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Pandemic Parenting: Abbie’s story

While scrolling through Facebook, one of my friends had shared a post from a young woman who had given birth this year and was pledging her support for #butnotmaternity campaign. The post had gone viral, clearly striking a chord with a lot of people. What hit me hardest was a picture this brave woman had posted, of her partner stood outside while she laboured inside.

Usually I don’t give so much of an introduction to these posts but feel I need to for this. Abbie was a 20-year-old first time mum, scared and alone in hospital while she laboured for 4 days alone. Without a birth partner with her, the way Abbie was treated was unacceptable and shouldn’t be happening to anyone. Abbie was so distressed she begged her mum to take her home.

Birth partners are not visitors. Birth partners should be there for as long as the labouring mother wants them there. Abbie should have been able to have her partner there holding her hand. This is Abbie’s story.

Want your story featured? Email us at parenthoodmatters@gmail.com

Where do I begin? This year has been a whirlwind for sure. I found out I was pregnant last November when I was 20 years old. The news was a huge shock, and I didn’t know how to take this information in. This news put a strain on my job as a health care assistant as I couldn’t do the heavy workload.

I was so excited to experience being pregnant and sharing all the precious moments with the people I loved. We had our gender reveal and found out we was having a baby girl! I was over the moon! We had planned a baby shower, but that soon got robbed from us due to COVID-19 and I was advised to go off from work early. Being pregnant at that time I was deemed high risk, especially with working in a care home. Thankfully, my partner moved in with me at my parents’ house so we could be in lockdown together.

Back in April I was 6 months pregnant and my partner and my dad fell ill. I was terrified worrying about whether it was the virus, being high risk and scared of harm coming to the baby. They both tested positive. My heart sank and we had the difficult task of trying to separate ourselves from each other in the house. I got tested and I was negative which put my mind at ease. A few weeks went by and my partner and father got a negative test so we could go back to the new normal.

The week of what should have been my baby shower was a very difficult week full of tears and frustration as I couldn’t experience anything. My mum planned a lock down baby shower just for our household and this meant the world to me! This also became the day I got engaged to my amazing fiancé I was on top of the world! The happiest I’ve ever been.

A few months later, I unfortunately had to go into hospital with reduced movements at 38 weeks and 4 days. I spent a few hours went by on the monitor, and then I got told a doctor wanted to Speak to me. When the doctor finally came to see me and said she wanted to admit me into hospital to be induced millions of scary thoughts rushed through my mind. The doctor could see the fear on my face so she said “look at it this way the next time you leave hospital is with your baby” once she said that I calmed down but then came to the quick realisation I was going to be on my own without my mum and without my partner.

A picture of me at the hospital window, taken by Ryan outside.

The first night being in hospital was very scary. I had my first lot of gel to induce me and was hooked back up to the monitor. The midwives were very reassuring and that they would give me my next gel in 6 hours. Skipping to my second day of hospital I was examined and told my waters could be broken, with so much excitement I quickly Face Timed my family and told them the good news! The midwife came in and told me to tell my partner to make his way down to the hospital. I was so excited to be that little bit closer to meeting my baby girl!

Ryan rang me that he was outside waiting for the go ahead to come be with me. 5 minutes went by and I was still waiting. 20 minutes went by and I was still waiting. 2 hours went by and I was still waiting with Ryan stood outside in the cold. I buzzed for the midwife to ask when I was going to go down to delivery suite, and she told me another 5 minutes! After being messed around so much I didn’t believe her and so I told Ryan he may as well wait at home where he can get rest. I was faced with another night on my own, not knowing what was going to happen to me or my baby. Everything was uncertain, and I was frustrated and scared.

Ryan stood outside waiting for hours

Morning time eventually came around and I was still waiting. I asked over and over what was happening, and nobody could tell me. I felt completely lost and alone. 30 hours went by and I was still waiting. I was in absolute agony at this point and they left me in pain. I was alone and so had nobody to advocate for me, nobody to help get my voice heard while I struggled in pain. I felt like I was being robbed of my basic human rights. At 4 in the morning I was on the phone to my mum, crying my eyes out and begging for her to come and take me home.

At approximately 7:02 AM my pains changed, and I knew these were real contractions. I buzzed the midwife; she gave me meds and that was that I was left again screaming and crying in pain. Alone. I had enough I rang my mum and Ryan telling them what was going on so my mum rang the ward and asked what was happening with me only to be told they were waiting for me to become a red flag (emergency) before doing anything with me! How is this ok to leave someone in agony for so long? My mum asked could she speak to the doctor who promised to break my waters 30 hours previously to ask why it hadn’t been done yet. She was told this was something that couldn’t be arranged. So, my mum said she was going to get in contact with PALS, and that enough was enough. We had respected and adhered to the government guidelines. But I had been left to suffer, and it was time for the hospital to respect what we considered to be my basic human rights. I was being left alone in pain and it wasn’t right. After my mum’s conversation with the midwife, they finally agreed to examine me again and take me down to the delivery suite for my waters to be broken.

When I finally got to see Ryan my whole body relaxed even though at that point I was physically and mentally drained from this experience. 4 hours went by and 1 hour of pushing and I finally got meet my bundle of joy!

Lily-Mai Brenda Armstrong

2nd July 2020

16:05 PM

8lbs 12oz

Incorporate single parents as a protected characteristic in the Equality Act 2010

Today Bethan Jones talks to us about a campaign very close to her heart. Ellementatal Mama is campaigning to Incorporate single parents as a protected characteristic in the Equality Act 2010. As a single parent herself, Bethan is highly supportive of this cause.

When this wonderful ladies’ email appeared in the Parenthood Matters inbox, it was instantly passed to myself and really hit an emotional nerve for me. I didn’t become a single parent by choice and nor did I take it lightly. When Covid-19 hit, my brain was consumed with the thought of what would happen to my son if anything happened to me. Who would care for him and what would happen to him if I was even in hospital for a few hours? That’s the reality faced by many single parents in the UK, when the other parent isn’t as active as it may seem to those looking from the outside in.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I haven’t hidden my feelings towards my son’s father. He hasn’t had concerns for my son’s health issues that I have had to endure during lockdown. He hasn’t had to worry about the childcare issues that I’ve faced during Covid that potentially could have affected my job – the job that is my only source of income to keep a roof over my son’s head. To keep him warm and clothed, and keep his greedy little belly fed. Fathers that are separated from single mothers may pay what the law dictates that they pay, but this figure often doesn’t stretch as far as one would think. The child support I receive doesn’t cover any of the mortgage, bills, or even my Son’s wardrobe. It scratches the surface of the astronomical cost of childcare.

People often paint single parents as living a life of luxury. A lovely lifestyle with no money worries. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and it is my honest opinion that people are deluded if they believe that. Single parenting is back breaking hard work. It is the toughest, and most rewarding job I have ever done. I cried on a daily basis. Spent months hobbling around like a zombie after sleepless nights, covered in baby sick and mystery stains. There have been times I have forgotten the last time I washed my hair, and instead gauge it on how many days before my hair stays in place without the bobble holding it there… But single parenting also has its perks. I get to make the decisions for myself and my son. Nobody to tell me what to do, nobody to dictate how I raise my son. I haven’t had to endure conversations about “what I have done all day” like I hear too many of my married mum friends say. I’m grateful for that, though I suppose that says something about the society we live in!

Reading Ruth’s (Ellamental Mama) email and speaking to her virtually was quite monumental for me. Although I have friends that have been single parents at one point or another in their life, I haven’t got any friends who are single parents right now. I head about the special family time people have had during lockdown. The amazing milestones that dads have been able to witness while their partners have been on maternity leave, and they’ve been working from home or furloughed. I’ve heard from friends about the relief they’ve felt when their partner takes over at 3am when the baby just won’t settle and wants another night feed. Hearing all that, and not having any of that support from a partner myself has been so so hard. While there are brilliant parents out there who manage to look past the troubles they have had in a relationship, and co-parent their children successfully, there are also so many out there who don’t have that relationship. There are so many parents out there battling parenthood completely alone. But I’ve done what I can. I’ve gotten life insurance and wrote my will to ensure my son is cared for should anything happen to me. I would any parent reading this to do the same.

So, this amazing single mama came walking into our mailbox. A single mum who played an instrumental part in the UK Government allowing single parents to form a support bubble. I felt like I was talking to a celebrity! If I hadn’t been able to form a support bubble, my life could have taken a much darker turn. I imagine that up and down the country, many other single parents feel the same.

SO, with this, I am pleased to announce that I will be formally supporting the national campaign for single parents’ equality, through Parenthood Matters. Single parents face discrimination throughout their daily lives, from the workplace to accessing housing. This has wide reaching implications for the lives of single parents and their children, including contributing towards higher rates of poverty, exacerbating the practical and emotional challenges faced by single parent families and culminating in lower levels of mental health wellbeing of single parents creating a negative cycle for the single parent family. 

The Equality Act, 2010 outlaw’s discrimination towards certain groups. These groups are referred to as protected characteristics. There are nine protected characteristics, namely, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation. Single parents are excluded from these characteristics which means employers, businesses and policy makers aren’t encouraged to proactively consider how they treat single parents and where unfair treatment of single parents occurs, it cannot be legally challenged. 

We are calling on our supporters to sign and share the petition calling for government to add single parents as a tenth protected characteristic: http://chng.it/FhdrG6bVp2

And we are asking any members who are single parents to complete the survey so we can gather data on the discrimination single parents face. The survey is anonymous, will only take ten minutes and will be used to influence MPs and the media. Please also share this with other single parent friends and networks: https://tinyurl.com/SingleParentDiscrimination 

You can find out more about the campaign at http://www.ellamentalmama.com/single-parent-rights/ or email the campaign on singleparentrights@gmail.com

As always, if you have a story to tell, or wish to give us your thoughts, you are more than welcome to email us at parenthoodmatters@gmail.com

What’s going on?

Things have seemed a bit quiet around here, haven’t they? So I thought I should give you all a quick update about what’s been going on.

  • Most of us at Parenthood Matters are returning to work as our Maternity Leave ends. Certainly been a shock to the system! We’ll be sharing stories about how our return to works have gone in the coming weeks.
  • Bethany Shirley has been interviewed by Nursery World about Parenthood Matters and our campaign to reform the childcare industry. The article will go live at the end of November
  • Bethany has also been asked to write an article for ‘Under 5’ magazine. This will go live in January.
  • We have meetings scheduled over the coming weeks with a variety of different early years groups to discuss how we can collaborate and work together. Here at Parenthood Matters, we think it is very important to unite Parents, childcare providers, and organisations to try and form a collective voice and work together for positive change.
  • We’ve launched our survey to collect data about parent’s views of the current childcare system. This data will pay a key role in informing our campaign activity. Please complete if you haven’t already. Link below.
  • We’ve launched our Facebook page to go alongside our group. Please like! We’re feeling very lonely at the minute. Link below

Phew!

We’d also like to say thank you to everyone that has supported us so far. With your help, we can make positive change for families in the UK.

Pandemic Parenting: Johanne’s Story

In our second instalment of “Pandemic Parenting”, we feature Johanne’s story. Johanne was in her third trimester of pregnancy when the UK went into lockdown, and so gave birth to her beautiful baby boy in the midst of the pandemic. This is her story.

Want your story featured? Email us at parenthoodmatters@gmail.com

What a year it has been! A year ago, I turned 35. I also found out I was pregnant with our beautiful boy. We knew about the pregnancy right away, as I got very very sick. I was bed bound the first 21 weeks of pregnancy with extreme morning sickness. I worked from home throughout my pregnancy and have now been in ‘lockdown’ for a year.

What was supposed to be one of the happiest times of my life turned into a very dark place. Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is hard on you; on your body, on your mental health and on your social life. The feeling of loneliness, inadequacy, sadness and anger is numbing, and you doubt your ability as a woman/mother.

I sought counselling to fall back in love with my bump and my different pregnancy and I just had time to join a few mindfulness pregnancy classes in my third trimester before the national lockdown.

The lockdown forced a permanent move from London to my husband’s family further north. A move that meant I had to leave behind my GP, midwife, maternity ward and NCT group as well as my expectations for labour and life with a newborn in my ‘safe space’, my home for the last 6 years. Easy to say, my world turned very dark once again.

My water broke two weeks early. Luckily, my birth story is positive. It all went extremely fast and very smooth, without painkillers or problems. But nothing had prepared me for what came next.

When we arrived at the hospital I was in full labour, and so my husband could join me in the delivery room right away. He stayed with me and our baby boy till we had to leave for the maternity ward. And then we were two; just my newborn and me. The midwifes were very friendly and lovely, but they kept their contact with new mums to a minimum and they wore full PPE. After two nights I got to go home, only to be sent back to the hospital as our boy was jaundice. Another two nights were spent alone in the hospital, meaning that I’d now been all alone with our newborn son for 4 of his 5 first nights and days in the world. With raging hormones and lots of tears, I breastfed and cuddled and gave all my love and attention to this new little person in my life, while my husband was at home, waiting for news on his baby boy and worrying about me and my mental health on the back of my HG pregnancy.

Having a baby is the most beautiful experience! Becoming a new mum is both humbling and scary but also very lonely and a huge change to the system! Becoming a mum during Covid-19 on the back of a HG pregnancy is the greatest emotional challenge I’ve ever faced.

After being discharged, we saw the midwifes twice. Then followed two phone calls from the health visitor. I even had some weekly calls with Motherwell to keep track of my mental state. Since agreeing that I didn’t have post-natal depression I haven’t heard from anyone. We’ve had the standard immunisations at our GP clinic and have been told all is fine.

Other than that, we’ve been alone with our son. Not even grandparents have been involved, as my husband’s parents have been shielding and my own parents lives outside of the UK. My parents travelled here to meet their grandson as soon as restrictions were lifted, but restrictions are now back in place and we don’t know when our little boy will be able to get cuddles from his grandparents or aunts and uncles – even his first Christmas might be with the only people he’s gotten to know properly so far, his mummy and daddy.

I have done my utmost to meet other mums and join baby classes in my new home in the north. If a full lockdown is coming, this will again be stopped, and the world will once again be very lonely for both me and my boy.

My hope is, that our gorgeous baby will not be too anxious to leave my arms. That he will be able to connect with other adults, family members and babies. That he will cope with life outside the confinement of our house and small garden.

I’m worried if I’ll be able to leave my boy. That I won’t trust other people to take care of him. I’m all he knows and all he has. My little pandemic baby❤️

xxx Johanne

Pandemic Parenting: Bethan’s Story

Today we launch our new series “Pandemic Parenting” with our very own Bethan Jones’ story. Bethan is a single mum to Chase, who she welcomed into the world in November via C-section. This is her story.

Want your story featured? Email us at parenthoodmatters@gmail.com

If you’re wanting a nice happy story of a glowing new mother, wearing a flowy white dress nursing her pristine child, this isn’t it. Buckle up folks, you’re in for a bumpy ride.

Pregnancy, Birth, and the early days

I delivered my Son via a planned C-section on 26th November, as he was in the breech position, had reduced movements, and I had severe PGP (Pelvic Girdle Pain). Pregnancy wasn’t an easy ride to say the least. It only took the doctors 9 minutes to deliver my Son, but each ticking second felt like a lifetime. The wait to hear those sweet sounds of his cry was torturous. It was discovered that I have a ‘Septum uterus’ and that had I attempted a natural labour, it would have had disastrous consequences. Should I have any more children, I would have to have a C-section again.

I spent the night alone in hospital. I was the only mother on the ward alone, which I suppose should have made alarm bells ring out to me about what was to come.  Once home, time went by with a blur. I struggled to feed and had to be visited daily by Midwives and health visitors, though unfortunately a different one visited daily and so I can’t remember faces or names anymore. In a flash my Son was 2 weeks old, and my days were filled with family visits, as I tried to establish some form of routine. I even had to buy a memo board so I could remember the last time I showered! I was then thrown another curve ball. I started to bleed. Rushed to hospital, it was found I had a severe uterine infection, commonly linked to remained placenta, something which I now know to be quite common following C-sections. I struggle to remember this time, however what I do remember is though my wound was checked, nobody actually asked how I was doing…

The following weeks continued to be a struggle. Unfortunately, comments were made by family members that I was lazy for struggling to keep up with the housework. The pain I was in meant I couldn’t push my Son in his Pram, let alone play the perfect housewife! I felt isolated, and by the time my 4 week check up with the Health Visitor came around, it was noticeably clear that I was struggling. Chase had Colic and screamed nonstop, despite trying everything I could. My partner hated coming home from work to a screaming child that would not stop. He took it upon himself to use noise cancelling headphones, shouting at me to make the baby stop. I felt like I was failing, that the world was closing in around me, and there was nothing I could do.  My health visitor said it sounded like I had Post Natal Depression, she said she referred me for help, but that help never came.

A Single Mum

When my Son was 8 weeks old, his Father left. I didn’t cook, I didn’t clean, I wasn’t the perfect housewife. But nor was I the girl I was 6 years prior, when I had the time and the energy to go out partying. I was a new mum. Just a normal new mum. So, there I was, a new mum and a newly single mum at that, learning how to be alone and learning how to parent alone. All while battling Post Natal Depression, and a dash of anxiety thrown in for good measure. The father of my infant child had left me for a woman who I had considered a friend. I don’t know how long it had been going on, but I do know he was with her 2 weeks after I got out of hospital.

My friends rallied around me, dragging me out to baby groups, and I loved every minute. They gave me a reason to dressed for the day, to actually leave the house! My friends and those classes were my lifeline and helped me face the difficult decisions I had to make. I was faced with the decision that I was going to have to leave the home I had created for my Son to grow up in, as I couldn’t afford to cover the bills alone while on Maternity leave.

Covid-19

In the background of all this, Covid-19 was spreading around the world. We didn’t know the impact it would have on our lives then, how drastically our lives would change. We were told if we had symptoms, we all know what they are by now, we were to isolate. At the beginning of March, my family took ill. I bit into a lemon and couldn’t taste it. Chase did a ‘poonami’, and I couldn’t smell it. We had to isolate.

2 weeks later, the Prime Minister went on TV and announced the national lockdown.

From day 1, lockdown was tough. I was cut off from the friends and groups who had been my saviours. I formed a bubble with my sister so I could look after her children while she worked. Looking after a 4-month-old baby and 2 kids under 4 was hard work, and at the same time Chase was poorly. After calling the health visitor every single day for two weeks, leaving voice mail after voice mail I finally got an answer. Chase was eventually diagnosed with a dairy allergy, so we gave him the specially prescribed milk, went completely dairy free for a month. But nothing got better. Chase was losing weight and now under the 50th percentile, but weigh ins had stopped, and so he was monitored. I was weighing him on the scales on the bathroom floor. Eventually after much arguing, the GP referred us to a Paediatrician who prescribed a drug to fix the severe gastro reflux issue my son had. It took 5 months, but he is finally doing better. 5 months of anxiety. 5 months of heartache. 5 months of my little baby suffering.

Lockdown was one of the hardest things I have ever done. But I survived, by the tips of my fingers I survived. I’m proud of myself for that.

As lockdown progressed, it became apparent that childcare for Chase would be an issue if I returned to work as plans. Due to the rules around providing 8 weeks’ notice to return to work, after weeks of sleepless nights (not because of the baby this time!) and a lot of contemplation, I made the decision to extend my Maternity leave.

The Maternity Petition

I became involved in the Maternity Petition campaign and met the amazing ladies who have formed this group. A small group of women, who without which I would have been lost. This campaign has kept me busy, giving me something to focus on, improving other women’s lives as well as my own. We were incredibly disappointed by the Government’s response. To reject nearly all the recommendations made by the House of Commons Petitions Committee seems astounding to me. To reject the pain and suffering that new parents up and down this country are facing. On Monday 5th October, the campaign will be debated in Westminster Hall. Let’s hope they see sense and put in the support that is so desperately needed.

Covid-19 has affected the entire world. It seems the Government has chosen to ignore the implications on some groups. 3 million excluded from financial support packages. Children left with no education, footballers fighting to ensure they are fed. Women giving birth alone, finding out about miscarriages alone. New parents facing their ‘new normal’ alone and unsupported.

Something needs to be done. It’s already too late for some.

The ‘Maternity Petition’

The Maternity Petition is where we all began.

Two petitions were started, one by our very own Bethany Power, for the extension of Maternity leave due to the effects of Covid-19. I think any parent on Maternity leave (or Paternity or adoption leave!) this year can attest to the fact that this is far from what we expected. When I pictured the time I would spend with my baby girl, I imagined days spent with family, days on the beach as she wiggled her little toes into the soft sand, play dates with all the little friends we made at our local stay and play. I did not imagine being locked in the house permitted out for one hour a day, battling mental health issues with no support bar the offer of antidepressants, and crying after visiting the supermarket due to the sheer stress of this alien world. And so, because of this, and countless other reasons, our mission and our fight begun.

The Maternity Petition has been featured on countless different media outlets. On TV news channels, in various different newspapers, on the radio countless times, and even discussed in parliamentary sessions with the Prime Minister. The Petitions Committee held review sessions with experts at the top of their respective fields, involved MPs and Ministers alike. It has now been raised with the Prime Minister 3 times now; by myself in the People’s PMQs, by MP Gavin Robinson in the ‘normal’ PMQs, and by MP and head of the Petitions Committee Catherine Mckinnell in the latest Liaisons Committee meeting. Despite this and despite his promises to review the Maternity Petition report, the Prime Minister implied he had no knowledge of the report or the issues new parents are facing. I don’t know about you, but that anyone could promise to review anything 3 times and still claim to have no awareness is incredibly worrying.

As you are likely aware, the government rejected almost all of the recommendations made in the Maternity Petition report, even those as basic as putting information in place for employers so that they know how to respond and support new parents through these troubling times. I know many of you will be feeling dejected. I was there myself, and it is so incredibly hard to stay optimistic when those in power are blind to our troubles. But the fight is not over. You may be back at work now, and while an extended leave may no longer be what is best for you and your family, the Maternity Petition report makes several recommendations that would support all new parents. Here at Parenthood Matters, we continue to fight for measures that would benefit families.

So what can you do? Write to your MP. We have a sample letter you can use, as well as a press release you can link to. Find them here: https://parenthoodmatters.co.uk/the-maternity-petition/

Here on this blog we are going to be featuring Covid-19 Maternity stories. Do you have a story to tell? Email us on parenthoodmatters@gmail.com or use the contact us section below.

Reform the Childcare System Petition is Live!

Thanks to the Petitions Committee, the Government petition to ‘Reform the Childcare System’ has now been published, and is live earlier than we expected! We need you to push this petition. One of the reasons that the Maternity Petition gained the attention it did, was because of quickly it gained signatures. So push this now. Send it to your mates. Send it to your mum. Go and knock on your next door neighbours door and get them to sign too.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/550767

Without investment in childcare, and a reform of the childcare system, mothers will be left behind. At the Liaisons Committee on 27th May it was acknowledged that female workers have been hit harder by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Prime Minister stated that “childcare is absolutely critical for the success of the economy” and that he would do “whatever it takes to help get women back into work”. While schools and nurseries have now been reopened, with the costs of childcare being unaffordable for many, and many areas once again not permitted to rely on informal childcare through Grandparents, once again parents are faced with being unable to work. We know that mothers take on the majority of childcare responsibilities, and so women will continue to be disproportionately impacted by lockdown measures. This will affect everybody. The maternal employment rate is crucial to the success of the economy, and a drop would take an incredibly long time to recover from. In recent years, the rates of maternal employment reached 75%, up from 66% in 2000. This progress is being reversed, and without drastic intervention it will not recover to pre-crisis levels. The economic recovery of the whole country relied on getting men and women back to work, but without childcare parents will be left behind, and the economy will not recover and many more families will be reliant on the benefit system.

Though we have put a solution forward that we believe would provide the much needed support while also balancing the costs, we are open to other solutions that would provide the support families need whilst also supporting the early years sector. Our proposed solution is a sliding scale of funding based on household income, while also placing a cap on the hourly price of childcare, at a level that would allow childcare settings to profit. We would like childcare funding to be in place from when the parent ends their Maternity, Paternity or Adoption leave. On the face of things, this may look like higher income families lose out, in actual fact this would mean the funding they receive would simply be spread out over the years, rather than only being in place from ages 3-5. We want funding support to be in place for children of all ages. Not just from 3 as it is now. It would also hopefully provide the support early years setting require.

We are not experts on the childcare system. We are parents who know that as it is childcare is unaffordable for us and many parents like us, and that nurseries are struggling. Change is needed. Reform is need. While you may not agree with the solution we have put forward, if you agree that reform is needed, then sign this petition. If this petition gets enough signatures, then a parliamentary debate will take place and a discussion around the change that is needed will take place. The problems that families are facing will be put to the people who can make the decisions. And that’s what we need. The people who can make the decision to sit and acknowledge that change is needed, and hopefully (finally) do something.

Sign the petition. Reform the Childcare System.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/550767

Our first blog post….


Hi!

This is our first blog post on Parenthood Matters, and my first time ever writing a blog. I don’t think the embarrassing Tumblr, featuring far too much Harry Potter fanfiction, that I had as a teenager counts!

I’m Beth. There’s 3 of us called Beth in the Parenthood Matters team (Beth, Bethany, and Bethan), so don’t worry if you get confused. I’ll forgive you. We all met whilst campaigning for the “Maternity Petition”, and together in our group chat, with Lorraine and a couple of anonymous mums, we pondered what to do next. We’d loved campaigning and wanted to keep fighting the good fight for parents, and so after many a late night talk Parenthood Matters was born.

At it’s core, Parenthood Matters is a group for parents of all ages who want to improve things for families. If you’re politically minded, if you consider yourself a bit of an activist, or simply want to learn how to navigate the constantly changing world we find ourselves in, then this is the place for you. We know how hard things are for parents right now, and so we want to create a judgement free zone for parents to discuss the times we face.

We’ll be fighting for you. Fighting for the reduction in the cost of childcare. Fighting for the vital support parents need and aren’t getting. Fighting for awareness of issues that aren’t given enough limelight. So while we do that, lets have a bloody good chat, lets get active and stand up for what we believe in.

You’ll hear me say this a lot, but I truly believe that if we had more women in the rooms where the real decisions are made, then the country would be doing a hell of a lot better than it is now.

So for tonight I’ll keep this short and sweet. The husband has just put The Boys season 2 on Amazon, and the sofa is calling my name.

Ta ta,

Beth S xx