitudes surrounding motherhood. The mere thought that you are not doing the best for your child send women into hysterics. From the point of conception parenthood is like a competition, and you feel every decision you make regarding your child is being judged. For example, mention breastfeeding to a mixed group of mothers with babies… watch the feathers fly!

Why can we not accept people raise their kids differently, and for different reasons. Some working mothers beleive they are doing their children a service by working- they teach their child (particularly their daughters) that they are capable independent women, and in doing give them a role model. I can understand that, but I don’t fully agree. And that is fine.

As mothers we are all totally devoted to our children, and it causes deep pain to think other people think we are failing them. Many of the issues which cause much of the fighting and offence in women are those issues which create in us personal guilt and doubt: like breastfeeding, working- or not, child care, educational choices, the list goes on and on. Is it not time mothers realised we are all trying our best, and support each other in these decisions… parenthood is hard enough has it is.

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