Standing in the playground today I heard a group of women discussing Amanda Holden. The gossip revolved around her decision to return to work less than three weeks after the birth of her baby girl. I didn’t join in the discussion because truth be told I was unsure how I felt about her situation.

Scouring the Internet I discovered that she is not the only woman to take just enough maternity leave to reapply their make-up. Beyonce and Victoria Beckham also returned to work within weeks of giving birth. Beyonce is quoted as saying “pregnancy is not an illness and my baby goes everywhere with me”. I imagine her team of nannies go everywhere too.

In all honesty as a modern mother I am hounded with expectation and guilt. Todays mother cannot win. If I work I’m missing my child’s development, neglectful and selfish. If I don’t work I’m not using my brain and have nothing to talk about. I feel I am expected to give birth, work, look after the home (not just the basics I should be knitting and baking too) and (if you listen to Gina Ford) keep my man satisfied.

All of this must be done whilst looking immaculate and young. Add to that keeping up with your children’s schedules and not letting them play video games or watch TV. Oh the guilt.

I have a suggestion, let’s do the best we can and respect other mothers for doing the same. Let’s not bitch because Amanda Holden felt under pressure to return to her incredibly competitive career, probably because if she didn’t she would not have a career to return to. Equally don’t assume I am at home with my children because I have no ambition.

Individual circumstance is just that, individual. I’m reasonably confident that 99.9% of mothers absolutely have their children’s well being as a top priority. Their is more than one way to bring up a happy child. Let’s respect a women’s choice to work or not work. Lets leave Amanda Holden alone.