Letter: Mother and child
Tuesday 16 March 1999
As a mother who works sporadically, to fit in with my children's needs, I have felt for some time that this Government regards me as a skiver. What really hurts is the assumption that I am of no worth to society unless I am picking up a pay packet.
Being a penurious writer doesn't entitle me to any tax breaks, but thank God for a hard-working partner, and Oxfam's second-hand children's clothes. But women like me who can afford (just) to do what we feel is right for our children should support those unfortunate mothers who are dependent on state benefit. It's hard to avoid thinking that they are being coerced into work, and their children forced into childcare of sometimes dubious quality. Children have a deep and often passionate bond with their mothers, and it is a highly individual thing as to when and how that bond lessens. I foresee some tragedies if the pace is forced.
Have any of New Labour's top women brought up their own children, without the aid of a nanny? Maybe if they had, they would appreciate how important it is to allow mothers a genuinely free choice as to when to return to work. And maybe it would also quash the convenient fiction that mothering is a hobby to be indulged in after work hours, rather than a proper job.
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he'd killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Obama: The only people with the right to object to immigration are Native Americans
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Ed Miliband's 'north London set' must be demolished to save Labour, say critics