Cork women share their experience of becoming mothers, the maternal instinct and the bond between men and their children.

It is commonly assumed that all women have maternal instincts, but the lived experience can be completely different. Sara and Lucy who had natural births felt elated when their babies arrived, but some women they knew suffered with post natal depression.

While all the women describe how much that they love their children, the demands an infant's care places on a first time mother overwhelmed Rose, who felt guilty about not having a maternal instinct,

It all became too much.

All agree that not feeling maternal is quite a reasonable attitude for any person to have, and that men can experience maternal feelings also. Vera believes that men like children at different stages, and that they may have issues with younger children in particular,

They’re a bit of opposition to them, that they get too much attention from the mother.

Sara and Lucy’s husbands who are of a different generation were very hands-on as regards caring for their babies which is in stark contrast to many middle-aged and older men who were never expected to change or feed a baby.

Ina believes the more equal distribution of care these days can only be a good thing for children and their fathers,

The husbands now are much more involved than they were.

This episode of 'Women Talking : Mothering’ was recorded in Cork and broadcast on 3 August 1982. The presenter is Doireann Ní Bhriain.

Doireann Ní Bhriain had taken over the chair from Marian Finucane as presenter of the RTÉ Radio programme 'Women Today', which dealt with issues affecting women which broadcast on weekday afternoons from 1979 to 1985.

'Women Talking' was an extension of that programme where Ní Bhriain, producer Nuala O'Faolain and production assistant Patricia Swan travelled to different locations around Ireland to get

Ordinary women, both married and single to discuss the fundamental issues that dominate their lives.

(RTÉ Guide 16 July 1982, p. 6)

First broadcast on RTÉ 1 on 13 May 1982, it ran for six weeks.