Can a woman be a war correspondent and a good mother?


I remember seeing this question on the Daily Fail (Mail) website a few weeks back. Firstly, why is this question aimed at women? Is the role of men is raising a child so minute? Or is this question a continuation of the constant dig given to working mothers in the press?

Instinctively, like many I’m sure, my instant response was “yes, why wouldn’t they be?!”

The reality is this is a much more complex question than it appears. No mother is a “good mother” by default choices. It takes unmeasurable amounts of love, care and responsibility.
As a mother (I imagine), you hold a great responsibility to look after yourself for your child’s sake. So the question has to be asked is risking your life as a war correspondent a risk worth taking?

Some war correspondents may answer yes it is worth the risk. Because they encounter the anguish of children losing parents every day. And for them, to try and prevent such tragedies is the entire reason they chose to be a war correspondent. I can imagine it would feel like they are abandoning all those children.

And if the mother can trust the father to take responsibility for the child if anything were to happen to her, then there is no reason for her not to continue working.

But as a mother (again I imagine) would you really trust anyone to raise your child?

I may be sounding old fashioned here but it’s the truth. It’s natural for a mother to protect her child. If you have witnessed children lose their mother, you will not allow your child to go through such an ordeal. So for that reason, I personally would argue it is not smart to be both a mother of a young child, and a war correspondent, you do not have to always be on the ground to make a difference …

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