|It has way too much potential for disaster.|
|Marianna plotting what mischief to cause Nanny next...|
Because while politicians are making laws (or enacting them) on working rights, the idea that they are all - or perhaps all should be? - middle aged men of private means has meant that politicians themselves have often slipped through the gaps. It's all well and good that Sarah Richardson was back on the campaign trail within three weeks of giving birth, but what happens when nothing goes to plan? In my case three weeks in I still needed help to stand up half the time, and Marianna was still on SCBU (the special care baby unit). There has been change in recent years (e.g. Jo Swinson took six months leave, but still attended many votes - though that wasn't enough for Daily Mail readers, naturally), but I really hope MPs' parental rights get dragged into the modern age during the next parliament.
|Jo Swinson MP and Duncan Hames MP with their baby son, Andrew. Comments in the press suggested if she couldn't cope with going back to work full time within weeks, she should step down - if a MP told any working mother they should quit their job if they weren't willing to be back at work within a month of giving birth there would be uproar!|
At it's core it's this assumption that all politicians are scrounging scum, so their children, friends and spouses must also be guilty by association. But in a world where we routinely blame all women who leave their children exposed to public scrutiny - by whatever means - I fear it's going to take more than properly codified maternity leave to entice mothers into politics.