Though many of us expect nothing less than grossly stereotypical, sweeping generalisations from the writers at The Daily Mail tabloid paper, Liz Jones has pushed the boat out by having a real go at mothers and children for being environmentally and socially unfriendly.
Based upon a few negative images she has of parenting, every mother is now somehow in the wrong.
Granted, I am sure there are some disturbed or misguided people who see children as some kind of “status symbol”. They’re sick, but they’re not the majority (at least, I hope not).
She has a rather old-fashioned view of working mothers:
No one is allowed to complain when they are left to pick up the slack as every mum in the office hares out of the door at six on the dot, millions of plastic carrier bags in tow, hell-bent on creating a nappy mountain.
Heaven forbid that she ever meet a conscientious mother who successfully juggles the demands of both work and family life, as well as doing her bit for the environment.
She also has a go at fathers, based on some laughable examples:
don’t try to tell me that men these days are more involved. You only have to read Alastair Campbell’s diaries to realise that children are mere dots on the horizon.
Right… because Campbell is just like every other father on the planet, isn’t he?
She also riles against “Government subsidies”:
Why on Earth does the Government subsidise motherhood as if it were dormant farmland, with lump sums of Ã‚Â£250 at birth, free IVF, the right to an expensive home birth and help with child care, when in reality it is fuelling a society in which we all think we deserve everything, from a new car to an exotic holiday to an iPhone or a baby of the right sex, no matter the (environmental) cost?
OK – so having a baby is like wanting an iPhone?
Apparently, parenting is simply “rampant consumerism” – nothing more, nothing less.
The idea that only parents make up the hard-working backbone of Britain, that the singletons of this world are frivolous and selfish, is nonsense.
Exactly – so why say it?
And based upon one friend who, bizarrely, said she wanted a baby because her life lacked meaning and it was “something to do”, every mother must be doing it for the same reasons. We can’t even guarantee that Jones’ friend actually said that, or that her words weren’t taken out of context to fit the column.
Then, sadly, we seem to come to the real nub of the problem:
I left motherhood too late not because I was trying to shatter the glass ceiling, but because I never met the right man.
I have ended up child-free not by design but by misfortune, so shouldn’t I at least get the £120 towards cat food?
I feel for anyone who wants children and, for whatever reason, can’t have them, but that’s no reason to write off parenthood as a selfish, consumerist activity.