Harassed mother Julia is so disorganized she brings her children to school on the half term holiday and makes up an excuse about coming in to report bullying. With no help from her hippy mother Marion or ex-spouse Paul she aims to be part of a child minding share group run by the queenly Amanda but ends up minding the brood of amiable but slatternly Liz who cuts off her finger and needs a hospital visit. Finally rejected by Amanda's clique Julia and Liz decide to form their own group with shy house husband Kevin.
Julia does not normally get involved in school activities but when she hears that old work colleague Caroline Lacy, now a high-flyer, is organizing a fund-raiser she sets out to impress her by suggesting an auction of promises. Come the event Kevin struggles as the human cloakroom whilst Amanda's arrogant contribution backfires thanks to Liz, who also puts Julia in a very awkward position.
Julia wants to be at work for famous war photographer Malcolm Spender's book launch but has to help out at a kids' pool party, where she is annoyed to see her mother and Kevin feels upstaged by the charismatic James. He plots revenge but soon regrets it whilst Liz hopes for a hot date with a man whose wallet she has found.
Against Julia's wishes Paul sends his parents to help with child care but they are a very clumsy, penny-pinching couple in need of help themselves. Kevin warms to them but they fail to recognize him whilst Julia goes to great lengths to get on with the school secretary Mrs Lamb to enroll her children in the school's breakfast club. Meanwhile Liz jumps at the opportunity to bag another lover, an amorous flower seller.
Anne's new car propels her into the limelight as the mums try to get in on her new car pool. Kevin finds himself in the new role of confidant as Amanda shares a deep secret. And Liz and Julia's friendship is under fire as Liz realises she is just a 'mum' friend.
Julia's childcare problems are solved after she finds the perfect Nanny, but her friendship with Liz is strained. Amanda is keeping a low profile after Kevin blurted out her secret. Liz visits Lee's new partner to give her some advice. The school caretaker is in hospital but the Mums have lost their ringleader and there's nobody to organise a card.