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Thursday 8 December 2016

Dr Ciara Kelly: Women: are we still either Madonnas or whores?

Published 12/09/2016 | 02:30

For working mothers there is always that nagging fear that she is somehow letting her child down
For working mothers there is always that nagging fear that she is somehow letting her child down

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.

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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.

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