I may be so much more conscious of this issue as a single parent, who is self-employed, runs a charity and has raised two kids 'single handedly'. My girls roll their eyes and mime at this line as it is much used, mainly in an aim to get people to see that if I can do it....anyone can, seriously, anyone can do this.
Earlier in the summer, a middle aged husband, lets call him Mr X, wrote an anonymous letter to The Guardian lamenting his wife for refusing to entertain the possibility of a return to work even though both their children have been at full-time school for some time. Indeed, the eldest is about to start college.
Parents do not get enough credit for having children. Becoming a parent is the hardest job in the world, however companies and employers do not appreciate the skills parents have gained. Especially woman returning from maternity leave or from being a Stay-at-Home Mum - they are considered a done and dusted vegetable head.
I always imagined I'd love being a stay-at-home-mum. Although I've always enjoyed working, and I'm pretty good at it, I've never been what you'd describe as a career girl. I assumed once I became a mum I would find my forte in life and never look back. I figured I would eventually go back to work part time but it would be because we needed the money, not because I actually wanted to return.
My time was up, 365 long, exhausting and beautiful days had passed, it was time to resume duty, resurrect the old me. I decided that returning part-time would give me the best balance possible. Four days with baby, three days with normal people, no more time with the NCT massive! But which three days should I work? Well here's my science...
My husband told me the other day that's it's not my personality to get down on the floor and play with her but it suits him (so she wont be so deprived after all!). I think I'm more of a "teacher" than a "player", I really look forward to her reading, painting, cooking with me etc over the coming years.
Politicians and business leaders talk a lot about boardroom quotas, pay equality and diversity. But the issue of helping women return to work is not yet on our agenda and it needs to be. We need more women returning to the workplace to increase the pool at the top, achieve true gender equality and inspire younger generations.