Dr Ciara Kelly: Women: are we still either Madonnas or whores?
A young mum on the verge of tears recently visited my surgery with a sick child she'd been called to collect from the creche and bring to see me. She has a busy successful job and leaving it mid-afternoon caused her all sorts of problems and she, like many other working mums, was experiencing that horrible sensation of not being on top of anything - her job, her kids, her life in general, and, of course, that nagging guilt that she was also somehow the worst thing any woman can be - a bad mother.
For working mothers there is always that nagging fear that by having a career she was somehow letting her children down, or worse, possibly messing them up. I knew exactly how she was feeling having lived with that guilt and that fear for many years. And when our eyes met there was a recognition there that we working mothers, career women with children, whatever you want to call us, are a particular - sometimes it feels embattled - group.
I probably wouldn't be writing a column about it though, except, not long afterward - I was flicking through a women's magazine in my bathroom and I saw an article by a millionaire, super-model with the headline 'I'm a mum first and a model second' with a photo of a very sexy woman in lingerie underneath it, who looked like she was a model first and if she had ever given birth - it had been to a walnut.