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NOW CLOSED If parents ruled the world…what would make it into your 'Mummyfesto'? Share your thoughts and win £200 Love2shop voucher

(205 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 28-Feb-13 12:21:22

To celebrate the launch of the new book, The Mummyfesto by Linda Green, we'd like to know what issues Mumsnetters would campaign for if parents were in charge.

Here's what the publishers of The Mummyfesto say: "Issues affecting and surrounding parents don't often come to the forefront of the political agenda - a recent survey by 23snaps revealed that 46% of parents don't think family issues get much attention from politicians. This is addressed in The Mummyfesto, a new book by Linda Green, in which three mums who campaign to save their local lollipop lady from redundancy discover that they are rather good at it."

So what would you like to see in world where parents are in charge? This can be anything from free childcare to Mumsnet replacing the House of Lords. We'd love to hear what you think - if parents ruled the world, how would we make it better? It could be something small and local or big and national, silly or deadly serious. Time to get creative!

Everyone who adds a comment to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £200 Love2shop voucher.

Thanks and good luck,


MmeLindor Fri 01-Mar-13 19:13:29

Sorry for being snarky, Linda. It happens to be a bug bear of mine, the 'mummy-fication' of women.

Being serious and answering you question.

I would do away with all the childcare vouchers, and payments of housing benefits to landlords etc, as I think that this distorts the market prices of services.

Build houses. Lots of them, and rent them at affordable prices to families. Then build nurseries and offer free childcare to all pre-schoolers.

Moominmamma86 Fri 01-Mar-13 19:18:55

More paternity leave - a month at minimum but I think three months would be great for families. Not necessarily for fathers either - could be either the mother or the father

More midwives, and change to a system where you get to know the midwife who will be at your birth.

Laws that help make us a more breastfeeding friendly society? I know it's legal to breastfeed anywhere but I think they should get cafes etc to put up 'breastfeeding welcome' signs and maybe even provide comfy seats for the purpose? Cheeky I know but might lead to higher rates of breastfeeding which can only be a good thing.

Healthy, good quality school meals for all children.

Somehow change the whole system around so it's more affordable for one parent to be at home while children are young (under three, say) AND more affordable childcare for those who do work. I don't know how this could be done but I think it should be a priority.

More community building initiatives e.g. tax breaks to help the high street survive, keep libraries open, etc

scottishmummy Fri 01-Mar-13 19:23:59

Tax breaks on nursery fees for working parents

motherinferior Fri 01-Mar-13 19:35:53

The overthrow of the capitalist patriarchy. Obviously.

Parturition has not somehow obliterated my faculties.

Moominmamma86 Fri 01-Mar-13 19:46:28

Why not start a new political party? All these posters could run as MPs in their local area, it could be called the Family Party smile
(although I don't think single people should be sidelined either)

scottishmummy Fri 01-Mar-13 19:49:12

I wouldn't actually like to live in world solely ruled by parents
So many of them are bams who think just because they popped wean their wonderful
Ok,so another rule no groups of parents bigger than 8. No special dibs for parents

BucketsnSpades Fri 01-Mar-13 19:55:06

That there would be a new rule of ettiquette where breastfeeding women would be automatically seated on the comfy sofas in coffee shops, especially on cold days

Ekingy Fri 01-Mar-13 20:21:07

Good manners by parents and children
Ban unhealthy meal options from schools
Healthy budget food education free for all families.
How to beat obesity education for everyone.

serendipity1980 Fri 01-Mar-13 20:23:44

Support for parents who are disabled which is easier to access, better support from Social Services across all areas - it is such a postcode lottery what help you recieve and how hard you have to shout to get help.
Also, wheelchair access for all buses - this will, help all pushchair users too! I am restricted as to where I can take my children because I can't drive due to my disability, there are no guards on the train to help me on and very few buses are guaranteed to be wheelchair accessible. Not easy!

DifferentNow Sat 02-Mar-13 08:59:02

More support for families in crisis. Access for all to parenting classes and courses teaching parents core cooking skills, money management and general life skills. Better, affordable childcare.

Arcticwaffle Sat 02-Mar-13 16:28:52

Work would be restructured with shorter working hours (thus providing more employment all round), and childcare would be at least mostly free and state provided (and high quality and respected). Parents (often mothers but also men who work around their family's needs) would not find themselves sidetracked at work. There would be organisations to support people moving back into paid work after periods of caring, cos so many people get stuck at that point.

I would introduce paid parental leave, Scandi-style, which either parent could take, including flexibly at a day or so a week, over several years.

Cities and towns would be restructured (Dutch style) so that it was much easier to walk and cycle places and children could go out and travel around without the worry about them getting run over.

University education would be free, EMA would be reintroduced, and to do so I'd have everyone paying higher taxes but especially the high earners. Again, Scandinavian-style. in fact I could just move to Denmark really...

xigris Sat 02-Mar-13 22:08:19

I've not read the whole thread I'm afraid so apologies if this has already been said:

I'd really like maternity and paternity leave to become parenting leave. Instead of the mother being entitled to a year off work (if she can afford it) I'd suggest there was a "pot" of a year that both parents were entitled (I know, not a popular word!) to and could use flexibly. eg. the mother take 6 months and return to work whereupon the father / partner would take a further 6 months. Or the mother take 9 months and the father / partner take 3 months concurrently. Whatever you choose to do. I know that it would probably be hugely impractical for a lot of businesses and in reality wouldn't work at all - I just think it would be so nice! I live in London where there's often a lot of negative press about absent fathers and in the UK as a whole, so many marriages and relationships breakdown. Maybe if there was more opportunity for parents to spend these early months of their child's life together, it would help. My husband was only able to take a week off when each of our children were born; I was lucky and had easy pregnancies and easy births but I couldn't help thinking how awful it must be for women who've had traumatic births / C-sections who then have to cope when their husbands / partners go back to work.

Like I said, probably totally impossible, but I can dream! smile

xigris Sat 02-Mar-13 22:15:07

Oh, and I'd make littering, not cleaning up after your dog and spitting in the street punishable by public flogging. (Again, probably not very likely or indeed P.C)

xigris Sat 02-Mar-13 22:16:46

.....and HANDS OFF THE NHS!!!! Right, i'll go away now grin

duchesse Sat 02-Mar-13 23:37:02

I'd like to borrow from all over Europe and beyond.

1) From Sweden: Shared parental leave over two years- half for each parent. Scandinavian style but twice the length.
2) From France: Heavily discounted nursery with curriculum care system for ages 2-rising 6, with meals, naps etc factored in to take account of the needs of small children. It is barbaric to expect children aged 4 and 1 day to stay all day in a class of 30 learning stuff without even a rest.
3) Annualised working hours rather than daily presenteism to become generalised all industries. This means that either parent can take time off according to their schedules to nurse the people they care for when they're ill or need a parent at home- be that children, parents, disabled relatives etc... They would then make up the time when all was well at home again. Not sure where that's best implemented.
4) France again: Cheap after school club, where the children can go without formality if the parent is delayed.
5) Affordable and good range of extra-curricular activities run out of all schools, subsidised in some discreet way for children on FSM.
6) From the US: Academic and life mentoring by volunteer young professionals in their 20s for all teenagers 12-15. If volunteers were in short supply, to be focused on the young people who would stand to gain the most from it. To be enabled by a scheme of "volunteer leave" of a couple of hours a week, hopefully donated by companies as part of their ethical commitments. Volunteers would donate their time to the school nearest to them geographically.

Most people in the developed world do not have very many children- 2 or 3 at most, so over a lifetime the considerable investments of time and resources would pay off in a more balanced population able to give back. I just think that children are too precious, for want of a better and less yucky word, to trust entirely to their parents. Rearing children and doing all the things one has to do as an adult at the same time is an enormous juggling act and it would be helpful to have assistance with it. In many countries, there are grannies, aunts, cousins etc able to help out with child-rearing. We often don't have that in place any more in the UK, but the need for extra hands is still there and unless you earn enough to employ a person to be those extra hands, then I think pretty much everyone in the equation suffers at least a bit.

duchesse Sat 02-Mar-13 23:41:14

Oh and definitely agree with bringing back Sure Start with all the same funding it used to have. Sure Start was fanbloodytastic.

newshoots Sun 03-Mar-13 00:04:19

Trivial or perhaps more personal, but "mummy" just raises my hackles it's not a word my community used growing up and to me it is loaded with class as well as sexist baggage. I don't wish to get at the author but to point out that words provoke emotional responses.

choccyp1g Sun 03-Mar-13 10:42:33

No separation of state schools into "church" and other.
All school to have longer hours with more time for active play or sport.
Homework to be abolished and replaced with compulsory supervised "prep" time.
Better playgrounds, with goals on the football fields, and basketball nets.

choccyp1g Sun 03-Mar-13 10:43:40

I meant public playgrounds, but also school playgrounds should be open in the evenings and weekends.

GrendelsMum Sun 03-Mar-13 20:22:03

Sorry if this has already been said, but surely the world is ruled by parents? The overwhelming majority of adults do have children, and surely they arrange things to suit them?

Are we saying that Barack Obama and David Cameron automatically do a much better job of governing their countries than Angela Merkel because they have children?

trustissues75 Sun 03-Mar-13 20:44:23

Large companies forced to provide flexible hours and extremely low cost child care for those who have no choice but to work.

Better help for single parents

DV not glossed over by the courts and the realisation that any contact is better than none is a bad blanket policy

Easier for single parents to retrain and gain valuable skills for a chance to improve job prospects

The abolishment of the jobcentres any job will do attitude towards single parents who actually want to better themselves and don't want to have to rly on benefits

Flexi schooling

nancerama Sun 03-Mar-13 21:02:47

Everyone (not just parents) should work their contracted hours, no more no less, and the 0 hour contracts will be abolished.

If companies were no longer able to rely on employees to put in unpaid overtime to get the work done, they would have to employ enough people to get the work done, therefore generating more jobs.

It never ceases to amaze me how many of my friends have negotiated part time hours, but still have a full time workload and end up working evenings and weekends to get the job done while their employers get away with paying a part time salary.

Too many parents never see or hardly see their DCs during the week because they are stuck in late meetings.

Trinski Sun 03-Mar-13 22:09:05

The national curriculum would include classes for everyone, boys and girls, where you have to look after one of those life-like doll babies for a weekend.

carovioletfizz Sun 03-Mar-13 22:18:24

That it was OK to breastfeed your baby or toddler anywhere you liked, without people raising their eyebrows or making you feel uncomfortable.

zebrafinch Mon 04-Mar-13 00:15:44

Agree with nancerama above regarding part time hours and full time workload.

A run on for 6 months of Carers Allowance after your child or family member you were caring for dies. You are just not ready to work after 8 weeks and many Carers cannot claim JSA

a ban on supermarket leaflets which come through your letterbox advertising discounted fat, sugar, salt laden or alcholic crap. a ban on the sale of chocolate and sweets at tills of shops which are not food shops

An increase in the number of women, people with disabilities, young people and ethnic minorities in the Houses of Parliament so that legislators are more representative of the wider community.

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