Most working women struggle with feeling guilty about not being their children's primary carer. I know I identified completely with Alison Pearson's character Kate Reddy in "I don't know how she does it" who bought mince pies and bashed them about with a rolling pin to look homemade for her child to take into school. Most of us secretly want to be able to spend afternoon's in the kitchen whipping up home baked treats for our children when they come back from school. The reality is often very different - I tried cooking with both my children when they were small and chaos ensued.
I found a few shortcuts really helped. Most weeks I made a batch of something - biscuits, fairy cakes or muffins to go in the children's lunch boxes. Not only did they feel I was 'present' in their day - their friends loved eating them too which made my children feel good. You can freeze most of these kinds of snacks too so you could make a big batch once a a month. The trick is to find an easy recipe that you can do quickly. I used to do it on Sunday evenings while the children were getting their things together for school with the Antiques Roadshow in the background. Brownies were always most in demand and here's my favourite recipe from The Little Red Barn Baking Book by Adriana Rabinovich - it is quick and easy and always works.
125g plain flour
110g good quality plain chocolate (min 70 per cent cocoa solids)
110g unsalted butter
150g dark soft brown sugar
150g caster sugar
50g chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)