April 2007: Blame the mother

One of my freelance jobs is to find news stories for a parenting website. I’ve been doing it for just over a month and do you know what I’ve learned? Mothers are to blame. For everything.

During pregnancy, depression causes premature birth and obesity leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, emergency caesareans, wound infections and blood clots. And you mustn’t drink because “even very small amounts of alcohol could result in foetal alcohol syndrome, which may cause low birth weight, short stature, flattened features, heart and kidney abnormalities, deafness and brain damage leading to poor hand-to-eye co-ordination and behavioural difficulties”. Oh and if you eat beef you’re risking damaging the future fertility of your unborn son (but only if you’re American).

But it doesn’t end with pregnancy, no. “From 2009, expectant mothers will be able to choose whether they go to hospital, a midwife-led unit or stay at home to have their children delivered.” To have their children delivered?  We’re talking about babies, not parcels. And I hate to break this to anyone, but babies do their level best to deliver themselves. You could be unconscious and the little critter would still come out. Plus I was under the impression it was already my choice where and how my own child exited my own body. No?

In fact, even before you have kids, you’re wrong. The age of first-time mums has been rising steadily since the 1970s and is now over 30 for the first time ever, “which may be due to increasing numbers of women putting off having a family until they have established relationships and settled careers.” The selfish bitches.

Although it annoys the hell out of me, I’ve kind of got used to it. But a line in the story I read today really put me over the edge:

TODDLERS who are left in nurseries for seven hours a day are more “antisocial, worried and upset” than others, government research has found.

The disturbing study, which is likely to concern Britain’s 4.9 million working mothers, was condemned yesterday as unhelpful by equality campaigners.

Yes, because Britain’s 4.6 million working fathers couldn’t possibly give a shit, could they?

And they say the battle for equality was won in the seventies. (Some interesting info here from the Equal Opportunities Commission.)

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7 thoughts on “April 2007: Blame the mother

  1. I agree. I think things have got worse since 07. I became a mother and a step mother in that year and I wondered if it was simply that I was becoming more aware of this stuff because of that (worries about daughter and step daughter’s future, etc) but I do think that woman-blaming and woman-hating *is* getting worse. People don’t even bother to be subtle about it these days.

    1. The only upside is maybe it’s getting worse because women are protesting and resisting and revolting, so ‘patriarchy’ pushes back harder.

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