Social conditions

A day in the life of a Single Parent

6.30am Radio alarm goes off. Time to get up, get children dressed. The two eldest go to Primary School, today they are dressing up in Victorian Costume, they are having a Victorian day at school. Victorian rules, clothes and even a Victorian Tea party!

7.30am My sister brings her daughter to our house. She comes for breakfast because my sister starts work at 8am. We have cereal with skimmed milk and sugar and toast with butter and jam. After breakfast the children play in the garden or watch TV until it's time to walk up to school.

8.30am George arrives with his mum. I look after him four days a week whilst his mum works. She takes Emily to school (she attends school with George's sisters. Then myself, my three children and George walk to school. It's amazing to see all the children dressed up in the playground, even the teachers are in costume and some of them look quite formidable!

9.00am Back home, time to load the dishwasher and put some washing in the machine. Then take Thomas (my youngest) and George to playschool (they go to playschool three times a week and when they are four they will start in primary school full time).

10am Make the most of my child-free time. I go swimming then I do a little shopping and visit my father for a cup of tea.

11.45am Collect the boys and go home for lunch. They have frozen fish fingers, oven chips, fresh carrots and sprouts and of course tomato ketchup. I have pasta with a stir-in sauce and we all have yoghurt for pudding. After lunch the boys play in the garden with their bikes.

2pm We load the car (an eight seater people carrier) with all the recycling and take it to the recycling site. We can recycle paper, glass and tin cans. Then we drive home.

Illus By Rob Davies

3pm George's mum arrives to take him home. Thomas and I walk up to school to collect Eleanor (she's 5). Carwyn who's 9 makes his own way home. Once home, Eleanor and Thomas go upstairs to play. Carwyn pops in for a drink before going out with his friends to play. I cook tea - roast chicken, mashed potatoes, peas sprouts and gravy, melon to finish. We eat at 5pm then after tea it's time to get Eleanor and Thomas ready for bed, a bit earlier than normal but tonight I go to my evening class. DIY for women!

6.20pm Babysitter arrives, so go off to the high School with my sister. Spend the evening learning how to drill into walls. Great fun and very useful as I'm a single mum (since my husband died).

8.40pm Arrive home with my sister and a friend from the class. We all sit around over coffee and catch up on the week.

10.30pm Off to bed.