I’m the mother to two grown-up sons but on Thursday I became a new mum again when I gave ‘birth’ to my latest novel, Buy Buy Baby. My book is a bittersweet story of two very different women united in their desperate quest for motherhood.
I’ve discussed my strong views on motherhood and identity in a guest post I wrote for Naomi Frisby’s website, The Writes of Woman which generated thought-provoking comments about a woman’s sense of self. It’s a topic that fires me up and so I was very interested to wake up to the latest joust in the battle for the leadership of the Conservative Party where it was all kicking off on social media about Andrea Leadsom allegedly claiming in The Times that, “being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of the country”.
If she’s not been misquoted, it’s a gob-smacking statement to make and imply that anyone, such as Theresa May, isn’t as well qualified for the job because she isn’t a mother. Being a parent should never be a prerequisite to hold down any level of responsibility and here in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon is a phenomenal role model for women, young and old. And then there’s Angela Merkel, another powerful European leader who has led her country for 16 years. I could go on and on with examples of child-less leaders that makes quotes like, “Being a mother gives me edge on May” sound utterly ridiculous.
Leadsom is now being castigated for her alleged remarks and if it they’re true then it was a condescending cheap shot to suggest that somehow childless women, or indeed men, live in a vacuum and that being a parent makes you a better person.
I’ve explored this topic and challenged the ideas about society’s expectations and attitudes to women throughout Buy Buy Baby and hope that the yearning of the two main characters in the novel provokes discussion on such an emotive topic.
Do you think a mother makes a better candidate to lead the country?