Mums spending time with their children? Whatever next!

 Just when you think Cherie Blair couldn’t become anymore annoying she opens her mouth and comes out with more ridiculous statements that do nothing to

 Just when you think Cherie Blair couldn’t become anymore annoying she opens her mouth and comes out with more ridiculous statements that do nothing to assist the women in our society. Her latest proclaim made during a speech at Fortune Magazine’s ‘Most Powerful Woman Event’ is that so called ‘Yummy Mummies’ are happy to put their children first before a satisfying and rewarding career what with them being married to rich men.

Apologies for the delay but I am busy tearing my hair out here trying to understand how any mother can possibly think that a career is more important than nurturing and teaching a child of theirs how to live independently, securely and respectfully within our society. I have no truck with women who decide not to have children. I have no truck with parents who decide that the male partner should stay at home whilst the woman goes out to work…but where did it ever say in the parenting manual ‘It is best once you have had your child to concentrate on your career and forget about the really important job of bringing up this child – hey they don’t really need you – you’ve given it nine months of security, carrying it around inside, blimey farm it out as quickly as possible… that’ll teach it independence!’

I’m sorry Cherie you are wrong. Having children is a choice – for those of us lucky enough to be able to. I do believe however with your youngest one that it was more the fact that you were, (whilst staying with the Queen at Balmoral), too embarrassed to have the servants unpack your ‘contraceptive equipment’ so you didn’t bring any. Hmm, that’s responsible. This is how you so lovingly referred to it in your book, which I might point out, if you hadn’t been married to a PM at the time, I’m not sure anybody would have been interested in reading it. Sorry, what was that bit you said about being with rich and powerful men?

So, once this choice is made the responsible thing to do would be to put the child first and bother spending some time with it, wouldn’t you think? Cherie says, ‘I also want to be the best possible mother, but I know that my job as a mother includes bringing my children up so actually they can live without me.’ Yes, thank you for stating the bleeding obvious. Surely every parent wants that. However has it not occurred to you that being with your child at home actually gives the child a secure platform from which to venture out into the big wide world?  Having a parent at home teaches children how to be independent and respect others. They aren’t fighting for attention at the childminders wondering why a parent isn’t there to re assure them. And don’t take my word for it. According to Brian Rushfeldt, Executive Director of the Canada Family Action Coalition, researched evidence has shown, ‘that when a parent stays at home with a child there’s much more likelihood the child will be better adjusted and also less likely, as evidence shows, of getting into crime or drugs. …Parents do a better job of raising their children than somebody else can.’ This is surely common sense?

I also appreciate that some mothers have no option but to work, through circumstances beyond their control. Cherie is happily condemning those who have a lifestyle which enables them to be at home and not have to worry about finances. Although I was able to stay at home when my children were small, we cut our cloth accordingly and made do. I certainly wasn’t sitting in coffee shops chit chatting about something and nothing. I did my best to socialise my children and be there for them so that they felt valued and loved. Bringing up children is bloody hard work Cherie, and a career in itself! It’s called Bringing up the Next Generation and I’ve been known to put that on my CV and be proud of it. We don’t get paid for it, we just do it because sometimes life means having to put other people first – especially when we’ve chosen to have these other people. But just because I didn’t have a career didn’t mean that I was at their beck and call 24/7. They learnt that parents need their own time; I’d hate to have suggested to them that the world revolves around them. It isn’t anything to do with marrying a rich man and retiring!

The sooner society, and those with apparent influence, stop being so intent on making the job of full-time mother sound fifth-rate, the sooner we can get it back on an even keel. Teaching children independence isn’t done as professional mother breezes in to kiss said child goodnight on her way to put her feet up with a G&T and sort out her papers for the court case the next day. And while I’m on the subject, buying them a flat as they venture out to university isn’t doing much for their independence either Cherie. For those who don’t remember those crocodile tears shed in December 2005 it makes for quite an interesting story.

Just because she didn’t feel satisfied as a full time mother doesn’t mean that no one else will either. Sometimes it can be unsatisfying. It’s not all first smiles and steps. There are nappies and sick days, sleepless nights, organising PE kits, lunch boxes, cooking ingredients you’ve only just been told they need about two minutes before you leave to take the children to school – but that is the responsible path you take if you chose to bring a child into this world. They need looking after and pointing in the right direction. They also need to know from an early age that they are important in your life. …So that you can wave them off at 18 with one hand and change the locks with the other. (It’s called mult-tasking, Cherie and one of the things stay-at-home-mums become very adept at.) May I suggest next time you want some publicity you find something else to harp on about, something which you might have had experience of?