Friday, 20 June 2008


I was reading my local newspaper on Tuesday when this letter leaped out at me under the title "No better role for a woman". It read as follows:

In years past, mothers in Norwich could walk with their children in car-free streets, or visit one of Norwich’s safe, well-kept beautiful parks. Mothers then were family minded, and didn’t feel compelled to go out to work. They had plenty to do in the home and most, I believe, were content. In today’s culture, not enough time is given by parents to caring for their young children. And this can hinder their development – worse still, see them become delinquents. Nothing reaches a child’s heart like a mother’s love. Some say there is no higher role for a woman than this, simply being a good mum and a wife. Our children are God’s gift to us, deserving of the highest good. Good things happen in a family united in love.
Well, do you know, being held responsible for all societies ills rather pissed me off so I composed a response which read:
"I write to take exception in the strongest possible terms to the criticism of working mothers. I am a working mother of five children, aged from 3 to 17. My children are cherished and the most important priority in my life.

I work, quite simply, to feed them, clothe them, provide them with a home and heat that home.

Virtually every available minute I am not at work I spend with my children, enjoying activities as a family.

His comment that by working I am impeding their development is as inflammatory as it is incorrect. I think he will find that the delinquents our society seems to be producing come from dysfunctional families with absent parents and those who choose to live on state benefits.

Perhaps he would like to come down from the isolated ivory tower he seems to be living in and have a taste of life in the real world where the rest of us are facing rising prices, increased mortgage interest rates and an increasingly uncertain economic future.
I felt alot better getting that off my chest. It was published yesterday though without the final paragraph (most have been too inflammatory) What do you guys think?


Suzysoo said...

Please, please dont judge people for being on benefits. I am a single parent on benefits (but that wont always be so) and I have taught my 5 kids morals, good manners, respect for their elders, others, and their property, the difference between right and wrong, the value of money (such as it is!), to apply themselves and always do their best, none of them have turned into delinquents yet. I really admire the fact that you work so hard. I am not proud of my source of income. I'm not lazy. I am endeavouring to change things for us. We are not all dysfunctional. Sorry-*steps down from soap box* rant over :-)

Manic Mother Of Five said...

Suzysoo, there are always exceptions that prove rules and I am quite prepared to accept that you may be one of those.

However, I am afraid that the statistics are irrefutable in that those "deliquents" this man is going on about generally come from families that are dysfunctional in some way.

I have to be honest and say that in a two parent family (and I don't care what the dynamics are; a man and a woman, two men or two women) NOT working is NOT an option.

Good luck with the studies

belle said...

Good on you for writing back. I'm amazed the paper were prepared to print such an inflammatory letter in the first place.

But also have to say that dysfunction comes in many forms. My family has a stay at home mum, two parents and a strong moral code. And we are by far the most dysfunctional family I know.

Working mum said...

Thank you for sticking up for us working mums. Even in the 21st century I sometimes feel like the 'baddie' for going out to work and this man in perpetuating this out of date attitude.

I also think that our defence doesn't have to be that we have to work (this still implies that we would stay at home if we could), it should be alright in this society for a woman to choose to work if she wants to (I sometimes have trouble explaining to people that I want to work even though I have child).

I,like Suzysoo, think that what happens to our children is down to the values we teach them. Parenting is not about where or why we get our incomes.

I just hope I'm getting it right!

Expatmum said...

Half the time I think people write that crap to get themselves noticed. It comes up so often I can't believe it's still an issue but good for you in replying like you did.
Apart from the fact that most people work because they have to, I always believe the adage "Happy mother, happy baby". Some people are just bored stiff at home, even though it's hard work. If you have the luxury of choosing, you do what makes you the best person you can be and bugger everyone else!

Suzy said...

I think YOU teach your children that working hard is a quality you can certainly pass down to them, along with your incredible love and happiness you bring to your children. Seems to me, it's just another valuable lesson they will learn- that they have a mother who works hard and loves them and raises them to become responsible.

I know many parents, of which the mother has stayed home and have raised their fair share of delinquents to society.

His comments come from ignorance and intolerance.

Maybe he also thinks women shouldn't vote.

What indeed has hindered his development?

I, for one, think you should rename your blog to
AMMOF- Amazing Manic Mother of Five.

Love you


Swearing Mother said...

You did good MMOF, all Mums working or not have a challenging time raising kids in today's society.

All we can do is teach them core values and how to be decent people, support them through their growing years and then let them get on with it. Keeping our fingers crossed of course.

CrazyCath said...

Hello again - I'm trying to catch up on all those people that have encouraged me and I have not got to recently, you being one of them. I really can't keep up with all these blogs you know!

I think that the man who wrote this was talking about families being united in love as important, which your family is, but unfortunately got sidetracked and seemed to conclude that a working mother could not also love and care for her children. I think you have the right to reply and I applaud your reply. Too many times us working mums are made to feel guilty for life's ills.

But whilst the stats may show those with delinquents as being on benefits, that to me is because they are dysfunctional in the first place.

Dysfunctional people do not keep stable jobs or income. It isn't true the other way around, that is, to say that those on benefits are mostly dysfunctional with delinquent children. It's just the unfortunate fact that those with delinquent children and dysfunctional families are usually on benefit.

Just my twopenn'oth. Great post. Plenty "discussion" material.