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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,


CheeryCherry Thu 28-Feb-13 23:50:38

Mummyfesto.....dreadful sexist term....what about the dads/grandparents who are F/T carers?
Marius yours are the best!
So I agree with those but would also like a free car&petrol for all my school runs/after school activities.
Plus a weekly massage to de-stress.
And free coffee&cakes every Friday.
Many thanks! smile

Crazybit Thu 28-Feb-13 23:52:37

A big overhaul on childcare issues and schools.
Pass a law preventing holiday operators from bumping the prices up at school holidays.

TheCrackFox Fri 01-Mar-13 00:09:54

I'd make it mandatory that local authorities have to provide breakfast clubs and enough after school places. My boys go to a school in Edinburgh - no breakfast club and after school places are rarer than hens teeth. Parents want to work but they also dont want their children to be feral street urchins.

majjsu Fri 01-Mar-13 05:47:01

More playgroups at Surestart
More Surestarts, think they provide a great service
Cheaper childcare
Fairer child benefit system

Timetoask Fri 01-Mar-13 05:59:37

To ensure that our children's minds are protected from adult material such as porn and x-rated games and have a healthy attitude to relationships.
To encourage our children to be children for as long as possible and not engage in sexual behaviour before time.

motherofvikings Fri 01-Mar-13 06:18:55

Free weekly slice of cake for all pregnant ladies smile

Banning of all those bloody annoying ride on toys that want money so they can vaguely jiggle the kids for 30 seconds hmm

Free once a week, half a day, playgroup session for children under school age so parents can have a little bit of time to themselves. Would save the Nhs a fortune on Prozac for stressed out parents I'm sure!

QuickQuickSloe Fri 01-Mar-13 06:41:18

Drive through shops for essential groceries* so that you don't have to disturb your colicky newborn who has finally gone to sleep in the car seat.

Milk, tea, chocolate, gin etc.

We should be able to access sleep schools and not to be left to struggle with insommniac babies and no support.

Littlecherublegs Fri 01-Mar-13 10:54:48

Ensure all children get:
- 'proper', homemade, healthy school meals
- at least one hour of exercise a day
- taught some basic skills for life including money management, basic diy (ie. how to change a lightbulb / wire a plug), and cooking skills
- access to free activities including museums, libraries, sports, art, etc.
- swimming lessons
- taught right from wrong / morals / principles / respect etc. to make the world a nicer place!

TheOneWithTheNameChange Fri 01-Mar-13 12:09:32

Affordable quality childcare for everyone.

And if I get two points, I'd make all state funded schools 100% secular

TheOneWithTheNameChange Fri 01-Mar-13 12:10:14

P.s I the mummyfesto too. It's twee and sends the wrong message about parenting.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Fri 01-Mar-13 12:39:51

More funded support (live-in help, mother-and-child foster placements, respite breaks etc) for vulnerable and/or disabled lone parents who are not able to look after their children without assistance.

Making it a criminal offence for health visitors to refer to parents as 'Mummy' rather than their correct name.

FernieB Fri 01-Mar-13 12:51:49

- School meals being cooked from scratch in school kitchens again
- No school uniform - the endless rules about what can/can't be worn and how it has to be worn are impractical, especially on a cold winters day when your child is not allowed to wear boots or a coat in school but the school hasn't provided anywhere for these items to be kept securely during the day. Kids end up wet and cold as they can't dress appropriately for the weather.
- Longer school day and less homework - would help working parents and also allow time at home to be family time and not 'building a castle for history project' time.
- Parent and child parking spaces to be restricted to those with children under school age. Am fed up of seeing people with kids who are well able to walk sensibly, taking up these spaces at the expense of those with toddlers.
- Child benefit to be reformed so that it is only paid out for first 2 children. If people choose to have more children, they need to make sure they can afford them. (This one will not make me popular, I'm sure)
- No-one allowed to become a politician (or local councillor) unless they have worked at some kind of job (doesn't really matter what) for at least 10 years first.
- Supermarkets to stop selling toys and also to put the toddler/baby trolleys near the parent with child parking spaces.

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Fri 01-Mar-13 12:52:39

Free and universal access to a Sleep Deprivation Crisis Service (SDCS), accessible by dialing 999. So basically, your baby or older SN child has been awake screaming for the last 72 hours and by contacting the SDCS you can summon within 7 minutes a well-qualified nanny who will immediately take over and allow you some sleep.

FernieB Fri 01-Mar-13 12:54:40

Oh and I'd also ban playdough and glitter - it gets everywhere and is really hard to clear up.

HannahLI Fri 01-Mar-13 15:54:34

I would make fresh produce cheaper to buy than junk food and ready made things as I feel that it costs us more to teach are children to eat well and cook!

Babycarmen Fri 01-Mar-13 16:18:38

Definitely help with all childcare! Wide doors in public places for pushchairs, extra room in public transport for prams. More priority for children's healthcare and education. Equality for children so they all get the same education where possible. Vouchers to help towards fruit and veg for all incomes. Remove toy adverts from tv!

poopoopoo Fri 01-Mar-13 16:59:01

People who let their dog poo in the street and leave it would have to pay for the school shoes of all the children that walk along that street.
All parking spaces would have to be made wide enough to open your doors fully.
All cars would have to come with seats that adapt for children as standard.
All cars would have to be eco friendly and be automatically controlled to the speed limit.
Maternity units would have beds and pain relief for women in labour ( however dilated they are ).
Country parks car parks would be free to park if you have children under 18.
Supermarkets would have a person who will push the trolley for you when your baby is asleep in the buggy.- Or comfy trolley seats so baby/toddlers can rest.
All schools would have to work to the same standards and provide free healthy meals. smile

Solopower1 Fri 01-Mar-13 17:51:36

All it needs is a change of focus, imo. The government has to put children first. Simple.

So I'd like a huge banner to be put up in all government and council offices. It would list the things that all children need, eg fantastic health care, excellent education, plenty of space, safe roads, oodles of fresh air, good food, warmth, stimulating TV programmes, healthy, happy parents with jobs, healthy happy grandparents, etc.

So each time the local council wants to allow developers to build on green spaces, they would have to do some research into how it would affect the children already living in the area. Each time the govt wants to sell a hospital, they would have to think about how it might affect the local kids.

Put kids first!

LentilAsAnything Fri 01-Mar-13 18:18:52

MPs to be paid minimum wage.
Huge fines for owners who don't pick up after their dogs. DNA poo database!
Free nursing bras.
RearFacing carseats the law for children under four.
Fruit and vegetables much cheaper. Cakes and chocolate more expensive.
Ban smoking.
Cleaner softplay centres!

MmeLindor Fri 01-Mar-13 18:34:44

A ban on all words that include 'mummy' or 'mum' -

or alternatively we could introduce a Daddyfesto.

Oh. Wait. Don't have to. They are already running the country.

Seriously. MNHQ. What were you thinking?

MmeLindor Fri 01-Mar-13 18:38:36

As the fab blogger Jenny (aka The Bloggess) said, to much applause at the MN Blogfest

'You only get to call me mummy if you came out of my vagina'

PurpleCrutches Fri 01-Mar-13 18:40:37

Don't know if I can top the ones already here!

- On diagnosis of any SEN, automatic referral should be made to all relevant agencies, like Homestart, Social Services etc, so that they can call the family and ask if help is needed. Parent should not be given a diagnosis and then be left to do their own research.

- Campaign on behalf of Social Services so that parents know that they are there to help, and not just there to take your child away from you.

- Share information between all health agencies, even if it's just in that county. I should be able to walk into a hospital with my child and give their name and DOB, and the staff should be able to access their medical records.

- Increase the number of schools that have SEN support, and give schools additional funds to cope with the needs of SEN students (a particular bugbear of mine, after DS was refused a place at a mainstream school because, "any help he needs would have to come out of the school's budget" angry )

- Introduce a respite service that is easily accessible and is staffed by compassionate people

- Include detailed advice about both breast and bottle feeding, and retrain midwives and health professionals so that there is no stigma with either option.

Just as a start. The free chocolate/wine/gin for parents should go without saying, really - though I think a daily "treat" voucher scheme could be used.

JenniferHelen Fri 01-Mar-13 18:50:53

If parents were in charge, smoking would be banned completely. I carry my 5 month-old DD everywhere in my wrap, and I'm frequently having to shield her face from clouds of cigarette smoke to avoid her breathing it right into her tiny little lungs. This can't be right, can it? Why isn't this talked about more?!

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 01-Mar-13 18:54:54

Thank you for all your comments so far. We've been asked to post this message from Linda Green, author of The Mummyfesto:

"Hello everyone. I'm the author of Mummyfesto and I've been reading all your comments - good and bad! - with great interest.

I love the fantastic suggestions people are coming up with for how they would change things for the better. Thank you.

I can also see that some of you don't like the the title of the book.

To anyone who thinks the title is patronising, I apologise. It wasn’t intended as such. There’s a scene in the book where the three central characters are struggling to come up with a name for their party. The scene is there for a reason. Names aren’t easy. You are never going to please everyone. But at some point you have to settle on something and move on.

I chose Mummyfesto because it’s a story about three mums of young children. It’s not about a group of mums and dads, so that’s why it wasn’t called Parentifesto.

Parentifesto doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue, either. MNHQ tell me that Mumsnet is called Mumsnet, not Parenstnet for similar more-catchy-name reasons.

The characters in my book are not defined purely by being mums, though. They are all incredibly strong women, who are also flawed, like all of us.

You have the right not to like the title of my book, of course, but please don’t let that detract you from the more serious issue here. Please keep posting more of your brilliant ideas to make the country a better place for women and families. Because I can’t think of anything more patronising to women than a system where less than a quarter of our MPs are women. Let's make our voices heard!"

ClaraOswinOswald Fri 01-Mar-13 19:04:24

Affordable childcare for all.
A living wage.
No child to live in poverty.
More family support.
Schools and other services to be allowed to do their jobs, not tied up with bureaucracy and red tape.
Parenting classes for all.
More support for families in crisis.
Making men support any children they father.
I could go on and on.

The name of the book doesn't offend me- any chance of a copy? ;)

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