No, that's not a prophecy, just a reflection on last week which was rather hectic for me with no time to blog about it at the time. First two women policewomen who were job-sharing and looking after each others' children were visited by Ofsted and told that what they were doing was illegal - read what the BBC has to say about it here, and here where you can see an interview with the two mums. I did this kind of thing when my boys were small - for one day a week Harry spent the day at his best friend's Milly's looked after by her mum and another day Milly came to us. The children loved it because they had company while their big brothers were at school and Sally and I really benefited from knowing that our children were happy and well looked after while we pursued work and other interests, and I'm sure millions of mums do this the world over - welcoming other children into their families in gestures of generosity, community, friendship and reciprocity that shouldn't be evaluated as commercial transactions. After the uproar about it, Ofsted are being urged to rethink their interpretation of the legislation.
Then there was the survey that found that children whose mothers work are less likely to lead healthy lives than those with 'stay at home' mothers. They are more likely to drink sweetened drinks in between meals, watch more TV and be driven to school rather than walking or cycling. The reporting I've seen of this gives few comparable statistics - such as how much more - and there was no mention of what dads might be doing or how they are contributing to the healthy lifestyles of their children, nor about other factors in their lifestyles - it's just more ammo in the 'mummy wars'. Sixty per cent of children under five have mums who work, and if you are one of them don't receive the guilt that's being flung your way. A study like this can be an impetus to take stock of how your children are doing, but it should never be the final judgement on your parenting.