Liam Farrell: Beware the evolution of professional mothers

I've always been a socialist, so allow me some schadenfreude about the recession.

Liam Farrell
Liam Farrell

You can't buck the market, say the capitalist pigs, until suddenly the banks are in trouble and rather than let the market buck them as they deserve, New Labour insist you and I and the rest of the tax-payers bail them out.

So my faith in Labour dwindles, and David Cameron seems a decent chap, but doubts remain. Consider a plan mooted last year by some dark corner of the Conservative party; a support system for new mothers. A health worker, or 'professional mother', will attend in the week after discharge, being generally helpful, showing the mother how to breastfeed and performing household duties.

It seems a practical idea, but we know, from our experience of other allied professions, what will happen; mothers will evolve.

The move to autonomy will be slow but sure; first a few weekend courses, then a diploma (by correspondence), then a degree course, a mothering tutor here, a mothering lecturer there, until finally, bless the day, the first professor of mothering, with faculties, lustrous peacocks robes, academic professions, the whole shebang.

A few emeritus chairs sponsored by the baby milk and disposable nappy industries will help build numbers until mothers have their own royal college, complete with fellows (small annual increment).

At some stage men will enter the profession and, hey, you can't pay a mortgage on this wage. Forget all that trite rubbish about caring being a vocation, it's not about the money (of course) it's about being valued as highly-trained professionals.

Soon after will come consultant mothers, to lecture ordinary mothers on mothering and to supervise the flying squads for those time-critical laundry emergencies. You cannot expect consultant mothers to be hands on, they will be much too busy to get down and dirty, so a new tier of lower paid 'auxiliary mothers' will have to be set up.

Fathers, grannies aunties and ordinary mothers will be advised to keep their distance; they have no qualifications and they are not insured. The obligations of a Mother will be too important to be delegated to mere lay people.

What would mothers know about mothering?

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