Posts Tagged ‘family-friendly hours’

Parliament is still the family’s enemy

03/01/2011, 07:00:18 AM

by John Woodcock

My new year’s resolution is to be a good dad to my two-year-old daughter.

Readers of a zingy political website understandably might ask why this should be of any interest to them. Bear with me.

The resolution, and my decision to share it, is driven by an issue I had not properly considered before becoming a Member of Parliament: namely, the difficult relationship between family life and elected politics in Britain.

It is not that I think I have been a rubbish dad so far, though the explosion of fury from my daughter when she is denied a second slice of chocolate cake would make any parent doubt himself.

But since being elected last May it has been unexpectedly difficult to balance the schedule of Parliamentary life with giving the time and energy that a loving little girl deserves and a partner sharing parenting duties should have the right to expect. The life of an MP is not an obvious case study for the good parenting handbook: shuttling up and down the country every week; late votes and meetings that can snatch away even the promise of a call back home before bedtime; events and campaigning that you want to get stuck into when you are back home in your constituency rather than spend the weekend at the zoo. (more…)

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