29 June 2009

Britain's oldest mum back to work

Welcome back to moral panic Monday.

Elizabeth Adeney, Britain's 'oldest mum' has given birth to her first son at the age of 66 back in May to a phalanx of media scrutiny. Criticised for being too old, a divorcee and for accessing IVF in the Ukraine, Adeney refused to talk to the media noting that she felt young at heart.

Now, poor Adeney is being slammed for returning to work 4 weeks after giving birth. Adeney was spotted being driven to work by a friend, leaving her newborn son Jolyon, with a live-in nanny. As Adeney gave birth by caesarean the Daily Mail further criticises her, speculating that her caesarean scars probably have not been given a chance to heal properly:

"Sue Jacob, adviser to the Royal College of Midwives, said: 'Hormonally women are still very delicate after four weeks and caesarean scars will not have healed properly. Babies still need the consistency of a mother's attention at this point and new mums especially will be exhausted.
'There's no reason why women should not carry on with their careers as soon as they are able. But it's only a select few women who are able to get the support necessary to do this. It isn't what we expect normal, ordinary women to be able to do."

As I said in an earlier post, the issue of having IVF at 66 and being an 'older' mum are actually separate issues. Elizabeth Adeney owns her own company, has a fabulous home and the ability to hire the support that she needs in order to help her be a good mother. I don't see why Adeney having a child at 66 is any different from older men like Larry King having young children well into their 70s. What really bothers me is that Adeney's reported 'desperate' desires for children throughout her life is being used against her. It's like, 'How on Earth could this women conceivably return to work *shock horror* when she wanted a child so badly'? GIve me a flipping break. Celebs return to work 2 minutes after they have babies and most of them use nannies and whomever else they can to help them get through the day as career women, wives/partners and mothers. If Adeney wants to go back to work, why is it anyone's business but her own?


Anonymous said...

Well, she does own the business, so not going back to work at all probably isn't an option. But, goodness, it's only a couple of hours a day. Why are the papers even writing about this?

Carolyn said...

I think it's her own business and don't really see a problem with it. For Heaven's sake, it's only a couple of hours per day. It hardly makes her a terrible mother. People have been incredibly judgmental of this woman.

Katharine said...

I can't believe, in this day and age, that people are making an issue of a woman going back to work after having a baby. Where I come from, plenty of women have to go back in less than a month, because they can't afford not to! Granted, Ms. Adeney is not in that position. Her position is owner of the company, so she doesn't have much choice, either, as I see it. She has to run her business. And, as others noted, it's a mere few hours a day! Assuming travel time, she's with her child probably 20 of 24 hours a day. Moreover, the public criticism of this lady, a private citizen who's totally sought to avoid the spotlight, is really galling to me.

melody said...

I'm not entirely comfortable with someone her age having a baby, particularly on her own. However, it's definitely no one's business but hers and the child's. There are reasons why this sort of thing is not/should not/cannot be legislated. I hope they are both very happy. As for her returning to work, that's a total non-issue to me.

Creative Commons License
The Baby Bump Project by Meredith Nash is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.