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.
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.
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.”