Andrea Mara

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Office Mum stories – Alma Jordan

“I do suffer with working mother’s guilt, but I wonder if this ‘guilt’ is something I am feeling based on what I believe others are thinking” The interview series returns after a summer break, featuring Kildare native Alma Jordan. After years in sales and marketing, the mother of one recently

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Office Mum stories – Deirdre Spillane

“We need to stop congratulating fathers whenever they pitch in. This perpetuates the belief that child rearing and housework are ‘women’s work’ and men are only helping out.” Thank you Deirdre for taking part in this interview series for Office Mum – could you tell me how many children you have

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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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Office Mum stories – Nicola Sheehan

“I knew that our wages would not cover a second child in crèche so I saved enough money to pay the second child’s crèche fees, for the 9 months until my older daughter starts the free preschool year this September. I’m hoping by then the burden might ease off a

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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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Office Mum stories – Lisa Ryan

“Working late is not an option when you’re a single mother” This week I hear from Lisa Ryan, who works full-time, and is a lone parent to her two daughters.  Thank you Lisa for sharing your story here – could you start by telling me how many children you have

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Office Mum stories – Eithne O’Brien

“I think a woman can do anything in the work place but they need strong support at home.  Too often the role of men isn’t considered enough” In this week’s interview, I speak to Eithne O’Brien who works as a Journalist with RTE producing and presenting reports for the flag-ship

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The Handover to Crèche

Over the last few weeks, one friend announced her first pregnancy, one finished work to go on her first maternity leave, and one is counting down towards her first return to work. All three are going through a mix of nervousness and excitement, but unsurprisingly, for the friend who is

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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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Donna Hartnett’s Letter and the Working Mother SAHM Debate

Amid the strong support for the feelings expressed in Donna Hartnett’s open letter to Enda Kenny, there has also been some “tough luck, you can’t have it all” type responses (on Twitter, and some referenced here) I don’t think that’s the point at all – I don’t think anyone expects to

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Office Mum stories – Jennifer Riddall

“I’ll be in the middle of writing a feature, trying to meet a deadline, but thinking, “I should really put a wash on, or do the dishes” Freelance journalist Jennifer Riddall moved to Ireland last year from the North West of England and is currently in the process of returning

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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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Family Leave Policy: A Chance For Change

“Ireland is better than the US but not as good as Scandinavia,” I said to the public policy student who was sitting beside me, “I’d say we fall somewhere in the middle.” We were at “Families and Work: A Chance for Change“, a seminar organised by Start Strong, the National

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Office Mum stories – Tracy Gunn

“Recently I was asked how I can say ‘no’ to work (which as a freelancer can be scary). My mantra is ‘every time I say yes to doing additional work, it means I’m saying no to being with the boys’. It makes the decision much easier” Originally from Scotland, Tracy

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Office Mum Stories – Aisling Lyons

“There were mothers I met along the way that quite candidly said on a Monday morning ‘Thank God the weekend is over, I can’t wait to get back to work’ and there were others who lived for the weekends ­ neither is right or wrong” This week I meet Aisling

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Office Mum Stories – Yvonne Hogan

“I hate the housework with a passion but I would say the worst thing is the tiredness. I am sick of talking about how tired I am… I can’t say there is any point in the week where I wouldn’t take a nap if it was offered to me” This

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5 things I got completely wrong about starting school

When my first child started school two years ago, everyone said it would be a big change. I didn’t exactly disbelieve them, but really, I thought, how big could it possibly be? Unsurprisingly, I got it completely wrong. 1. School is just the next step after crèche, right? What I

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Office Mum stories – Barbara Scully

“Me, who had always had a title – Travel Agent, Teacher, PRO – now found myself with the title of Housewife?  And I wasn’t going to call myself that for a minute.  Only because it is a very stupid title – I never married a house” Back after the holidays,

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Office Mum stories – Helen O’Keeffe

“I’m a big believer in reinvention and now that my baby-making years are over and the child-rearing stage picks up a pace maybe I’ll completely turn things on their head.  Or just win the Lotto and sit around knitting, eating cheese and slugging champagne for evermore” This week’s interview is

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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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