Mainstay of headlines and adverts alike, here’s a handy guide.
- Take a woman with offspring The offspring is usually to be of school-age, but in the event that they display problematic behavior or emotional difficulties, a woman will qualify as a “working mother” till she’s past retirement.
- Add work Recipes vary as to the amount of work required. It is usually agreed that anything from an evening paper round to running a merchant bank will count. The essential ingredient is pay and, often, that the woman leaves the house. (NB voluntary work and caring responsibilities are never acceptable substitutes.)
- Season to taste A working mum requires a degree of motive. This may range from “setting a good example” to “personal fulfillment” all the way through to “desperately trying to make ends meet”. The working mum must be seen to have identified and be able to demonstrate her motive at all times.
- Soak in guilt The strength of the solution and length of soaking time differs depending on which variation you’re making, but some guilt is generally held to be an essential ingredient. Retain some of the soaking liquid for the next time you’re making a mum.
- Toast lightly, then freeze Before serving, apply some gentle warmth in the form of an approving reference to “hard-working family” before consigning to a deep chill composed of all the societal ills she’s apparently caused.
(How to make a working dad? Man, children, job. No further ingredients required)