A few days ago, a woman about my age came up to me on the street while I was out with my son. She apologised for bothering us but said she was desperately looking for some part-time childcare for her daughter, who's recently started school.
She worked at a local hospital, which often meant late evening shifts: but she couldn't find a local nursery or childminder open much past 6pm, while afterschool clubs aren't open that late either (and even if they were that's a terribly long day in school for a four-year-old.) I guess a nanny was too expensive on an NHS salary, and there were no grandparents nearby.
If she couldn't find someone, she would no longer be able to do her job: and she was getting desperate, which was why she was stopping complete strangers like me, hoping that the local mummy grapevine could somehow magically produce a solution.
And as we chatted I thought: during almost four weeks of this so-called 'Mumsnet election', with politicians supposedly targeting middle class mothers in marginal seats, I have heard nobody even come close to offering practical help with problems like this.
We live in a 24/7 economy, with supermarkets open round the clock and millions of people in the public sector working night and weekend shifts, yet childcare is still too often organised around an 8am-6pm working day. How do you hire and hold onto parents in those circumstances?
But nobody wants to talk about complicated things like that. What we get is photo opportunities amid the fingerpaints to promote tax breaks for married mothers or toddler tax credits (worth £3 a week and just under £4 a week respectively: hardly enough to compensate for having to give up one's job) and gushing talk from the leaders' wives about what great dads their husbands are.
As a bunch of eminent (and clearly cross) women make clear in this letter to the Times today, too many of the really big questions for women haven't even been touched. If this was the Mumsnet election, god help us when politics reverts to normal.