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'I've given them the best start' Donna May, stay-at-home mother of three

Donna May is married to Joe, who works in their family business of Joe May's Pub in Harbour Road, Skerries. They have three children. Ella (11) Joe Junior (10) and Hugo (5).

"I have been a stay-at-home mother for 10 years and previously worked in Microsoft Ireland, which I really loved. When Baby No 2 came along, however, I took redundancy.

"I found being at home scary at the start, but didn't have time dwell on it. I was in the fortunate position that my husband's family live close by and the support I had was incredible. Also, my husband left the IT sector to work in the family business.

"No two days are the same in our house and each year brought new experiences. There are many benefits to me being at home and for me they are very much child-focused. I am around to bring them to school and here when they get home. They are involved in a multiple amount of sporting activities and, yes, I am a 'Mammy Taxi'.

"When I was growing up in Monaghan, the Community Games were a huge aspect of my younger years. I am now involved in the running of this in Skerries. As my kids have grown up over the years and are involved in many activities, I have seen the wonderful work many people have done in a voluntary capacity to make our community such a super place to live in.


"Another plus is that during the kids holiday time it's great to just pack up and visit my parents and stay with them.

"Childcare is of utmost importance for all young families, particularly those who don't have family support. When I worked full-time and had my first child, I had a super child-minder and the support of my husband's family.

"So I think the Early Childhood Care and Education Scheme was definitely a plus from the government and although it only applied to one of my children I really did feel the benefit, so I hope for the sake of other mothers that this continues.

"I feel we made the right decision for our family and I have no regrets. This time out is for my kids – to help them get a good start out in this world."

>Arlene Harris

community spirit: Donna May with her children Ella, Joe and Hugo