Maddy decides that it is high time she and Jim spent some quality time together, putting themselves first and doing romantic things. Of course she has reckoned without the kids, her mother and the couple next door,all of whom will contribute to threatening the success of her little plan.
The decorators arrive to give the Rileys' house a make-over, starting with Maddy and Jim's bedroom, which immediately becomes strictly off limits. As a consequence everyone ends up having to share and share alike, which is an inevitable recipe for disaster.
Maddy decides to go back into full-time employment and gets herself a job in an office. However the boss proves to be a bigger baby than the kids at home whilst the kids themselves don't seem to be missing her at all so inevitably she ends up giving the job up.
Maddy's first husband, Robbie, comes to visit and introduces his new, younger girlfriend Suzy to the family. Maddy is very jealous of the younger woman and attempts to compete with her but things, inevitably, do not go according to plan.
Maddy and Jim are desperate to get their younger son Ted into the best secondary school in the locality but unfortunately the cachement area for admissions stops short at the house next door. Maddy decides that if the family move into a camper van round the corner from the school they will qualify but the van is towed away - and put in a collection park right next door to the school itself.
When Maddy hears that Danny is seeing the school counsellor she fears that he is having sexual problems and forces Jim to have a man-to-man talk with him, though it turns out he's only doing it to avoid cross country running. Maddy becomes a reluctant hospital visitor and gets savaged by an elderly patient's cat whilst Ted has to be brutally honest when Katy's boyfriend proposes to her.