Workaholic business-woman Karren Brady has admitted that taking just three days maternity leave with her first baby was 'shameful'.
Talking to Hello magazine, Karren, mum to Sophia, 14, and Paulo, 11, said that her decision had come at a personal cost, and that she now wished she'd spent more time bonding with Sophia when she was a baby.
Karren, 41, vice-chairman of West Ham football club and Sir Alan Sugar's sidekick on The Apprentice, says it was a mistake she made through desperation to stay at the top of the career ladder, something she says is common amongst young career women who don't realise their jobs will last a lifetime: 'You think it will slip through your fingers if you take time out. I was trying to do it all, up all night with the baby and at work all day. That doesn't work. 'When Paolo was born, I took longer off and worked from home when I could.'
Her claims are backed up by her husband, ex-Birmingham City striker Paul Peschisolido, who said that his wife was 'trying to prove herself in a ruthless industry,' adding that he had tried to persuade her to take more time off, and that she would do things differently now.
Karren has spoken in the past to Parentdish about juggling working life with a family, citing a 'two personality' approach as being the only way to cope.
What do you think? Is maternity leave essential for every woman? Can some mums not juggle their working life and motherhood admirably from day one? Or should baby always come first?