Letter: A good example of working mothers

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The Independent Online
Sir: After reading Maggie Brown's article ('Pity the Queen, she's a working mum too', 21 October), I once again became horrified by the amount of guilt this English society piles on mothers working outside home. Mothers always work - sometimes at home, sometimes outside.

In Scandinavia, mothers working outside home are the rule. Nearly everybody's mother returns to work after one year of parental leave - or three months' maternal leave, as either of the parents can take care of the child after the first three months. After the leave, children are taken care of in daycare, either in communal childcare, or in smaller family groups, also arranged by the city or the district.

Nobody would blame any problems the child may have in their life on the fact that their mother worked outside home. It does seem, too, that Scandanavian children have fewer problems than their British counterparts - for example, teenage pregnancy is rarer in Scandinavia.

I had a working mother. Actually, I had two, as I was raised by my grandparents after the age of six. They both worked outside home and shared the housework equally. They kept on working until I was well into my twenties and, while I never even thought about the possibility of having my grandmother always at home, I, and my friends, were quite happy to have an independent, strong woman showing by her example there are many options in a woman's life.

I have yet to see the magazine caption: 'Do working fathers neglect their families?'

Yours, ANETTA PIRINEN Cambridge 21 October