MUM’S THE WORD
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
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.