Andrea Mara

Official website

14 from 14

I’m taking the lead from Sadhbh of Where Wishes Come From, and joining her linky to round up my favourite 14 blog related things from 2014. Except I had to change a few because I didn’t have a favourite craft. I had no craft at all. So I put nail-varnish instead.

1. My most popular post

The one that was read by most people was 5 Things I Thought I Knew About Parenting. It’s nearly a year since I published it, and reading back now, I’m delighted that the toddler is no longer watching Mickey Mouse on YouTube in my bed at 5am. He is however running the house like his own little kingdom, so I’m not sure how much of an improvement this is.

2. My favourite post

The one I loved writing was Kids and Happiness Do Mix. Someone close to me had asked why, if it’s so hard, people continue to have kids. So it gave me the opportunity to write about all the good stuff for once, and to remember that amid all the chaos and mess and squabbles and tears, there are many, many moments of pure happiness. The good stuff that keeps us going, and stops us selling them on eBay.

3. My favourite photo

This is from a day out in Glendalough at the beginning of the summer, when it was all stretching ahead. Happy times.

Office Mum: Glendalough

4. My favourite interview

No way can I pick one! I’m very grateful to everyone who so generously took part in the interview series this year – it’s always interesting to hear how other people manage the juggle, and always heartening to realise that most of us face similar challenges. So thank you all for telling your stories.

5. My favourite comment

I love comments – every blogger does – whether here on the website or on Facebook or Twitter. What I also love is when someone I didn’t even know was reading sends me a text message or says something when we meet in person. That’s the stuff that keeps bloggers going, so thank you.

6. Most popular photo on the Office Mum Facebook page

This is what happened when I said to my toddler “Put Fireman Sam in your room” and he somehow heard “Put Fireman Sam in the toilet”

Fireman Sam in the toilet Office Mum

7. Most recurring blog theme

Flexible working was the theme of the year. I won’t talk about it again here – I wrote about it a few (dozen) times already: Imagine a world where we can define how we work (for Lifeshifter), Tips for working mothers, Donna Hartnett’s letter, Why do women step back from their careersPresenteeism (in The Journal) and The mummy-track (in HuffPostUK)

8. My favourite guest-post

One morning, it struck me that my toddler had slept through for a few weeks. I hadn’t been brave enough to acknowledge it out loud, because it had been a long road. Two and half years of white noise apps, black-out blinds, cutting the feet out of babygros, extra blankets, fewer blankets, Wonder Weeks apps, Snuffle Babe and Google. So I wrote it down, and sent it to Scary Mommy. They published it, and it brought lots and lots of new readers to me. Yay for babies who don’t sleep through the night for two and half years. Sort of.

9. My biggest milestones

wedding anniversary Office Mum

I turned 40 this year and also celebrated my ten year wedding anniversary – so basically, I am now quite old and settled. Another milestone was finishing the first draft of a so-called-book. I can’t call it an actual book, as it’s quite possible that nobody will ever read it. But I wanted to do it by the time I turned 40, and I typed “The End” at 9 o’clock the night before my birthday (because somehow that mattered)

Office Mum so-called-book

10. My best blog moment

Winning the Image.ie Best Parenting Blog award was quite simply the best and proudest blog moment of the year for me.

The Image.ie Blog Awards 2014 at Fade St. Social

11. My scariest blog moment

The three minutes leading up to speaking to the infamously curmudgeonly George Hook live on Newstalk earlier this month were my scariest. I sat with the phone crushed to my ear, listening to the ad break through the receiver, trying to breathe calmly, then worrying that my breathing was too loud. It was about paternity leave, and apparently George thinks most men don’t want it anyway. Deep breaths. Wanting to do it but at the same time petrified. And then, like most things that worry us in life, it was absolutely fine – he was in fact lovely. The podcast is here if you’d like to hear him being lovely.

12. My biggest move

I was thrilled to be asked at the beginning of the year to write for eumom.ie and hugely enjoyed that experience throughout 2014. But having recently been asked to contribute to new site HerFamily.ie, I decided to make the move. I’m sad to be saying goodbye to eumom but very excited about the launch of HerFamily.ie on January 5th!

HerFamilyie Andrea Mara Office Mum

13. My favourite things I bought and never blogged about

Em yes this a tenuous link to the actual post which is supposed to be blog related, but if I was a fashion or beauty blogger, these things would have made my round-up:

Stuff I liked in 2014 Office Mum

  • Benefit 15 Hour Primer – couldn’t stand over it lasting for a full fifteen hours but it feels like a product that actually works
  • The gorgeous blue scarf (Oasis) that my sister just gave me for Christmas
  • Essie nail varnish – many, many colours
  • Oasis Carrie bag – it’s two bags in one, what’s not to love!
  • Next high waisted jeans – for obvious three-kids-in-five-years reasons

14. What I got out of blogging this year

Therapy. More highs than lows. Friendships. Wine. Cake. Because sometimes you just have to have wine and cake.

Thanks for indulging me here and throughout 2014 – knowing that someone is reading keeps me going. Wishing you and yours the very best of everything for 2015!

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This part of a linky on Where Wishes Come From – to check out that gorgeous blog and some the other participants, click the badge!

Where Wishes Linky Badge Office Mum

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