Andrea Mara

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Andrea Mara

Freelance Writing for Beginners

I remember it so clearly. I was driving down the Quays, towards the Samuel Beckett Bridge, heading home from work, wishing for an email. Not any email – one particular (in my head, at least) life-changing email. Begging the universe. If I could have just this one email, everything would come

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Andrea Mara

28 Book Recommendations From my Kids to Yours

One night a few months ago, I made a third attempt to get my six-year-old interested in Cabin Fever, a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book by Jeff Kinney. I read it for him as his bedtime story, promising he could have a second story if he didn’t like it. There

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5 Things to do in Dublin for Free

This post could also have been called “What we did this summer so far”, or “Places I lost my youngest child this summer and needed help from strangers to find him” or simply “Brambles cafés we’ve been too, because they are EVERYWHERE now.” We were away for the heatwave and since we’ve

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What are the hidden causes of tooth decay in small children?

This article first appeared in maternity & infant, October/ November issue, and after watching Sugar Crash on RTÉ earlier this week, I thought I’d post it here. Why is dental decay in kids on the increase in Ireland, and why is nobody telling parents that waiting for primary school screening

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Check It Fits: Get Your Car Seat Checked for Free

Two years ago, the world’s media watched as Prince William strapped his newborn son into a car seat for the first time. He appeared to be nervous, and understandably so – every parent knows the daunting task that is the first fumbling foray into the world of car seats. And

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Andrea Mara

Three campsites in France: comparison and review

Recently, I asked my seven-year-old if she remembered Sequoia Parc, the campsite we stayed in, two years ago in France. “Of course I do – it had a dragon pirate ship thing beside the pool,” she said. “No,” I said, “That was Clarys Plage, last year.” She was sure I was wrong.

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Andrea Mara

A Big List of Places to Visit Santa in Ireland (for eumom)

Taking kids to visit Santa in the run up to Christmas – a tradition that’s been around since the 19th century in the States, and presumably almost as long here in Ireland. I have gorgeous memories of going to see “Santy” in Switzers in Cork in the 1980s – I

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Andrea Mara

5 Tips for Going Back to Work After Maternity Leave

Childcare booked – check. Return to work date agreed – check. Sense of calm and wellbeing? Not quite there yet. Going back to work after maternity leave is a time of mixed emotions for many mothers – for some it’s a worry, for some, it’s exciting. And for most, it’s

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Pregnancy Care Package: Tips and Links for Expectant Parents

What do you wish you’d known when you were expecting your first child? What should you have bought, and what could you have left on the shelf? What do you wish you’d known about sleeping and feeding before and after your baby arrived? There’s a wealth of information out there, but I knew little about it when I was

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Andrea Mara

From the Experts: Tips for Working Mothers

Since starting Office Mum, I’ve been fortunate to get to know some really inspiring women who work in the area of helping mothers to balance careers with family. They’ve very kindly joined forces to contribute to this post, in order to give you some of their top tips for juggling

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24 practical tips for working parents: balancing work and home

Arriving home from work one evening last week, I realised that there was a big, weetabixy handprint encrusted on the back of my trousers. Just about toddler-hug height. There since before I left the house at 7am; visible all day at work. Morto, as they say. Oh well, no time

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Rebuilding confidence after maternity leave

The night before returning to work after Christmas, many of us feel The Fear; lying awake, mind buzzing, right at the time when we really, really need to sleep. But this is a just momentary quiver in comparison to the all-consuming, stomach-churning fear that some of us experience the night before returning to work

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How to beat the daylight savings impact

Lots of people are worrying about the clocks going back and babies waking early, Here’s my take on it: My baby wakes around 6am – he will wake at 6am tomorrow morning, though it will be considered to be 5am due to Daylight Savings. So I’m not going to change

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A beginner’s guide to birthday parties

If you are good at throwing birthday parties, this probably isn’t the post for you. In fact, if you’re even mildly average, feel free to click back out (really do – you will just find this patronising). If like me, your stomach churns with just a little bit of anxiety

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Andrea Mara

Breastfeeding support: links

As a follow on to my post for the Irish Parenting Bloggers World Breastfeeding Week blog march 2013 (that’s some title!), I’ve pulled together a set of links for the many groups and websites you can access for advice on and support with breastfeeding: Breastfeeding.ie is a one-stop shop which

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Breastfeeding support : change the focus

It’s World Breastfeeding Week from August 1st to August 7th, and the Irish Parenting Bloggers have decided to do a Blog March to show support.  Each of us will publish a post this week based on our own breastfeeding experiences, and linked to this year’s theme: Breastfeeding Support: Close to

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Tips for finding a childminder (nanny)

So, you need to find a complete stranger to come into your house and be solely responsible for your children while you’re not there. Scary stuff. Looking for a childminder (or nanny to use the more correct term) can be a very daunting challenge. When I was starting to think

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Andrea Mara

tips for taking the ferry to France

The ferry never changes. The familiar smell of exhausts as engines are switched off and families squeeze between rows of roof-box-topped cars to reach the entry doors. The staff with genuine smiles waiting to greet us and help tiny children clamber up the steep steps. The sense of relief when

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