Are you a good mother?

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Indy Lifestyle Online
DEBORAH MOGGACH, novelist, mother of Tom, 19 and Lottie, 17: I'll ask my daughter, she's in the bath . . . she just shrieked with laughter. I'm weak because I let them do what they want. But the world's so tough, I think they should have fun while they're still with me. I'm a very jolly mother.

PENNY VINCENZI, writer, mother of Polly, 32, Sophie, 29, Emily, 19 and Claudia, 16: I think it's quite brave to say you're a good mother. You very quickly know that you're getting it wrong at least half the time. I think and hope I'm an all right mother. I love them all to pieces and I hope that makes up for all my mistakes.

POLA MANZILA UDDIN, deputy leader of Tower Hamlets Borough Council, mother of Shamim, 16, Sabid, 15, Shareef, nine, and Tasneem, two: My children to me are the air I breathe. They might not have had the attention most mothers give their kids - I come home from work, put food on the table and rush off to a council meeting - but they are going to have a breadth of knowledge about the world.

SUE KING, national councillor for Gingerbread, mother of Kristina, 15: Being a single parent is one thing you never get taught, but I've done my best. When I apply for jobs I put my profession down as "mother". It's a full-time job if ever there was one.

VICTORIA NAINAMARIKAR, mother of Olivia, six, and Josh, two: I'd rate myself as an excellent mum. I want to adopt all the children in the world. If I see a kid in the park with no jumper on I want to go up and make sure it's warm enough.

MAITLAND SIMPSON, mother of Andrew, one: I didn't think I'd make it through the first six weeks - I had no idea what to do, I hadn't even held a baby until Andrew. But he's still here and still in one piece.

VIV PIPER, mother of Sarah, 39, and James, 36: It's anybody's guess. In the Sixties, boundaries became more fluid - the permissive society had arrived and we had no idea how to handle it. They were both smacked and cuddled - I'm sure it did more good than harm. It would be helpful if one could practice first.

JOANNA GRANT, mother of Susanna, 12, and Michael, nine: My mother had five children. I don't think I'd cope with that. But I keep shovelling in the Weetabix and baked beans and doling out the odd clip round the ear, and mine seem quite happy and healthy.

HELEN COOPER, mother of Angela, 18, and Richenda, 16: My parents were incredibly laid-back, let me do whatever I wanted, and I was perfectly miserable. So I began by being terribly strict; I hope we've reached a happy medium now.

JENNY, mother of Sam, 10, and Jemima, eight: Why don't you ask my kids? They're the ones with the score cards.