Ruth Kelly to quit Cabinet to spend time with family

(120 Posts)
Monkeytrousers Wed 24-Sep-08 09:33:06

"Mr Brown told Sky News: "She has got four children between five and 11. She felt, rightly, that the tension between having to work, being a constituency MP, being a minister, and having a family of four, that she wanted to spend that time as they grow up helping them through these challenging years."

WideWebWitch Wed 24-Sep-08 10:21:57

Sorry, hadn't read thread about no nanny or sahd when I posted. Annabee, actually, it's still hard when they're all at school and I only have 2. There are:

myriad parents evenings
2 (in her case 4) book bags to go through, homework to shout at them to do supervise
costumes to supply for plays etc
forms to fill in
lunches to make/dinner money to supply
breakfast club to book and pay for
supper for them all
uniforms to wash (a lot when they're 5!) and label
admission forms to complete for those going up/starting a new school

and that's JUST school stuff. That's without

food shopping
bill paying
working, ft, oth
seeing friends

these last two often fall off the to do list for me.

WideWebWitch Wed 24-Sep-08 10:23:23

And that's without factoring in the possibilities of

- one of more child being upset/ worried about something
- husband having work/other issues or worries
ageing parents or pils
money worries (MPs aren't paid that much given many live in London)
health concerns

throckenholt Wed 24-Sep-08 10:23:51

www - you would hope somewhere to find some time to have some fun with them too.

WideWebWitch Wed 24-Sep-08 10:24:09

So I guess I'm saying I don't blame her or Fiona Phillips or Penny Hughes or any of them.

Life as a ft working parent is bloody hard ime.

WideWebWitch Wed 24-Sep-08 10:24:47

Well you'd think so throckenholt but sometimes it's bloody hard to find time for that! And that's a damn shame imo

throckenholt Wed 24-Sep-08 10:31:22

yep - working and being a parent aren't really compatible IME.

I work part time and I still feel I don't spend much quality time with my kids - time at home when they are there is still taken up with the mundane (food, washing etc).

FioFio Wed 24-Sep-08 10:33:11

Message withdrawn

chocolatedot Wed 24-Sep-08 10:43:36

WWW and Fiofio too right. I worked pretty much full time when my kids were young, took 4 years out and am now with the youngest at full time school am returning to part time work.

It was far easier to work when they were at home as I could arrange good, consistent childcare. Now, school hours and holidays complicate that enormously as does the combined 90 minutes per evening I need to spend supervising/ helping with homework, preparing 3 packed luches and the innumerable things WWW cites.

Ruth Kelly's husband gave up his full time job to help with the kids (but remains active in other areas) while her mum moved to live closer to them to help out.

Her decision makes a lot of sense to me and quite frankly, I think some of the comments on here are a bit disappointing. Its damned hard to work full time with school age children.

FioFio Wed 24-Sep-08 10:48:49

Message withdrawn

WideWebWitch Wed 24-Sep-08 10:54:16

And, with school age children there are something like THIRTEEN WEEKS of school holidays to cover!

Half term in Feb, a week
easter, 2 weeks
another half term, a week
summer holiday, 6 weeks
half term in Oct, a week
Christmas, when they finish around the 5th December (I'm joking, but it is usually 18th or something and often a HALF day on the last day)
inset days

and that's without counting children and adult sickness! x'd by however many children you have!

In my last job I worked ft and had 7 weeks holiday a year, still nowhere near covered it.

WideWebWitch Wed 24-Sep-08 10:55:04

Me too Fio, I thought it would be easier. If you're a sahm it is, if you woth, it aint.

Jux Wed 24-Sep-08 10:58:42

Thank god. One down, how many to go?

spicemonster Wed 24-Sep-08 10:59:05

But parliament is closed all summer, all easter and and xmas. My sister works there and only needs to find cover for half terms.

And MPs are also given allowances for any pads they need to maintain in London.

I reckon there's some other reason - either the embryology thing or she was about to get kicked out

bundle Wed 24-Sep-08 10:59:56

www, did you see that fiona phillips' dad has alzheimers? sad her mum died of it a few years ago and I think she's worried she may be at high risk herself sad

TheCrackFox Wed 24-Sep-08 11:01:15

This has nothing with to do with wanting to spend more time with her children and everything to do with the fact that, at best, she was lack lustre as a minister. She jumped before she was pushed.

bundle Wed 24-Sep-08 11:01:19


parliament may be "closed" but MPs have heaps of constituency stuff to be getting on with

a friend of mine who's an MP is up in Manchester today - she was home for a couple of days (after some parliamentary trip to the states) just in time to celebrate her little boy's birthday and then whisked off again. good job she's got family to help

WideWebWitch Wed 24-Sep-08 11:02:39

Bundle, I did, I posted the interview with her and really feel for her as she thinks she could have 10 years and then be affected herself. Poor woman.

bundle Wed 24-Sep-08 11:05:04

sorry, had missed that.

my dad had early-onset, but it must be really worrying to happen to both parents.

spicemonster Wed 24-Sep-08 11:05:51

I know that MPs have other things to do of course outside of the house sitting. I'm just pointing out that her cabinet responsibilities do not impact on school holidays.

bundle Wed 24-Sep-08 11:06:44

is your sister an MP? or a cabinet minister?

FioFio Wed 24-Sep-08 11:20:06

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WideWebWitch Wed 24-Sep-08 11:21:24

Oh I tihnk it's GOOD that it's been pinned fio, what's the creepy part? Do you think they're going to be waaatching you?

OrmIrian Wed 24-Sep-08 11:22:50

That's what I want to do right now!


WideWebWitch Wed 24-Sep-08 11:24:01

Me too ORm, I am like this at Ruth Kelly


OrmIrian Wed 24-Sep-08 11:28:06

Yep. Whatever her motivation, it isn't an option for most of us really.

Good luck to her.

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