As a 35-year-old mother of two children aged seven and five, I feel strongly that motherhood is increasingly regarded as a second-rate occupation. More and more women seem to be returning to work less than a year after having a baby, happy to pass over the care of their child to someone else.
Do they not realise how much they are forfeiting by not accepting the responsibility of caring for their children themselves? What about first steps, first words, first wee on the potty - all these things are milestones in a child's development and only happen once.
I worked for 10 years as a European marketing executive before having my first child. When I became pregnant, however, all my thoughts were for my child, and I looked on motherhood as a career move. I would not have dreamt of letting someone else rear my child for me.
Yes, money was a problem and for the past seven years it has been a struggle on only my husband's wage, but we have compromised our lives and have got by. Now my youngest child has started school, I have started a new job in our local school - which fits in superbly with my children's timetable - and I find myself wondering where the last seven years have gone.
So to all those women who are pregnant now, I should like to say, relish those early years with your children. They will soon pass.
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