As Li­adan Hynes talks to stay-at-home moth­ers (see Page 10), Pat Fitz­patrick looks at the plight of women who took time out to mind their chil­dren

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - FIRST PERSON / TOP FIVE -


Up un­til 1973, a woman work­ing in the Ir­ish Civil Ser­vice had to re­sign from her job af­ter she got mar­ried. Once they got rid of that, the whole fab­ric of the na­tion col­lapsed and now we have di­vorce, con­tra­cep­tion and mo­tor­ways, so you can drive all over the coun­try and have an af­fair with a culchie. Filth. Women in other coun­tries might have com­plained. But th­ese pre-1973 Ir­ish mam­mies said, “Go out and work on your beer bel­lies, lads, sure I’ll be grand here at home with 11 kids and Gay Byrne.”




An­gelina has made it clear that she wants to spend more time with the kids. She an­nounced she will quit act­ing in the near fu­ture. Peo­ple who saw her movie, By the Sea, reckon she might have given up al­ready. The movie, which she di­rected and stars in with hus­band Brad Pitt, has been de­scribed by crit­ics as a sort of French art­house van­ity pro­ject. That’s short­hand for ‘long si­lences, punc­tu­ated by awk­ward sex’. They should have called it Mar­riage, says you.



Mila de­cided to stay at home and look af­ter her new daugh­ter, Wyatt. Part­ner Ash­ton Kutcher was a hands-on dad as well. The poor child prob­a­bly didn’t get a mo­ment’s peace. It was like celebrity stalk­ing in re­verse. There was a bit of con­tro­versy re­cently when Ash­ton was pho­tographed com­ing out of a mas­sage par­lour. Ap­par­ently, it was all a mis­un­der­stand­ing. There were no hands on dad, says you, mad for the smutty pun.


Poppy who? Ex­actly. Type “stay-at-home celebrity mom” into Google, and up pops Poppy, right up to­wards the top of the list. Of course, the for­mer star of TV drama With­out a Trace might be bet­ter known if she hadn’t taken a ca­reer break to rear her son in 2011. That said, it’s no joke for your av­er­age Hol­ly­wood star to mix act­ing and par­ent­ing. You come home af­ter two weeks film­ing in Rome and then it’s straight into meet­ings with your 14 nan­nies. It’s all go.




Mark Wahlberg’s wife, Rhea, gave up her ca­reer as a top model to look af­ter their four kids. You have to ad­mire her for putting up with all the crazy tantrums and re­fus­ing to eat. And that was just deal­ing with other peo­ple in the fash­ion in­dus­try. Rhea’s two youngest kids are called Grace and Brendan. We like to think of her call­ing them in for their tea. “Brendan, Grace!” In fair­ness, it doesn’t take much to amuse us.

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