Andrea Mara

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parenting

Andrea Mara

Dear Teacher

Dear Teacher, I’m writing this down because if I try to say it to you in person, I’ll cry (I cry very easily) and I’ll mortify myself and mortify you, and my child will never speak to me again for all the mortification, and with all that going on, I won’t

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The Woman in the Garden

I was driving somewhere – dropping the kids or picking them up – when I saw her. A woman, a bit older than me, kneeling at a flower bed in her garden. Weeding or pruning or sowing or tweaking, one or all of the above. And the image stuck with

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Instructions from a ten-year-old

When I was about thirteen, I remember reading Flowers in the Attic and realising pretty quickly that it was a good thing my parents didn’t know what it was about. I’d been stopped from reading Judy Blume’s Forever a few years ago, and had learned to be more careful about

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The Fevers

I woke up this morning unable to breathe. I’d been dreaming that I was suffocating and when I woke up, I found I still couldn’t breathe. I sat straight up in bed and opened my mouth and gulped in some air. Hay fever. Just bloody hay fever making me think I’m

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Andrea Mara

And then the pieces fell into place

They came on Saturday afternoon – my almost-last round of edits. This is the time to make final tweaks and find typos. (Typos are so hard to find, but I know they’re there, lurking, grinning slyly, hoping to make the final cut.) And for me, the only way to do this is to

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Andrea Mara

Slow Parenting

“So what did you do for St Patrick’s Day?” asked our lovely optician on Monday. “Did you go into the parade?” “No…” said the child. “Did you watch it on TV?” “No, Dad was watching the match, so we didn’t see it.” I jumped in then, quick to clarify that I’d

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Andrea Mara

When is a holiday not a holiday?

What’s your ideal holiday? If you had asked me ten years ago, the answer was easy. Reading good books, getting some sun, sleeping in, eating out. Basically relaxing. I didn’t need to go to the warmest beach or the hottest club – my needs were simple. Or so I thought.

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Andrea Mara

Epic

The alarm goes off. I fumble under the pillow, trying to press any button I can find. There is no way on earth it’s morning. I refuse to believe it. I try to find the button that snoozes rather than turning it off, because even though it’s clearly impossible that

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An Unfinished Guide To Feeding Fussy Kids

I accidentally ate a smidge of banana yesterday, and the kids were in convulsions watching my own near-convulsion when I realised what was in my mouth. Most people have at least one food they can’t bear, and for me it’s bananas. (Shudder) I’ll eat pretty much anything else though, and

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The Cold Tea Years

If you’re a mother who has ever read a back-to-work article or blog post, you’ve probably heard references to hot tea – the fabled drink that we all get to try once we return to work after maternity leave. It’s usually mentioned in tandem with adult conversations – two luxuries

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Anatomy of an Afternoon

I made three new year’s resolutions this year; one for work, one for running, and one for home –  this is the home one: “fix afternoons with the kids so they’re less chaotic.” But unlike my work and running goals, the home goal isn’t specific, nor is it measurable, and it

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Cathy Claus Saves The Day

When I was small, I don’t remember my parents ever holding Santa over us at this time of year – there was never a sense that if we didn’t behave, the man in red wouldn’t deliver. Yes, he was magical and all-knowing, but it was all very positive – there

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I’m going to be the best parent ever… honest

Kissing each child goodnight, I said the same thing – in my head so I wouldn’t wake them – I said “From now on, I’m going to be the best parent ever.” It’s something I often say when I’m kissing them at night – when they’re fast asleep and it’s

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Cooking with kids the Ben’s Beginners way

My four-year-old regularly offers to help me cook. On a macro level, this makes me really happy. Because I am trying to be a good parent, and I know that it’s beneficial to him to learn to cook. On a micro level, this does not make me quite so happy

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Rewards For Grown-ups Too

Another week done; in fact a whole month done now, and a little more progress with getting used to school. Actually, to anyone who sees at us at the door every morning, it would all look perfect – my small boy gives me a cheeky grin, runs towards his classroom,

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The Bookworm Thief

I own a book monster. I take her to library, she gets out ten books, and two days later, she’s read them all. I usually find her roaming around the house at night, picking up newspapers and magazines, desperate for something to read until she can get her next library

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Inside I’m (surely) crying

I know this is supposed to be an emotional time. My smallest; my baby; my last baby is off to school. I am meant to be in floods of tears. I should have pockets stuffed with tissues. I’m supposed to just about hold it in when I drop him to

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Summing Up Summer And Figuring It Out

I like things to have a theme; I like to be able to look back and easily sum things up in three words or a couple of sentences. Like the golden autumn when everything was shiny and sparkling and brilliant. Followed by literal and metaphorical November rain. Or the summer holiday

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Life Through a Lens

Sometimes I hide my phone from myself for an hour, so that I can concentrate on the kids without being distracted. And I have some reasonably strict self-imposed rules about not browsing mindlessly when they’re around. But one major weakness is taking photos – and it’s for that purpose more

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