Andrea Mara

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Andrea Mara

Sisters are doing it for themselves

I am the mean-mom who doesn’t let my kids have new toys when it’s not Christmas or birthdays, despite the fact that every single child in the school goes to Smyths EVERY SUNDAY to buy new toys – these are the same children who apparently all have their own YouTube

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Ten

An entire decade has passed since you rushed into the world, two and a half weeks before your due date. I hadn’t finished work yet, and perhaps it was your way of setting the scene; letting me know that nothing would ever be properly planned again. And indeed, of all the

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5 Things I Learned This Weekend

1. Women can fix the world I had dinner on Friday night with five amazing, fun, smart, witty women. Over much white wine, we covered pod-casts, sex education, cyber-bullying, running, decluttering, books, blogs, the glass ceiling, tennis, part-time work, and the scary future that is parenting teens. And we had

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It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to

“What? But you can’t have her party on Saturday – that’s your birthday!” said my incredulous coffee companion. She was referring to the upcoming party for my middle-child, who turns six on Monday, two days after I turn a far less significant age. And because you can’t have birthday parties

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Age is just a number. Apparently.

“What age you is mummy?” asked my three-year-old recently. A topical question, when the internet is full of How Old Do I Look photos (clever Microsoft!), hitting on the mild obsession some (many) of us have with how old we look versus how old we are, and how publicly we’re

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Inspiring Stuff at The Princess Parlour

I’m working hard to teach my daughters that they can be anything they want when they grow up – astronauts (“really?”), footballers (“no way mum, I thought only boys could be footballers”) or business-owners (because they’ve both decided that’s what they want to be – as opposed to my job in

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Reasons to drink pretend champagne

I wasn’t going to write anything about this week, but I’m sitting here drinking champagne (the not-champagne type), and that seems like a reason to write it down (or maybe it’s the bubbles talking) As work-life balance goes, this week has been rather one-sided. Work has been busy and difficult. The

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The little man

You burst into our lives two years ago, a much anticipated early Christmas present, a much hoped for healthy baby. And a boy! It was as though we didn’t know you could be a boy. Two big sisters – just two, but it could have been a dozen for how

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Football and shopping

Last Saturday morning was always going to be stressful. My husband was leaving at 7.30am for his annual trip to a Liverpool game with “the lads” (at what age are they no longer “the lads”?) – this in itself was not a problem. I feel that six years into being

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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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Birthday Imperfect

Birthdays. They must be perfect. Nobody ever said that that’s a rule, but it is. If you have children, you want them to remember birthdays as their best days ever, don’t you? And realistically, as a parent of small kids, how many days are likely to run smoothly enough to

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Never tweet your heroes: part II

So I’ve learned two important things since writing the below post last April – it’s a story about tripping over a laundry basket and spraining my finger, being unable to drive and therefore taking a bus to work. This gave me some unexpected time for browsing Facebook and Twitter on my

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a chip off the (not so old) block

Today we went to a birthday party – all five of us. My eldest has been giving out about this upcoming birthday party for the last two weeks, saying she wouldn’t know anyone, she’d be older than all the other kids (the birthday girl is a friend of my four year

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the birthday party

So. Hosting children’s birthday parties. I can’t possibly be the only person who finds this extremely stressful? When chatting about this to other parents, I sense that they don’t find this quite the ordeal that I do. Or perhaps some are better than I am at hiding the fear? I feel

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a little post about a super-nanny

Today is my birthday, and I arrived home from work to an eerily silent house. As I looked around in mild confusion, two excited girls, one bemused little boy and one smiling childminder jumped out from behind the counter and yelled “surprise!” There was a cake on the table – this is

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Doing the right thing (never again)

Do you ever do something because it’s the right thing to do, and afterwards wish you’d taken an easier, less selfless route, as your well-intentioned plans backfire all around you? I don’t mean big life choices like whether or not to take a year out to work for Doctors without

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A Shout out for the Middle Child

On Saturday morning, as happens in houses all over the country on weekend mornings, my three kids bundled into our bed, at various times ranging from 5am to the somewhat more civilised 8 o’clock. The baby was snuggled into me, and Clara, my five year old was cuddled up with her

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