Andrea Mara

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Opinion

I have a question

If you’re reading this, and you have children, do you work fewer hours per day or days per week than your partner? And if so, do you do that because you want to, or because you feel you’ve been forced to? I’m reading an article in the Independent this morning,

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Everyday Sexism and Girling Up our Kids

I’ve never personally experienced any sexism. Or at least not as far as I can remember, which may mean it has happened, and I’ve brushed it off as a normal, unremarkable, everyday thing. And that’s exactly the point Laura Bates was making when she set up The Everyday Sexism Project in 2012, a

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Andrea Mara

The Big Message in The Big Short

I remember standing in Oasis with my sister in August 2008, looking at a shirt-dress that I really liked. I put it back on the rail. “There’s a recession coming,” I said to my sister. She had heard the same. We didn’t take it too seriously though, how bad could

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Why Are Straight Women Earning Less?

“Maybe sexist dynamics within heterosexual couples cause straight women to slip down the earning scale. Lesbians will never view their career as second fiddle to a male partner’s because they don’t have male partners.” I was reading a piece by Una Mullally in the Irish Times yesterday morning, and the

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The impossible economy of childcare

I remember the first time my Laser card was rejected. It was 2010, and I was just back at work after my second maternity leave. I was trying to buy some groceries, and couldn’t understand why my card wouldn’t go through. I checked my balance. Forty-three cents. Mid-way through the month. It

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Andrea Mara

Is Ireland child-friendly?

Are we a child-friendly society – do we embrace children and their parents in all areas of 21st century Ireland? Or do we corral them into suitable times and places, conveniently out of the path of mainstream everyday life? Fiona Carey thinks we have a way to go. When the Bray-based

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Prime Time childcare exposé – one year on

Exactly a year ago today, RTE’s Prime Time documentary “A breach of trust” aired video footage that, to use a well-worn but entirely apt description, shocked the nation. We witnessed a child being slammed down on a sleeping mat and a blanket being thrown over him. We saw a member of staff swearing at a little girl for sticking her fingers into

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Beauty pageant babies

So have you entered your daughter in the Universal Royalty Beauty Pageant this weekend? Me neither. Kind of a no-brainer. Kind of not worth writing a blog post really, as there’s nothing to debate, the argument makes itself.And I’ve just read that the Bracken Court in Balbriggan, revealed this week to

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School costs & the double-income contradiction

This week, the Irish Parenting Bloggers are writing about back-to-school costs, a topic that’s causing frustration for some and fear for many more around the country this week.  In our house, we are at the early stages of the school life-cycle; we have just one of our three in school,

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A week of judging women

Three days, three hashtags: Malala, Slanegirl and RoseofTralee   It has been a strange week so far for women in Ireland – a wake-up call on how women are viewed, how women are judged. It also raises a question – what are we looking for in terms of role models

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Stop pointing at the bumps!

So women are fasting and over-exercising during pregnancy to avoid weight gain – “Pregorexia”, which is a dangerous obsession with staying slim while pregnant, is on the rise, according to a recent article in Grazia. They are desperate to maintain their pre-pregnancy figures as far as possible, and to avoid putting

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Anglotapes: what would women do?

Listening to the Anglotapes for the second day today, like most of the country, I’m angry and speechless. We all know the history of what happened, but to actually hear the conversations played out – to hear the lack of forethought, the complete absence of care, the clear intention to

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Andrea Mara

Childcare betrayal

Breach of trust, on every level. Like thousands of people who watched Prime Time last night, I’ve spent the morning trying to focus on work but my mind keeps going back to the images of children being slammed down on mattresses, tiny toddlers being punished despite being far too young,

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Weighing in on childcare

As a mother to three children under six, most of my adult conversations every day are with other parents, most of whom have kids in childcare. Over the last few days, a recurring topic is the news story about RTE’s Prime Time sending undercover researchers into two Dublin creches, and gathering video footage

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A mother’s right to work is sacred

We woke one morning last week to the news that new Personal Insolvency Guidelines would mean people would be asked to cut out Sky Sports packages, stick to one foreign holiday per year, take the kids out of private school and get rid of that expensive second car. It was

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Don’t rock that boat

Today I was chatting to a friend who is a mum of two small children and works a three day week. She job-shares, but the person with whom she shares is leaving her role. My friend’s company are not hiring anyone to replace this position, and she has been told

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Guilt

Last night I wrote my first blog post, about the challenges facing working mums, and the universe subsequently laughed at me, in a “you ain’t seen nothing yet” kind of way, then unleashed a properly challenging day on this working mum: My baby was up from 3am onwards, feeding like a newborn,

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