Households provide their members with both financial support and caring services. In sole parent households, the functions of earning money and caring for children fall to one individual. Current government policy favours work force participation as the solution to the higher poverty rates in lone parent families, but this may have a mirror effect on their ability to provide care. There is a great deal of research into the financial impacts of sole motherhood, but very little into the amount of time that sole parents' devote to care of their children, and what this means for their total (paid and unpaid) work commitments. In this paper I address this research gap. I analyse the Australian Bureau of Statistics Time Use Survey 1997 (over 4000 randomly selected households), to compare sole and couple parents' overall time commitments to paid and unpaid work and to investigate whether time spent with children in lone parent and couple-headed families differs in type or quantity.