Never underestimate the power of a woman 7



It seems as though the up and coming election has forced the UK’s political parties to sit up and recognise that woman and particularly mothers are going to play a big part in the next general election.
There have been a number of articles in the newspapers over the last couple of days highlighting this issue:
The Independent on Sunday has one here
Even the Sun got in on the act too
It is about time I feel that us woman and us mothers especially were listened too and not only as there is a general election coming, but we are raising the next generation of citizens for our country.
Politics is in a hole right now I feel, a lot of people were horrified and disgusted when it came to MP’s expenses and it has made many people question their loyalties.  For me being a mother has made me far more intested in politics and how our tax money is spent. 
We are a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to politics in  TheMadHouse, both MadDad and I grew up in the North East of England in a labour stronghold, but MadDad as the son of a farmer has much more conservative leanings than I ever did.
My father was a Marine Engineer and worked at one of the many shipyards which were shut down in the 80’s by Thatchers government and the area never really recovered.  He was a union man as was his father before him.  My grandfather worked in the Shipyards as a Blacksmith before and had to take early retirement sue to the effect on his lungs.  Infact my family either worked in shipbuilding or at the local steel works.  So I experienced first hand what shutting down and denationalising these industries did to a whole community. 
However, we both spent in excess of 10 years in Berkshire working hard following the typical everything in excess life of the 90’s!!
Then children came along,
So what are my concerns:
Education
I fear that my children are being left behind and are going to be the forgotten average Joe’s of society.  We do not fit in to the group of people who can afford to send the minimads to private school and pay for the education I feel that they deserve, nor do we fall into the demographic (disadvantaged background) that David Cameron discussed on his live web chat on Mumsnet earlier in the week See here for the full web chat, but if you dont fancy trawling through all 1200 and so posts there is an edited version too.  So where does that leave them???
Now MaxiMad is bright and clever, he is well above the average in his class, but he is 4.  We dont want him to be moved out of his peer group, we want him to have schooling to fit his needs.

The Environment


I particularly feel strongly over environmental issues and we are as green as we possibly can.  we recycle religiously and I feel we should be rewarded for the effort we put in, as we are one of the few on our street to always have recycling.  The government wants to encourage recycling, we then give a rebate on the council tax for the active recyclers out there.  it costs more to use landfill than recycle.
National Health
Again this is something that I have experienced first hand and a great big shout out to the nursing and care staff that are undervalued and underpaid and also understaffed.
When my boys turn 18 they will have the opportunity to have a test to review if they carried the same spelling mistake as I do in my genes and I am hoping that by then there has been some movement forward in not only identifying this, but actually being able to correct it. 
The national health service is key to offering a standard of care to all the individuals in the UK.
Childcare and bringing up children
Now this might be something that a lot of people disagree with me on and is quite controversial  but the current trend of offering free childcare for all 3 year olds, moving to 2 year olds and the way the tax credit system works doesn’t encourage mothers to stay at home with their children.
I would rather the government subsidised me to stay at home or at least gave me the option rather than paying for childcare for 2 and 3 year olds. 
I have been blessed to be able to stay at home and  influence my children, when else do you get the opportunity to spend this much precious time with them.  It hasn’t been easy, we have had to make many sacrifices, but it has been more than worth it in my opinion. 
I understand that this is not an option for everyone, but in addition to giving people help if they want to return to work, with working family tax credits and other benefits, why not help the woman and the families that make the decision to remain at home and bring up their own children.  I am not taking about a vast amount, but even transferring a portion of my tax allowance to MadDad would have made a vast difference to us.
So come guys, pull out your fingers and star looking at the real issues that are affecting families now.  What matters to me is my family and every day living.  I am not concerned over inheritance tax, infact if things continue the way they are there wont be any inheritance for my children at all, as we will need to look at schooling for them instead!
We want something different from you, not the same old rhetoric, we have seen it all before and yes we are sceptical, but surely have a right to be with the issues with the banks and your expenses.  So give me something innovative that will work for me and other woman like me and then maybe, just maybe I might consider voting for you.
Other Mummy bloggers take on things
GiGi at Mumsrock
Whilst the chat was going on over at Mumsnet, Alpha Mummy and numerous influential mummy bloggers including Suzanna at A Modern Mother, Clare from The Potty Diaries and Ninxminx  held a live blogging analysis of his answers.
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7 thoughts on “Never underestimate the power of a woman

  • nixdminx

    Fab to see your round up here – Mummy bloggers are really getting the word out and I have to say it was a great experience reporting on alphamummy – so different from the last elections too. I feel reconnected with politics again x

  • Emily O

    I agree with a lot of what of your ideas, education worries me too because the standard of state schools varies so greatly. I'm not sure I'm with you on the free childcare though. I'm a stay at home mum too and money is very tight on one salary so I find the free time my 4 year old gets at pre-school is invaluable for giving me a slight break and helping him develop social skills in an environment outside home. He's been going there since he was two and a half, if it had been free then that would have helped us too. Well said though, I can feel my own post coming on!

  • A Modern Mother

    This is an excellent post! I agree on many points, especially feel that our "average joe" family might be ignored.

  • bad penny

    great post . We fall intio that middle bracket too. We are too honest for our own good, have never ripped off the system but seem to be penalysed every which way.

    I totally agree about supporting mums to stay at home for AS LONG AS POSSIBLE !!!

  • Stigmum

    Nicely put! I am a mother who the state 'helps' (apparently). I am also a mother who does not have the slightest idea who to vote for next May and did write to Gordy asking that 'none of the above' be put on the ballot paper (because I do not want to 'abstain'). Why has an election never felt so important? Is it because I am a mother now so am more aware of how much is at stake?

  • ALMOST MRS AVERAGE

    What a brilliant post. I completely share your feelings. I am so lucky that I have never had to claim any unemployment benefits from the state during my career, but then I felt very let down by the maternity "benefits" when I had our first child. There seems to be little support for parents who want to stay home and bring up their children. My sister lives in Switzerland where there is much greater support and had a totally different experience. The more women who take an interest in what's happening in current day politics the better. As Pippa says…where can we vote for you? 🙂

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