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Raising children is becoming more stressful, with huge demands put on mothers, but perhaps the key to being a good parent is to accept that you don’t have to be a perfect one

15th May, 2010

It’s hard to imagine now, but once upon a time, motherhood was a pretty straightforward enterprise. In the 1934 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, ‘mother’ was defined as follows: ‘‘Woman who looks after children.”

Nowadays, it’s a lot more complicated. ‘Parent’ is no longer just a noun; it’s a verb too. ‘Parenting’ is something to be practised, engaged in, endlessly discussed and agonised over. To see how this has...

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