Do you sometimes read a sentence in a newspaper article that hits you between the eyes at the casual lack of understanding it shows of the need of a young baby for its mother?
I was particularly struck by an observation from one celebrity who made the following comment in a newspaper interview recently, “I’ve had so many terrible childcare experiences – I have tried everything: family, babysitters, unreliable nannies…” and this was referring to the care of a small baby, who needs more than anything else the reliable loving closeness, and consistency, of its mother, or father, for its wellbeing, its good emotional development and its optimal brain growth.
This celebrity was wealthy enough to have the luxury of choice. She could choose to either look after her own baby, or afford the very best of help, although she wasn’t having much luck with that it appears! On the other side of the wealth coin, was a headline recently that read, “When did bringing up baby become a rich woman’s luxury?” This article illustrated how difficult it is for many mothers who desperately wish to care for their own child to actually do so, because they simply cannot afford to – only the wealthy have the privilege of choice here, which flies in the face of those who claim that all can choose whether they care for their own child or not today. No they can’t.
This lack of choice is turning into a huge tragedy that is being played out all over the country, with women literally weeping at the thought of having to part with their babies for the better part of a working week, something that I would dare to call unnatural even, where a mother is forced into the position of having to part unwillingly with her baby – I know about the weeping, because when I ran a mother and baby group I remember attempting to comfort a good many mothers in this situation who did indeed weep. It was heart-breaking for me, in comparatively more so for the mother, but mostly for the baby, who was to be deprived of its main source of loving care and comfort, and that special maternal nurture that almost all animal babies require, and are human animal babies any different? I don’t believe so – it is nature’s design for their survival.
How as a society have we allowed this to happen, that we do not race to support the mothering instinct as the very highest of society’s priorities, but just ask ‘when are you going back to work?’ Why do we now unblinkingly not only accept, but actually applaud, the New Zealand Prime Minister’s comment (a final newspaper quote that struck me): “Motherhood should not hinder women in the workplace”? If work is unhindered by having a baby, who is paying the price?