LETTER: The costly burden of motherhood has its benefits, too

From Ms W. Kitchen

Sir: As a childless, professional 35-year-old woman, I read with interest the articles on motherhood (11 April). However, I felt the overwhelming impression was that women were choosing not to have children in order ambitiously to pursue their careers.

I feel a more likely explanation lies in the general decline in the economy and in particular in the welfare state. State education is being systematically destroyed and likewise the health service. As a result, the cost of having children now includes private education, private health insurance and the possibility of fully supporting your children well into their twenties if they are not lucky or bright enough to get a job.

Given the increased job insecurity in all sectors, the risk is that you may not be able to afford to fill the gaps in the welfare state. What is surprising to me is that four out of five women have the optimism to embark down the road of motherhood.

Yours faithfully,



11 April