Working mums need Kelly hours

26th August 2005 at 01:00
How wonderful it must be to have a life like the smug Jill Parkin, getting paid for writing (from home, no doubt) judgemental and insulting articles ("The trouble with... Kelly hours", TES, August 12).

I am not sure what "Kelly hours" are and am no fan of Ruth Kelly, but the reality for many mothers today is that to go out to do paid work is a necessity. Not doing so will not miraculously cause house prices in pleasant suburbs and catchment areas of good schools to plummet. Neither will doing so mean that your children turn into aggressive monsters. Mine haven't; most don't.

What your writer is confusing is a genuine economic need to work and the putting of work above children and home.

Long hours in day care may well be bad for children but it is perfectly possible to go out to work and have lots of time with your children; not easy, often tiring, but do-able. Do not stay late; work smart and have nothing to do with the culture of "present-eeism". You may have to forgo promotion, but so what?

Quality of childcare is crucial and if, in some places, it happens to be in the same building as a school, then so be it. The care does not have to mirror what else is going on there. Using pejorative terms such as "baby parks" and indeed the tone of the article, reveals the prejudice of the writer; is she really suitable to contribute to a publication aimed at an audience in which we working mothers are a significant group?

Janet Hutson

12 Turners Lane, North Ferriby

East Riding of Yorkshire

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