When I was a kid an everyday sight was to see prams and pushchairs hung from the front of the bus.
A mother would alight kids in tow and the driver would leave his seat to unhook the pram. Usually interacting with the woman and her children as he did so. It was part of his job and an everyday thing.
There are many reasons why this is not so usual now I suppose. Women are more likely to have cars for one. Smaller families are another.
But readers of this Blog will be fully aware that it is the opinion of this blogger that we no longer value the family in the way we should. Motherhood has almost become a dirty word and the title housewife as all but disappeared from our lexicon. Where it is required and cannot be avoided on an official form or in a news story it has been replaced by cringeworthy Homemaker.
It would seem the idea of the stay at home mom and the breadwinning father is a thing of the dark past.
Instead of child rearing being the central feature of our most productive years it takes second or even third place in our thinking of what life is about - both for males and females.
Biology dictates that females play the central role in a child's earliest years supported hopefully (but ever more increasingly not) by a nurturing male.
As children develop though fathers can and should play a bigger part in a child's development. And this is important too.
But everyday concerns, some to do with our own selfish interests get in the way.
One thing from my own personal experience is the fulfillment I have found supporting my children in their sporting and cultural pursuits, in my case ballet, violin (which can be excruciating in the early stages of a child's learning) and of course cricket and rugby.
But there have been many occasions where I have been absent from a concert or game because of work demands. Sometimes this has been reasonable, sometimes not. Sometimes my this has been my fault but at others something I have been compelled to do by others.
Some years ago i was working for an unpleasant man who took exception to the photographs of my family that I had on my desk. His opinion was"work spaces" were for work not "personal items". Idiot that he was he didn't realize that those photographs were a reminder to me of why I was working in that job which I didn't enjoy particularly, in the first place. Don't worry I didn't stay there long.
But perhaps he is an extreme example of a malaise that does afflict our society, the loss of sight of the fundamental importance of raising children and the value of the family to our future.
Further reading: Parents feeling undervalued by society