Single mum reveals how offer from her amazing parents convinced her to keep baby at 21 - and the family values she's passed on

There's no such thing as a typical household - a quarter have single parents, and grandparents often pitch in

Jayne Pickard with daughters, Lisa and Laura
Jayne Pickard with daughters, Lisa and Laura

Family has always been important to Jayne Pickard, from days out with her own mum and dad to raising her two girls as a single mum.

Life has been filled with fun and laughter, heartache and tears, but family has been the lynchpin through good times and bad.

"I can remember when I was growing up," says Jayne, 57. "We were never well off but simple egg sandwiches could be made into a banquet for an impromptu Sunday afternoon at the seaside.

"We'd play football, go fishing in the rock pools and, if Mum and Dad had the money, me and my broker John would be treated to fish & chips.

"When I had the girls, Sunday lunch was round at Mum and Dad's, always with a huge beef roast and massive Yorkshire puds!

Jayne when she was a little girl with her mum, dad and brother in 1963

"It was, and is, those little things that mattered most - and the love we shared."

It's this philosophy with which former retail worked Jayne has brought up her girls - Lisa, 36 and Laura, 30 - with lots of help from Mum and Dad.

Proud Jayne with daughters Lisa and Laura

As one of the many single mums now raising children on their own - a quarter of the UK's families now have a single parent - she was determined that the values and morals her own parents instilled in her would be passed on.

"It is hard being a single mum," says Jayne. "I was 21 when I had Lisa during a three-year relationship and 27 when I had Laura after a brief romance. When I got pregnant with Lisa, Mum offered to adopt her so I could get on with my life but I said no, and I've never regretted it. I stayed with Mum and Dad until she was two and we got our own place.

"I wouldn't have managed without them - and the girls would have had nowhere near what they did without their support.

"I had a part-time job so they'd pick the girls up from school and give them their tea."

Sadness came when mum Doreen passed away in 2001 and dad Bob died from cancer in 2010: "Dad was diagnosed just days after my grandson Joseph was born on October 6, 2009.

Bob, after his cancer diagnosis, with great grandson, Joseph, when he was a baby

"Being a daddy's girl it hit me hard, but having Joseph got us all through the dark days. Family again came to the fore."

Jayne with dad, Bob, who she adored

Jayne adds: "Throughout everything the constant has been family, their love and support, and all the joy. They left a wonderful legacy. I can only hope Joseph grows up half the man Dad was."

Jayne with grandson Joseph now he's older

Join us to celebrate the joy of family life

Family life can be fast, frantic and very different from the old-fashioned 'ideal' that's still portrayed on film and TV.

There's no such thing as a typical family. But every one is still worth celebrating - and that's what potato brand McCain is planning to do.

Celebrate your family and what makes it special

McCain has launched its We Are Family campaign to highlight the joys of real modern families, which culminates in a pop-up photography display of diverse family life at mealtimes in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

The display celebrates real modern families - no filters, no stereotypes, just the joyful reality of families at meal times.

Visit the McCain Facebook page for more information


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