Thursday, 24 September 2009

Some mothers...

An excerpt from a newspaper article:

"...I'd agreed to do a (radio) interview from home. (My husband) was away, and it was just me and my eldest, who was two. I'd asked a friend to stay over to look after her while I was on air, but (I'd) had got the time of the interview slightly wrong, and I was still getting up when I heard the package before me begin. So I was frantically looking for the number of the studio, and I got through just in time. Then I heard a thump. It was my daughter, who had fallen out of bed, and was coming howling down the corridor. I had to leap up and slam the door in her face (yes, this would be my reaction too, NOT), and then put the duvet over my head so the listeners couldn't hear her (they might have called the police). I couldn't even say, this has happened, could you call me back, because I was coming off the back of a feature about children's hospices, and I would have sounded flippant (once again, that really matters compared with a child in pain). But I couldn't actually take in any of (the radio presenter's) questions. I knew she wasn't hurt (how did you know? You didn't even check to see if she was all right), but I just felt a terrible sense of guilt, about doing everything badly (You felt a sense of guilt about what? Not being perfect? You don't feel a sense of guilt about neglecting your toddler's needs?)"

What would you think about this parent?

a) She has her ideas right. The child comes second to a radio interview.
b) She should have postponed the interview because her child matters more than some stupid show.
c) I'd prosecute her for child neglect and take her kid away.

Questions I might ask myself on reading the piece in the newspaper:

Which priorities does she have?
Was her child neglected in this situation?

If the child's needs were neglected, wouldn't that be a sign that she 'could' be an unfit mother?
Would I think of calling Social Services to her family because of the child's accident?
Would I call someone in because I think children need comforting when they fall and a mother who doesn't provide that care has something missing in her?

If someone told you that the mother was Yvette Cooper, wife of the DCSF supremo Ed Balls, and a politician herself would that excuse this mother of neglecting her child (if you believe her child was neglected on this occasion)?

What does Danae think of a mother like this?
Not much.

Personally, I'd bury that incident under several tonnes of concrete and never mention it again, even to my spiritual confessor. Then I'd swear to put my child's health and welfare first forever after.

Oh, and, by the way, Yvette – it's not an amusing incident that we can all laugh at. It doesn't show you in a clever, cutsey role. Not funny, not clever. At all.

(Thanks to Dare to Know - Carlotta - for linking to this newspaper article from her blog)


  1. Too right - imagine the same story told from the perspective of a single mother on the phone to the benefits office. Social services would have been all over her.

    What does it say about this country that a politican might see this kind of story as good PR?

  2. oh my lord... this child was only TWO years old & had fallen out of bed but, without first checking the child's ok, she slammed the door in her face so she could appear on a radio show... (Quick, ring Jeremy Kyle, social services & the press)
    ... & now her husband wants to tell us how to teach our kids to be decent members of society... how many times can we say 'get your own house in order' to these treacherously hypocritical, political parasites... grr!