The number of families who now need two wage-earners to keep up with the cost of living in the UK has hit a record high. We also have some of the longest working hours in Europe. But the truth is that when are overwhelmed and overworked, it can wear away at our parenting skills, despite our very best intentions.
I follow 'Man Who Has it all' on twitter. Sometimes it makes me laugh, sometimes I post a snide reply and other times it makes me cross. If you haven't heard about it, it's a parody of how woman have to juggle family and business life but with roles reversed.
I've been in the Marketing industry for six years and have two kids under five. I would never call myself a career woman but I know I could never be a stay at home mum either. I love my kids to the moon and back and believe I take better care of them (and myself!) if I'm not in the picture all the time. It also means I enjoy and make the most of the time we have together.
I used to be reasonably fit. I am vegetarian, have practised yoga for over a decade and have always been naturally slim. When I had my first child my body stretched and strained but within six months of a natural birth I returned to a slightly heavier, slightly hippier, saggier-boobed version of myself. But not that dissimilar.
I do usually manage to fit in some writing during the day but it is sometimes hard to find the motivation as well as the time. So by last weekend, after a whole week of not writing, it was tempting to think that perhaps I should find a job and contribute to the family in a more measurable way - i.e. financially.
On my way to work this morning, I saw a woman in her early thirties. She was smartly dressed, in a business suit, and looked like a lawyer or other professional also on her way to work. She trotted along in her high-heeled court shoes, a slight frown on her face. She was probably thinking about an issue at work.
1. One or more of your children will get ill. Really ill. A sick bug, chicken pox, a mystery virus - whatever. They've been incubating it the whole time you've been off work, and storing it up for the week you return just so you're forced to have that conversation with your boss as early as possible.
Jenny Lewis' new book One Day Young, features portraits of women in their Hackney homes within 24 hours of giving birth. A few of these images are of acquaintance's, but most were stranger's at that point, all depicting an arresting intimacy and timelessness that would sit perfectly amongst the collections at The National Portrait Gallery.