If You Ask Me...Stay-at-home mums and working mums: lay off!

The Government plans to offer working mothers up to £1,200 per year towards child care. And did the stay-at-homes take this quietly? They did not

Share

If you ask me, just when you were beginning to think it’s safe out there, along comes the Government to set working mothers and stay-at-home mothers at each others’ throats yet again. In fact, a pair were scrapping on our street just now, and would probably still be there, if I hadn’t stuck my head out and threatened them with a bucket of water. I admit it’s not often you witness such brawling in broad daylight as it generally takes place in more clandestine arenas, like deserted, underground car-parks in the middle of the night, where bets may even be laid.

However, you can tell how seriously the mothers on each side take such fights, and the winning of them, by the training they put in. Every time you see a mother attacking a tree, hanging from a branch, or biting at the bark? She’s strengthening her jaws in preparation for tearing out a throat and shouting: “Me, me, me! I’m doing the best for my children and society! I’m the one doing the right thing here! I’m the one who should be getting the pats on the back!”

You know, the council planted a row of saplings down our road and by the following morning? Gnawed to stumps. I understood the problem at once: it’s the working mums and stay-at-home mums gearing up for a major fight. Again.

So, what’s set the cat among the pigeons this time? It’s the Government’s plan to offer working mothers up to £1,200 per year towards childcare. And did the stay-at-homes take this quietly? They did not. It’s an insult, they are saying. Aren’t we important ? Don’t we deserve state support?

Maybe yes, maybe no. Don’t know, don’t care. Does one person’s gain always have to be another’s loss? Or, as I shouted out the window: “Sisters, sisters, can’t we just cut each other some slack every now and then?” And: “Why can’t motherhood be a safe house in which civility and mutual respect rule at all times, whatever our choices, to the extent they even are choices.” And, “Stop exploiting each other’s flashpoints for envy and guilt and resentment, or see this bucket of water...?”

But mostly I’m so very sad about the saplings – they were cherry and would have blossomed for the first time this Spring, I think – and the amount of collateral damage caused by these fights generally. Plus, what kind of dim-wit judges any mother by whether she has a job or not anyway? Is she cool? Do I like her? What else do you ever need to know?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Syrian refugee 'Nora' with her two month-old daughter. She was one of the first Syrians to come to the UK when the Government agreed to resettle 100 people from the country  

Open letter to David Cameron on Syrian refugees: 'Several hundred people' isn't good enough

Independent Voices
Amjad Bashir said Ukip had become a 'party of ruthless self-interest'  

Could Ukip turncoat Amjad Bashir be the Churchill of his day?

Matthew Norman
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine