A senior Conservative MP has said stay-at-home motherhood is being undermined by the government’s push to get parents back into work, saying women’s “natural nurturing role” should be valued. His comments were echoed by rising Tory MP, Miriam Cates.
Last week’s budgets includes huge new subsidies for day-care but neglects stay-at-home mothers.
George Eustice, the former environment secretary, said he believed the chancellor Jeremy Hunt had focused too much on encouraging mothers of young children into employment and not enough on incentivising them to stay at home.
Eustice, 51, is one of a number of Tory backbenchers who are now pushing Hunt to cut taxes for families at the next fiscal statement, likely to come in the autumn.
Miriam Cates commented: “What is best for baby in the early years?”
“The bond between mother and child is probably the strongest human relationship there is.
“It’s not just a soppy feeling, it’s a highly evolved survival mechanism.
“And strong attachment in the early years pays dividends in later life.
“There’s many great people in the childcare sector, but no one replaces mummy.”
Eustice said: “Stay-at-home mother’ is now almost used as a derogatory term. We should respect the choice that women make.”
He said that he was focused particularly on encouraging women to stay at home rather than men because mothers have a unique bond with young children.
“Many women do want to spend those first few years with their child,” he said. “It’s a short period in life where they can perform that natural nurturing role. We shouldn’t belittle it, we should value it.”
He added: “I think [motherhood and fatherhood] are different and we should be honest about that.