Andrea Mara

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children

The Slow-it-Down Day

Walking back to the car after the school run, I called to Sam to hurry up, then caught myself, realising that for once, there was no reason to hurry. It was 9am. We had just dropped Clara and Emmie to school. And both were invited on playdates after school –

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The need to be needed

A good friend told me last week that she’s changing jobs – moving from a chilled-out project role back into the mayhem of daily operations. This is the reverse of what she wanted when going back to work after her second baby was born three years ago – in fact for

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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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The Mother-Ship

“Well what if we leave a bit earlier tomorrow?” I said to my daughter on the way into school last week, in answer to her complaint that she wouldn’t have enough playtime before class started. “Yeah, we said that this morning too, and here we are, running at the last

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Full Circle

Babysitting. Something about which I have vivid memories; a teenage part-time-job. And now it’s come full circle, as what seems like five minutes later, I’m all grown-up and paying a teenager to mind my kids. Having had three childminders (counting the runaway one) and about forty different creche minders (high turnover), I

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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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Office Mum stories – Mirva Walsh

“ if you want to be a head of IT in a big, multi-million corporation, you are going to have to work very different hours than someone teaching a couple of classes in the evening time. I think if that’s your ambition, then finding time for your children will be

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Mythbusting the mythbusters on working mother guilt

Working mother guilt is a myth, according to widely publicised survey findings from UK parenting website Mumsnet. 48% of the 900 mothers polled said that they were happier having a job than being at home, sparking a range of newspaper articles on the topic, including this one by Bryony Gordon who

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Why do women step back from their careers?

Ambition. Motherhood. Not always easy bedfellows. When women become mothers, they often see that career progression is hampered. Sometimes because they want flexibility and are therefore seen as less suitable for promotion. Sometimes even without seeking flexibility, they are put on the mommy-track, on the assumption that they’re less interested in work.

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At the dinner table

This is how it goes in my house: “Kids, dinner’s ready, come to the table.” Then with a little less patience “Kids! Please come to the table!” Multiply this by pointlessly high number. Give up calling, start threatening and/ or physically lifting them into their seats. Cue dinner responses: Eldest:

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12 signs my kids have taken over my house

It’s messy here. Marker marks on walls, little piles of folded laundry waiting expectantly but in vain for someone to pick them up, a single toddler shoe sitting on the bottom step of the stairs. When exactly did the kids take over the house? The most obvious sign that the

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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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Away with the fairies

You never know what day it is – the first sound I hear every morning is the light patter of your small bare feet, and the first words I hear are “Is it morning? What day is it today mummy?” And if I say that it’s Saturday, you sometimes ask “Am I going

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Beautiful girls

  “Look at you in your gorgeous dress!” I said to my friend’s five-year-old daughter, then remembered, too late, that I’m trying to avoid telling little girls that they’re beautiful. This was prompted by a Huff Post article I read a few months ago that suggested asking little girls about a

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The spanking debate

  Recently scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed, I came across this: It had been “liked” by over 1.2 million people at that stage. I was taken aback to see that so many people agreed with the sentiment; agreed that spanking children is a good thing to do. Agreed that teaching

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Office Mum stories: Lucy O’Connor

“I began a career break so my new job is stay at home mammy and my hours are now 24/7!” This week, I meet Lucy O’Connor, a mother of three who last June went from working full-time to taking a career break. Lucy has swapped HR management for school-runs, and

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So, is it easier to be at work or at home with the kids?

“Work is a break for me” and “Heading home now to the real job” are some of the comments I used to hear from work colleagues who were parents – this was before I had children myself, and really, I didn’t believe them. Surely they were just trying to make

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Five things I thought I knew about parenting

“Take the path of least resistance” was the wise advice from Fiona Kennedy in this week’s blog interview. This is certainly the path we took in our house this morning, which is how the two-year-old ended up in our bed at 5.15am watching Mickey Mouse on YouTube. If I’d had chocolate

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Office Mum stories: Fiona Kennedy

“lower your standards! Housework can wait.                                                                                     If everyone is fed

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Letters of note

“So how was school today, any news?” I asked, as I turned the key in the ignition. “Mum, I think Emily is moving to Wexford. She wasn’t supposed to tell me, so don’t say it to her mum if you see her at the school. Maybe you can ask her

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