What happens when the most productive work on the planet isn’t recognised? What happens when this work, the work of rearing the next generation of productive workers is mythologised into “mothers are angels in training”? This is what happens. Any success you achieve goes uncelebrated as work, because this work, while done with love, is really just ‘nurturing’, an innate biological function of your gender, a generosity and a purity that came with your ovaries. And any failures you experience, rather than being related to the complexity of the work or the precariousness of your status as an invisible worker, are instead nothing short of your own moral failure.
This is why when newspapers report on research studies they look like this – Mother’s make-ups and break-ups may determine child’s later drug use. Here are some significant excerpts.
Preschoolers whose mothers had three or more break-ups or new partners were three times more likely than their peers to take up smoking and almost 2½ times more likely to use cannabis.
“If we can identify what increases a child’s risk in the first five years by looking at their family structure, hopefully we can prevent people becoming substance abusers later.”
When it came to alcohol, a mother’s drinking habits were the single most influential factor. Preschoolers whose mothers regularly drank were 8.5 times more at risk of taking up alcohol at an early age.
So, mothers who drink and sleep around are causing substance abuse problems in their children in later life, but wait… right at the end of the article –
Due to a lack of data the study did not include fathers but previous research had shown they were as influential as mothers, Dr Hayatbakhsh said.
I haven’t read the study (it’s not readily available), but I’ll hazard a guess all the same. And my guess is that contrary to the implication, correlation doesn’t mean causation.
Thanks to Lauredhel for pointing me to the article.