Discussing mothers in IELTS Writing and Speaking

IELTS candidates may find that the topic of gender and parental roles may appear quite often in either IELTS Speaking and more frequently, IELTS Writing Task 2. Here are some examples of tasks that may come up in essay writing:

“Fatherhood ought to be emphasised as much as motherhood. The idea that women are solely responsible for deciding whether or not to have babies leads on to the idea that they are also responsible for bringing the children up.”

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

~ Cambridge IELTS 2

“The position of women in society has changed markedly in the last twenty years. Many of the problems young people now experience, such as juvenile delinquency, arise from the fact that many married women now work and not at home to care for their children.”

To what extent do you agree or disagree?

~ Cambridge IELTS 2

And questions that may arise in IELTS Speaking Part 3:

“How much time do children spend with their parents in your country? Do you think that is enough?”

“How important do you think spending time together is for the relationships between parents and children? Why?”

Have relationships between parents and children changed in recent years? Why do you think that is?”

~ Cambridge IELTS 10

You may do well to develop some ideas on this topic. Whether you have to write about it or talk about it, you should be prepared to have some arguments up your sleeve to state your opinions fluently in your discussions. You may want to get some ideas from the interview below. It involves women discussing this, but of course you can change what they say to fit your own ideas about the situation.

See if you are able to the complete the blanks below:

Rebecca: I do believe that every mother should work.

Interviewer: And why is it so important?

Rebecca : I think that, as a person, you are an 1) __________ and I think it’s very easy when you have a child that you forget that you are your own person. And I think that, you know, you’re becoming this person who is there to help this small person to survive and all the rest of it. And you forget that you have feelings, you also have your own creativity and everything else. And I think that working helps that to come out in you.

Interviewer: But there are some people who believe that nurturing a baby, looking after a child and watching it grow actually adds to your self-worth.

Rebecca: It certainly does add to your self-worth. There’s nothing greater than seeing a young person grow up that you’ve brought up and to be a fabulously 2) __________ person and all the rest of it. But there is more to life than just having children.

Interviewer: Why did you choose to be a stay-at-home mum?

Claire: I think there’s a lot of happiness in *altruism and when you’re doing things for other people, it makes you really happy and doing things for your children, can make you really happy and 3) __________.

Interviewer: Do you think you smother them, are you doing a *disservice, are you damaging them by being at home all the time?

Claire: I think it’s really unhelpful to distinguish between stay-at-home mothers and working mothers. I think that we all mother our children in different ways. And I think it’s important to give them 4) __________.

Interviewer: Are you losing your individuality? Did you lose it?

Claire: Not at all. No, no, I’m expressing it through the ch- I mean the children are the people who are growing up, who are being creative and that is a part of me. THey’re a part of who I am and I am a part of who they are.

Interviewer: A lot of working mums talk of the guilt at work knowing that their children are at nursery or knowing that their children are at school or missing out on certain school plays, events, or assemblies. That’s all a part of a working mum too. That’s the downside. How do you deal with that?

Rebecca: It’s all about 5) __________ and it’s about sort of giving your children quality time and being there for the important things and making things a priority. There’s a lot of workplaces now that do sort of support people and parents who want to go to their children’s play and everything else. Sometimes yeah, you do have to miss it and sometimes you do miss sort of little things, but I wouldn’t say that you would ever miss any *milestones. If you really want to be there, you can be there and it’s about 6) __________ up the time correctly.

Interviewer: Some people would say that what you’re doing is you’re being incredibly selfish so that you can have children and then go out and live your life.

Rebecca: I think it’s the complete opposite. You know, ee can’t all stay at home. People have to work. We have to go out to do it. And, you know, it’s just one of those things that I want my children to have a very 7) __________ view of the world. I don;t want them, when they grow up, to think “I want to stay at home all day long and have children”. I want them to go out and to have absolutely everything that they could possibly have.

Interviewer: Do you think we’re changing from becoming a society that used to sort of frown on women going to work to now frowning on women who choose to stay at home?

Claire: I think the real problem is that mothering is totally 8) __________, that when you’re a working mother or a stay-at-home mother, when you’re being a mother, what you’re doing is probably the most important thing of your day. And we totally underestimate things that can’t be bought. You know, there’s no … you ca’t buy the love of a mother so we underestimate it. We don’t have a decent job title. And there’s constant barrage in the press about stay-at-home mothers are smothering children, *cosseting children. We’re not, we’re mothering them, we love them but we … any good mother will give their children independence and will be available to help them. It’s 9) __________… Could I just say… I think it’s all about choice. If you want to work, and you can choose to work, then you’ll be happy. If you want to stay at home, ad you can choose to stay at your home, then you’l be happy. And the ones who want to be at home but have to work, the ones who want to work but have to be at home, thats where the 10) __________ come in.

What do the words in asterisks (*)  mean?

You can also find some interesting opinions from the website below:


Woman and young girl in kitchen with laptop and paperwork smiling
GSCSNJ via Compfight

Until next time!

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