FOR someone who deals in words, more often it’s numbers that stop me in my tracks.

The number of weekends I have left to enjoy if I live to 90 — just 2080.
The amount a share I’ve been eyeing off has gone up since the end of October when I neglected to buy it — 25 per cent.
The number of hours snails can make sex last — 12, apparently.

But there’s one number that’s been irking me all week — 1000.

That’s the number of days babies need to be around their mum, according to a new parenting book that claims mothers need to prioritise their children over their work.

I’m concerned by the premise of Erica Komisar’s new book and, alongside a lot of American commentators, I’m hesitant to give it airtime because its ideas could set women back decades.

Yet I can’t get that number out of my head — 1000 days. Less than three years.

In Being There: Why Prioritizing Motherhood in the First Three Years Matters, Komisar argues that mothers need to be both physically and emotionally available for children in the first 1000 days because they’re “much more neurologically fragile than we’ve ever understood”.

As a clinical social worker and psychoanalyst, Komisar has become increasingly concerned that the devaluing of motherhood has led to an increase in boys being diagnosed with ADHD, girls suffering with depression and an increase in “social disorders” where children lack empathy and have trouble relating to other children.

– Angela Mollard

Read more: 1000 Hours – Yet More Mum Guilt. But What If It’s Right?

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