Powys: A Day in the Life




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Social Conditions

Child Care

There were many diaries which referred to child care arrangements, which were often highly complicated.

  • I spent this day at home looking after 3 of my 5 children who were at home with a tummy bug. I'm a graduate - my husband has a demanding career. I would love to work outside the home and I have done at times, but I have no family support to help out when the children are sick or on holiday from school (I have not found playschemes to be very good and it is difficult to get a nanny in a rural area like this). It is generally believed that in 2002 all women have the freedom to combine family and career but this is not always possible.
    Illus By Rob Davies

  • . . . spoke with daughter - alone with young baby while husband on tour in Kosova.

  • Rose at 7am. Got packed lunches ready for my wife and two sons. Walked them to primary school. [Wife] went out to work as District nurse team manager. Returned home after seeing boys to school. Had breakfast myself. My father came round to help me paint the hall and stairs in our house. Joined by my mother for lunch. Continued with decorating until I met both boys from school at 3.30pm. One went to his friend's house to play, while the other played out with his friends. Finished decorating for the day, talked with wife and son about their days. Went to play 5-a-side soccer at local leisure centre between 7-8 pm. Returned home. Put sons to bed with [wife], watched TV till 11pm. Fed our kitten and cat before going to bed.

Another diarist was a childminder with children of her own.

7.30am Got up out of bed. Had a wash and got dressed.
7.45am Went downstairs to get the breakfast while dad dressed the children.
8.30am Thomas arrived. Put all the children into the car and took Jemma to school which is where I collect Max.
8.45am Back at home a friend called with her child. Had a coffee and a chat. Children played.
9.30am They went home. Max had his breakfast. Other children had a drink and biscuit. Max then went to sleep. Played with the other children.
11.45am Another friend arrived. Made the children some dinner. Had a coffee.
12.30pm My friend went. Cleaned up the dinner things and did a bit of housework.
1.30pm Thomas and Max went home. Rhianne arrived.
2.30pm Rhianne went to sleep. Did some more housework.
2.50pm Rhianne woke up. Put her in car. Went to get Jemma from school.
3.15pm Went to pick Lucy up as she had gone to play at someone's house.
4.30pm Dad home
4.45pm Caroline arrived to cut our hairs.
5.30pm Kids had a bath.
6.15pm Kids had tea. After that they played for a bit.
7.15pm Children went to bed. I had some tea. Rhianne went home. Watched a bit of TV.
8.00pm Went on the computer to do a bit of my NVQ work.
9.45pm Had a bath then went to bed.

Another frequent reference was by grandparents taking care of their grandchildren while the parents went out to work.

  • Tomorrow I sleep at my daughter's house while she goes to do a course. She has 3 difficult boys so today is the day I do not look forward to tomorrow.

Another, who is a teacher, makes an uncomfortable discovery:

  • Phoned my daughter to see how my grandson was. Somehow he's learned to say the word "f**k"- he's 18 months! She thought it was hilarious and so did her boyfriend, so he kept repeating it. I think of the embarrassment of a teacher's grandson shouting this out at the local Co-op (possibly in front of my pupils!)


Some more grandparent's diaries can be seen here. And that of a mother widowed at a young age can be seen here .

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