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Letter: Mothering mocked

YOUR article "Power lunches with my two-year-old" (City +, 8 April) reminded me of the contract babies I saw in Philadelphia in 1995.

Six-week-old infants were brought into a superbly equipped creche in the basement of an office block. They were also brought in to the creche at weekends and when they were sick, so that their working mothers could have time off. The nurse became their mother, and the creche home. These children suffered severe emotional distress at the age of three when they had to leave.

When I questioned why such women wanted children at all, I was told that many of them didn't want a baby, it was the men who wanted to be fathers and promised to finance the excellent childcare from six weeks if the women would agree to give birth. This makes a mockery of mothering. Power lunches make a mockery of fathering.

From August this year, Norway plans to pay mothers to stay at home with their 0-2 year olds on condition that they do not use a public daycare centre. It is time the UK followed this example and set a true value, financial and social, on the time a mother spends caring for her young children at home.


Chairman, WATCh?