26 Jan

Monitoring Your Child’s Internet Access

I originally wrote this piece in 2013 and unfortunately I’m reviewing it today in the light of discussion about children’s internet access and online safety today. Read More

15 Oct

Preparing For A Power Cut

Storm Ophelia is on the way tomorrow, and some areas of Ireland are already in red alert, others are in orange alert. We know for sure now that there will be some disruption and this means that there’s a distinct possibility the electricity could be cut off. Ever since the power went one Christmas Day when I was growing up, I’ve compiled a contingency plan so that I always have particular supplies in the house, just in case.  This can apply in times of bad weather, snow or just when there are supply problems so it’s a good idea to prepare now – you never know when these tips will come in handy!

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12 Oct

How Does She Do It?

It’s a question I’m often asked.

I try to explain my weekly work schedule in the home and outside of the home and I see people’s eyes glaze over. In truth, the writing part of my life is not a hardship. I could sit at a computer and write my heart out. Some days I have to restrain myself from writing too much and ignoring all the other tasks put on pause while I write something that’s on my mind. Read More

14 Sep

Mental Load – Food For Thought

There’s a point in a recent documentary on RTÉ1, called Ireland’s Health Divide, where Dr Eva Orsmond can’t get her head around a woman from Limerick buying so much processed food. The woman says that she doesn’t buy Coke (Cola) anymore because it’s worse than the other bottles of fizzy drinks on the countertop in front of her. Then Dr Eva looks incredulously at the woman not understanding how she came to that assumption. Perhaps even with more than a little judgement. Read More

16 Aug

Leaving Cert Results Day

Being ancient (according to my children) means that I remember this day in crystal moments, not as a full day. Driving my mother mad by not collecting my results until later on in the day. Crying bitter tears as I missed my number one choice on the CAO by 5 points. Going to another school with friends to get their results. Standing in a local pub with a drink in my hand that evening not knowing how to celebrate as I felt like I’d failed. Read More

05 Aug

Learning From A Two Week Digital Detox

Originally published in October 2015.

Sure it’s only two weeks I said to myself as I mailed my essential contacts to let them know that I wouldn’t be available for a fortnight. I set up a blogpost so that readers would know what I was up to. Then I deleted social media applications from my smart phone. Yes. I deleted them so that I wouldn’t be tempted to use them. I turned off every single notification I could, after I’d made sure to take a note of all-important passwords. Yep I was ready to become disconnected.

In August 2014 I did something similar, but this time it was for a whole fortnight. It wasn’t just me though, my husband had agreed to go on a digital detox with me. When I think about it we are constantly connected to the online world. When I’m in the kitchen working I have podcasts running in the background, when I’m out and about I have the phone with me in case somebody needs to contact me and it’s irresistible not to check the phone on a busy day, particularly when I spend so much of my day outdoors. In the evening we sit down for a while to watch TV and often end up dual-browsing/observing what’s on the telly without actually taking it in. Don’t think that this is unusual, in my experience it’s a fairly normal description of an average household.

I’ve had enough with this always-on lifestyle though. It bugs me when I don’t feel present, parenting mindfully and being in the moment means that I shouldn’t have a blinking phone or camera in my hand to document it or discuss it online. Watching TV is fun with Twitter open on the phone but it’s intrusive and resting at night was becoming more difficult as the phone was in my hand until I went to bed and again first thing in the morning. Read More

23 Oct

Dear Sky TV

We’ve had a long relationship where I hand over money to you and watch a few shows a day. I kidded myself by justifying the ridiculous price for television channels as I don’t drink or smoke and we rarely go out. I believed that I had lifestyle of fabulous TV programming and a way to relax at the end of a long day. Read More

19 Jul

Choosing School Uniforms

I apologise for this post as I know that for some parents the thoughts of getting uniforms and organising back-to-school stuff waits until August. Having just bought some of the new uniform for the Autumn term I thought it might be worthwhile to explain what I learned last year and how it has affected my choices this year.

Just before the 5-year-old started school last year I blogged about the expenses of sending him to school and how much it was costing. At least I have a real account I can compare to!

The cost of school charges (including book rental) and books I have to buy pretty much remain the same which is a great credit to the school. However, when it comes to choosing school uniforms I’ve changed my outlook and that’s why I’m blogging about it again. Read More

17 Feb

Financial Stress

When I was pregnant with my first son, I had a terrible time with my hips and back. After he was born the pain didn’t go away, it got worse and worse. I had a searing pain down my leg and I struggled to walk. Read More

01 Feb

Katie Hopkins on RTÉ

Last night, one of the biggest TV chat shows in Ireland, The Late Late Show, aired an interview with Katie Hopkins on RTÉ. The main topic of the interview was why she felt stay at home parents were lazy. Read More

16 Dec

Christmas Pressures

Christmas is magical, it’s a time when wishes come true, houses are warm, bellies are full, children are happy.  It’s the one season where we bust a gut to try and make things as perfect for the kids as they can be. Read More

12 Nov

Breastfeeding Vouchers

What does it say about us as a society when mothers in disadvantaged areas are offered breastfeeding vouchers, a payment, as an incentive to improve breastfeeding rates? Read More

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