To mark Mothering Sunday, two members of Women2Win who are both mothers and candidates selected to stand at the next general election explain how their children have influenced their move into politics.
My sons are now 27 and 19, so the last ten years of Labour have seen them through their teens and into adulthood. Challenging years at the best of times, but seemingly much more so with the issues facing the country. Increasingly the matters of the day and the headlines were discussed over mealtimes with the boys and there's nothing quite like being put on the spot by an incredulous and probing teenager - determined to take no prisoners - to flush out what you, as a parent, believe to be the rights and wrongs of a case and on what you base those beliefs.
These discussions with the boys about the war in Iraq, rampant consumerism and borrowing, the lack of affordable housing for their generation, failing hospitals and undemocratic decision-making all played their part in me determining to get properly involved in the political arena. While it's wonderful to watch your own children optimistically launch themselves on University courses and careers, it’s terrible too to be so fearful of the difficulties and injustices that lie ahead in their future in today's Britain. And to feel impotent as regards trying to change what is wrong was unacceptable. I want their future and their children's future to be a better place and I want to play my part in making it so, starting by winning the seat of St Austell and Newquay.
When I had my first baby, I did not really think about anything that was beyond my own immediate experience, my home, family, work - things that had a direct impact on me. Politics and politicians did not even feature in my distant thoughts, apart from when they appeared on the news. It was only when I realised that it was not just us as parents who made decisions about our child’s future, such as where she went to school, but that my children were also affected by others’ decisions. It was the first time I actually looked around me with a further realisation that I had a responsibility to make sure that the big wide world into which they went out was somewhere I’d want them to go.
To have an impact on that world I knew that I had to do something that was beyond what I could provide in their immediate vicinity. This inspired me to take the step of being actively involved in the political system. I also needed them to know that we all have bigger responsibilities than what is in the here and the now. My children are my focus, my motivation and my reasons in all that I do, including politics.