By KATE HUNTER

I’m no fan of the death penalty, ever, so I was happy to read drug charges against 35 year-old Australian Emma L’Aiguille in Malaysia had been dropped.

This, from news.com.au on Saturday:

006642 emma l 039 aiguille Emma had 6 babies but raised none of them. Is she a mum at all?

Emma L’Aiguille leaves the Kuala Lumpur prison complex

“A VICTORIAN mum who sensationally escaped the death penalty in Malaysia yesterday vowed to devote her second chance at life to her six children.

Emma L’Aiguille’s 115-day nightmare ended when she became the first foreigner to be released from prison without DNA evidence or the forensic report into the drugs being complete.

“I thought I was gone. I didn’t think I’d ever see my family again or that this day would come,” she told the Herald Sun.

“I’m still pinching myself and can’t believe that I am out of jail.”

Prosecutors then dropped her charges on a lack of evidence connecting the mother-of-six to drug trafficking.

After reading that story and seeing this front page:

Picture 12 Emma had 6 babies but raised none of them. Is she a mum at all?

Nova breakfast presenter and mother of 4, Kate Langbroek used Twitter to voice cynicism about the use of the word ‘mum’ to describe a woman who had chronically neglected and barely ever even parented her children.

 

Picture 131 Emma had 6 babies but raised none of them. Is she a mum at all?

Kate Langbroek’s tweet

 

Whichever way you look at it, Emma L’Aiguille’s life is sad. It’s been a misassembled puzzle with pieces broken and missing.

Her education was piecemeal. Emma’s first child, Tayla was born when she was 16. Seven more pregnancies followed, fathered by different men. One baby was lost when Emma miscarried at 17 weeks, and another died of cot death aged only one month. Tayla sees to the only child with a relationship with her mother (she’s being raised by her grandmother).

The other children are with their fathers or being cared for by family members. I’m not quite sure – a lot has been written about Emma L’Aiguille’s complicated relationships, but it’s not clear where all her kids are. Which is fine, because it’s none of our business – I just hope they are okay and having a more grounded start to life than Emma had.

Which brings us to those headlines.

Although Emma’s eldest – Tayla – was raised by her grandmother, she sees Emma as her mum and from all accounts is desperate to be re-united with her. But what about the other 5 kids? Has she packed them a school lunch, put them on the potty, sat through a Yo Gabba Gabba video. Okay, even I haven’t done that last one.

But the question is valid – does giving birth make you a mum?  Surely there’s more to parenthood than biology. Kate Langbroek thinks so, scoffing at Emma’s claims that she’s a homemaker at heart, she tweeted: ‘”I have to have someone to take care of. I like to stay at home, cook and clean.” Really? Tell that to your SIX abandoned kids…’

Emma D’Aiguille says she’s going to use her freedom to devote herself to her children. Do you think that’s even possible – can a woman suddenly decide it’s time to be ‘mum’?

 

Do you think that women can just decide to be a mother? Does having kids really make you a mum?



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