"Sorry mums, but yes, this is your fault."

Yes, it oftens feels like mothers are to blame for all that is wrong with the world. But sometimes, Shauna Anderson argues, we  need to step up and accept responsibility.

On the surface, you couldn’t be blamed for thinking Aussie mums can’t take a trick at the moment.

We are not just being blamed for making our children fat for life, we’ve also been blamed for being too busy to bother to vaccinate them.

What do you think is next? The sinking of the Titanic? The crash of the Hindenburg? I can vouch for the fact that my Mum definitely had something to do with the GFC. (Seriously – just ask my Dad!)

Take a look at this – taken from two Australian newspapers over the past week.

“Australians are getting so fat so fast we’re exceeding predictions made just four years ago and mums are to blame”

“Busy working mums forgetting to vaccinate their children are being blamed for immunisation rates being lower in affluent NSW suburbs”.

It is an easy target, isn’t it, blaming mothers? But sadly, in many cases this blame-game is actually on target.

I would love to be able to defend all mums and say that this is just a media beat up. I would love to be able to state for a fact that mothers are making the welfare of their children a priority. I would love to look around my local area, the playground, the schoolyard and say, “lay off, us mums are just doing the best we can.”

But I would be wrong, wouldn’t I? Because in this case both these newspaper accusations are true.

'Too many of us take the easy option when feeding our kids'

Obesity Australia has called for pregnant women to be warned about obesity, saying weight problems during pregnancy can set children up for a lifetime battle of the bulge.

The report, titled No Time to Weight, stated that pregnant women and mothers who feed their children a high carbohydrate, high sugar diet in the first three years of life are the cause of the obesity epidemic.

Obesity Australia chief Professor John Funder says in the report that much like with drinking alcohol and smoking, pregnant mothers must be warned about the dangers of being fat or dieting while pregnant.

“Women who are obese should lose weight before considering pregnancy,” the report says. “If a woman is obese, diabetic, or consumes a diet too high in calories during pregnancy, the tendency towards obesity persists in the offspring.”


You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t know the importance of healthy living and of feeding their children a nutritious diet. But it is hard work - and we are busy and budget conscious, but the easy option is too often taken. I'm not preaching - while I type this, two of my children are eating hot chips and my oldest is eating his twice-monthly lunch order of a sausage roll at school.

However, it's the continuous over-indulgence of a high carbohydrate/sugar/ fat diet that is ruining our kids for life. You just need to take a look at the food court of your local shopping centre to see too many of us are doing that too often. Experts have proven our set-points for hunger are defined in the first four years of life. The recommendation from this report is that mothers should breastfeed their children for the first six months, and then feed their babies vegetable and meat purees rather than baby rice cereal.

"If mums can remember to have their nails shellacked, surely they can remember to immunise their kids?"

The other thing we were blamed for this week was affluent mothers ‘forgetting’ to vaccinate their kids. Seriously? Surely that isn't an excuse.

Vaccination isn’t particularly hard to remember, with the reminders from the health department and health professionals, and your mothers group discussing it.

Most affluent mothers I know remember to get their hair done, have their nails ‘shellacked’ and buy a bottle of sav blanc to get through the witching hour.

How hard can it be to remember to save your children’s lives?

It is us mothers who are lazy – not necessarily our children. We teach them that laziness. It's time to step up, to accept the blame and to point fingers because this time it IS the fault of we mothers and we need to fix it.

What do you think - is it really fair to point the finger at mums on these issues?