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7个孩子的好母亲

更新时间:2010-04-02    来源/发布:www.en369.cn    作者/编辑:英语作文网

BERLIN — What irritates conservatives in her conservative party about Ursula von der Leyen is that she possesses what in modern Europe pass for impeccable conservative credentials: She is married, says grace every evening and has seven children.

So when this popular minister subsidizes fathers to care for children, or taps her bottom when asked by the Munich newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung what body part she looks at first in a man, it is that much harder to attack her.

Peter Ramsauer from the Bavarian sister party of the Christian Democrats tried, grumbling that men did not need “a diaper-changing internship.” Maria Eichhorn, a longtime Bavarian member of Parliament, warned that the minister threatened the institution of marriage.

But Ms. von der Leyen, 51, just breezed past the criticism and kept talking about her family: About how her Ph.D. in medicine and her career did not stop her from giving birth. About how her husband, a professor of medicine, worked part time for years to be with the children, now aged 10 to 22.

In a country where statistically women have 1.38 children and only 6 percent of mothers return to full-time work after their second child, Ms. von der Leyen — first family minister and now in charge of labor — beggars belief.

“I can’t exist in Germany,” she said in an interview. When her cellphone rang halfway through, she answered and assured a daughter that she was nearly on her way home. Then she showed off her favorite Christmas present: a photo collage of her four daughters, three sons and husband, plus dog and horse.

It took a traditional yet career-minded mother to start ditching taboos that are as old as Germany itself. “Supermom,” “Mother of the Nation” and “Family Revolutionary,” newspapers call her.

Some point to her connections — her father had been prime minister of Lower Saxony. Money was never an issue. She always had a cleaning lady, a nanny, though never the “butler” some begrudging party colleagues claimed. Some feminists find her piety annoying. “That woman,” they sigh.

But Ms. von der Leyen seems to have the swelling support of middle-class Germans who can no longer afford to have a woman stay home and raise children. Above all, she voices no doubt that Germany would be better off if more women were like her. “I know I am a good mother,” she says, smiling.

She was not always so certain. Back when she had three children and was a part-time doctor trying to work around a village kindergarten in northern Germany that closed at 1 p.m., her husband got a scholarship to Stanford University. The family moved to California for four years, carrying emotional baggage.

“We arrived from Germany ridden with guilt,” she recalls. “I was worried about being a bad mother. My husband was worried about whether he should work even harder.”

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