I have recently procured the services of a young 20 something year old personal assistant. She is a single mother of a five year old and wanted some part time work to not only bring income into her household but also to stimulate her mind.
No mainstream political party seeks to recognise or place value on the prospect of a parent at home, doing the work of childcare and supporting the family. We may only speak of childcare being productive and valuable if it is performed by strangers, for a fee, and under the guise of 'Early Years Education'.
Grandparents are supposed to have the pleasure of playing with their grandkids, then handing them back. But these days, with the rising cost of childcare, it's like they are being parents all over again.
So, where does that leave a mother who wishes to stay at home and raise her family? Between a party who loathes them, a party who patronises them and a party who ignores them.
Unless you're Meryl the culture won't allow you to age. The opportunities available suddenly become a role-call of grannies, witches and victims of dementia.
The work of raising children doesn't seem to be viewed with real respect. If it were, parental leave for working parents would be fully paid, it would last longer, and it would include equal amounts of time for both parents.
This week there was a report about the rising costs of childcare in the UK, which is indeed a big problem for parents. Yet I kept reading how this was an issue for working mothers or mothers returning to the workplace, never about fathers.
Recent weeks have given us a sobering reminder of the dreadful impact of child sexual exploitation. The further revelations regarding Rotherham coupled with the announcements of new investigations in Manchester, Halifax and Essex, reinforce the belief that we are only beginning to scratch the surface of this emerging national blight.
I guess what myself and my mummy tantrum are trying to say is that rather than being strong and brave through it all, wouldn't it sometimes be a refreshing relief to admit how hard all parenting decisions are and how we bloody dread having to make them?
Increasing paid paternity leave from two weeks to four weeks might sound like a small step, but it's an essential one. It goes someway to creating an equitable system that sees mums and dads as equal and able... What's not to like?
One of the biggest scandals of the last five years has been the way that Sure Start children's centres have been allowed to wither and die... Now the Labour Party says that these ghost ships could be revitalised by offering 50,000 childcare places.
When toddler starts playing with seat and inevitably hits himself in the mouth, stifle his roar with a packet of chocolate sweets. Ignore dagger looks from sibling who keeps saying "Mum, mum - why did he get sweets?" and can no longer follow the film because all she can think about is sweets and unfairness.
In just a few months from now some new dads will have more options in how they use their parental leave. The new scheme will allow parents to share leave after their child is born, allowing more mothers to return to work - but the question is how many dads will take this leave?
This growing crisis in care for all ages is having a huge impact on working families, many of whom are facing the cost squeeze from all directions. It will be some time before most families feel their household coffers seem more than half empty.
I have read a few negative articles in the press recently regarding surrogacy. Allow me to tell you my story, in the hope of leaving you with a fuller heart. Infertility is still a fairly taboo topic. Yet the reality is that many people need help to have a baby. It is a serious issue, and it was for me too.
The other day, I found myself checking my weather app to confirm that it was actually raining - despite the fact I could clearly see raindrops falling on the window. "But it's not going to rain 'til 3 o'clock!" I cried, before swiftly cancelling my park plans via Facebook Messenger. Then the sun came out. But everyone had already made other plans, in the beat of an email. Sound familiar?