When I was a kid there were two options. 1) you had a party at home. Non of the parents stayed. Overjoyed at two hours away from their children. You played crap games. Expected to get crap gifts and the party bags consisted of a balloon and a bit of squashed cake or 2) you had a McDonalds party. That. Was. It.
To censor myself, or adapt my Blog, to remove mention of the maternal, would amount to succumbing to the taboo of mentioning - let alone promoting - mothering and maternal care, and to the unease with which women often feel in proclaiming their rights or protecting the interests of themselves or their families.
I hate to admit it but as the second baby came along, delivering us with two Tiny Humans under Two, which, as grateful as we are for them, they have filled every corner of our lives, minds and pre occupations squashing me and thee to the other sides of our new universe, with no time to spare and no spare energy to spare for each other.
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'.
When my mum died after a long fight with Alzheimer's, grief threw me an opportunity to consider her legacy to me, and my three daughters. A friend said to me, "We all leave our shadow behind". So what is my mum's shadow? What will mine be to my darling daughters so they have what they need to thrive in the modern world?
When my son was born I spent at least the first six months wondering why, on a good day, he didn't like me and, on a bad day, he hated me. I felt ashamed of these thoughts and kept telling myself, logically, that it wasn't possible for my son to think or feel either of these things yet at such a young age.