Having just got back from my mum's in Whitstable after a nice afternoon spent with the family to celebrate Mother's Day I was really interested to read on ConservativeHome comments by two fellow PPCs about how their children influenced their entry into politics. I was intrigued because I don't have children so for me it is definitely my mother who has more to do with me going into politics than she realises.
My mum is totally non-political. Like many people she does not understand politics and nor will she care to learn. She politely asks me how my campaign is going but that is more out of love for her daughter than any genuine interest. However her influence on how I think, what I can achieve in life, and why it is important to do all you can to make the world a better place is massive.
Despite our differences over the years I have always been incredibly impressed that she managed to bring up two young children pretty much alone whilst putting herself through college to get her social worker qualifications. As a social worker she dealt with children and families, which can be a pretty horrible job at times, and from that she instilled in us a desire to help those who were less fortunate than us. Not that we were well off financially but we had reasonably good health and lots of love and laughter - something that many of the women and children my mum saw on a daily basis did not have.
Whilst she also had pretty liberal views on social issues - a real live and let live attitude - she was pretty tough when it came to doing well in our own lives. Both my little sister and I were bought study books to help us pass the 11 plus and strict homework regimes in order to help us get into the local grammar: mainly because she regretted not making the most of her own secondary education and didn't want us to make the same mistake, but also because she could see that the world was changing and a good education was an essential part of future success.
So I am where I am now - on the cusp of achieving an ambition I have held since my late teens. I am the only member of my direct family to go to University, I have an interesting job in the City and now I count down the days to the General Election in the hope that I can begin doing a job that I know will help make a real difference. Many politicians realise too late that a significant majority of the job is "like being a social worker". For me, that is one of the main reasons I want to be an MP. People say they go into politics to "change the world" - I simply want to change the worlds of those who come to me for help.
One very long-serving Conservative MP said to me that he loves the social work side of the job and the day he stops loving it will be the day he calls it quits. I couldn't agree more, and as she prepares for the week ahead back at work helping children get placed in foster homes or training people to spot signs of abuse or neglect, it is ultimately my mum I thank for that.