A MUM who claims she’s happier than ever since her sons flew the nest has been branded “selfish” and “the worst kind of parent”.

Author Liz Hodgkinson, 74, appeared on ITV’s This Morning on Thursday to discuss research released this week that children do make people happier, but only when they leave home.

The Worthing mum agreed, saying she was "absolutely delighted" to see her two sons move on, but broadcaster Vanessa Feltz, 57, disagreed, saying she wishes she could find a home big enough for herself and her two daughters Saskia, 30, and Allegra, 33, to live.

Viewers had strong opinions on the issue, with some saying they didn’t see the point in having children if you don’t want to see them, and branding her "selfish" for being so detached from her children.

Liz revealed that her boys moving out inspired her to split from her husband and "totally re-invent" herself.

“They were so big and we were getting on each others nerves and it was just time for each of us to live our independent lives,” she said.

“It was time for us to move on.

“It was a complete life change for me. As soon as Will, my youngest son, left I separated from my then husband. sold the house brought my own flat and lived on my own. Total reinvention.”

She went on to explain that although she has a "fantastic relationship" with her children, she doesn’t exert any "emotional pull on them" and isn’t concerned if she doesn’t see them on Christmas.

She said: “I have to say we have a fantastic relationship. With my middle-aged sons there’s no emotional blackmail or clinging on. I don’t even give them a second thought.

“I wanted to reclaim my own life and I just didn’t want these six foot giants in the same house anymore .

“We get on very well, but we don’t exert any emotional pull on each other. I’m not one of those parents who says, ‘I’ll be upset if you don’t come for Christmas’.

“I don’t put any expectations on them.”

Vanessa disagreed and insisted her kids are her “heart and soul”, saying: “I thank God every day of my life my kids live within commuting distance.

“If I could afford somewhere big enough for us all to live together, that would be my joy."

One viewer slammed Liz for her view, branding her “selfish” and insisting that she’s the “worst kind” of parent.

They wrote on Twitter: “This woman on #ThisMorning is the worst type of parent. How can she be proud not seeing her family since Christmas? It’s what’s wrong with the world selfish people like her! (sic)”

Another viewer said: “If you’re happy when your kids leave the nest, why would you have them?

“Surely you’d want to care for them forever, being a parent is never over. They should leave the nest, but I don’t think it is something you should be looking forward to.”