Would the real real woman please stand up?

Cristina Odone would like you to know that “real women” don’t want to work full-time. “Real women” find primary fulfilment as mothers. But she’s “not having a pop at working mothers”. She’s just saying they’re not real women.

Now, there’s something to (the reports of) her conclusions: yes, parents should have more freedom to choose to work outside the home or not; we should value parenting; economic contributions are not the only kind of contributions. But the big fat mother-blaming fail comes in the fact that this is all about mothers, nary a mention of the possibility that men could be fulfilled as at-home parents, and her choice of the term “real women”. Fuck you, Cristina Odone, you anti-feminist, anti-secularist, ranting pillock.

Mothers who work have unhealthy, unfit children

Clicky clicky!

Back to this old argument again. A new study has discovered that children who have working mothers *shock horror* consume sweetened drinks between meals and even worse use their computers or watched television for at least two hours a day compared to the children of “stay at home” mothers who spend less than two hours on these activities. Wow! Who’d have thunk it, HOLD THE FRONT PAGES IT’S BREAKING NEWS. Kids like fizzy juice and tv.

This story has of course been picked up by the mainstream media and various talking heads have lamented the loss of the good old days when Dad would be the breadwinner and Mum wore an apron and had dinner ready for 5pm. How is this news?! And more to the point, when this country’s abysmal financial state has us with a budget deficit of 12% of GDP in the current financial year what more is expected of us because as we all know, as far as this Government are concerned we should all be working outside the home and spending money to fill the massive hole we’ve been dug into thanks to the credit crunch.

Of course another facet to this argument is that the report also asked about exercise versus sedentary activities. Could it be that years of media coverage of PEEDOS EVERYWHERE may well have resulted in parents being afraid to let their children have the freedom to play outside of the home without constant monitoring? No, of course not. It’s the Mothers’ fault for going to work. Bad Mothers.

You couldn’t make this shit up.

It’s only equality if the government can’t exploit it

When I was linked to this story on the Daily Fail yesterday, I assumed that it had been exaggerated because after all it was in the Daily Fail. Right..? Sadly not, as the same story was also published by the BBC:

…the case of two police officers told they had broken the law by caring for each other’s children.

Ofsted said the arrangement contravened the Childcare Act because it lasted for longer than two hours a day, and constituted receiving “a reward”.

It said the women would have to be registered as childminders.

Now let’s just clarify this here. Two women working in LAW ENFORCEMENT – where I’m fairly sure you have to be CRB-checked and be generally sensible people – have been told that babysitting for one another in their own homes so that they can go to work without being crippled by childcare costs is a REWARD and therefore contravenes the Childcare act.

Let’s just run that one again. A mutual agreement – which sees two young children cared for by someone who they are close to, who is both a parent of a similarly-aged child AND who is CRB-checked & trained to respond to emergency situations – is a reward and they have now been told to cease this arrangement unless they register as childminders and succumb to inspection by Ofsted.

I… I don’t even know where to start on this one so we’ll go for ye olde favourite, responsibility.

What has encouraged me over the last 24 hours has been the anger displayed by other mothers, fathers and grandparents responding to this. I have personally been long concerned that this Government does not trust parents to make decisions for their own children, that laws are enacted with scant consideration to those it covers. Ludicrous rules enforced in the name of “Health & Safety” have left our children incapable of assessing risk for themselves or – for the most part – able to play naturally without inhibition or worry about breaking the rules. But – and it is a big but – what gives Ofsted the right to intervene in a situation that is common practice the length and breadth of the nation? Ironically, it turns out that if Mother A had taken Child A to Mother B’s house to care for the children there (and vice versa) it would have been a non sequitur because the role of the carer changes from childminder to childcarer

Of course, if those women had accepted their subservient roles and stayed at home with their children instead of working then there would be no issue. I mean, how very dare they desire to leave their children to go out to the workplace? The government provides tax credits to contribute towards the costs of childcare, isn’t that good enough for these Mothers? So I throw it open to you – do you think this action is fair and equitable? Or absolutely ridiculous?

I think I’ve made my feelings quite clear on the matter but just in case – Mr Brown, stop blaming the Mothers.

For a start…

Welcome to I Blame the Mother, a blog project aiming to document the many things mothers can’t get right. News stories, research and plain old vitriol will be posted for your delectation and take-down.

And here’s a start:

Girls get less pocket money than boys and, according to psychologist Cary Cooper, it’s because mothers are in charge of pocket money, and mothers prefer boys.

(UK research, article in the Scotsman)