Andrea Mara

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Hello from the other side

It’s a full two months since I finished up in the IFSC so it seems like as good a time as any for an update on life as a WAHM.

Highlights

Summer holidays – I feel like I’ve discovered a secret world of amazingness. The heady mix of no office and no school-run has been going on for less than a week now, but I’m still delightedly surprised every night when I have to get absolutely nothing ready for the next morning – not for them and not for me. Having said that, the bickering has been non-stop all week, and there are times when I’d gladly swap it for a stint at my old desk. It’s just the wind-down from school and/ or the heat, right? Right?

Work – one of the biggest highlights was having a feature published in July’s Image Magazine – about women who have left full-time jobs to start their own businesses. I felt very glossy.

Image feature - Andrea Mara

And overall, freelancing has been going surprisingly well, though of course I tell myself constantly that each week is an exception and it won’t always be this good. Hopefully that’s Impostor Syndrome and not an accurate prediction.

Reality Bites

I mentioned that my first month had gone well – getting the kids to school on time, not shouting – I even made them omelettes one morning. There’s been some slippage. Month two was not so organised. Anyway, nobody needs an omelette before school.

Truth Time

When I worked in an office, I often felt guilty at bedtime, realising that I hadn’t had quality time with the kids. But the great thing was, it wasn’t really my fault. I was at work all day, and rushing around doing homework and dinner and bedtime in the evening.

Two months in to being at home with them, I’ve realised that it’s pretty much the same. There are many nights when I kiss them goodnight, wondering what we did all day. It feels like a constant swirl of school-runs and homework and cooking and clearing up and emptying the dishwasher over and over and over.

The difference is though, back then, it wasn’t my fault. But now it kind of is. I don’t have the “I was in the office all day” to fall back on. On paper the guilt is lessened, because I’m here with them all day, but in reality, it’s worse, because I’m not making the most of it.

So if you’re a working mum who wishes she could be at home, take heart – it’s not all rosy over on this side. Although of course, you might be much better at it than I am – that’s highly likely.

Teach a Man to Fish

My biggest achievement this month has been teaching the girls how to get their own drinks of water and milk. So something that was taking up 80% of my time now only takes up about 20% (mopping spillages). I suspect I’m the last person in Ireland to have figured out the maths on this.

kids cooking - office mum
putting them to work

We’re off on holidays tomorrow, flying instead of ferrying for the first time with all three of them. I imagine it’ll be plane sailing (sorry, sorry!) and there’ll be no bloggable stories at all. At all.

See you in two weeks!

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This week’s Her Family piece is about working from home – why it’s so great, and how to ask for it: Why working from home is the business

And if your child is due to start junior infants in September, this is a piece I wrote for Mothers and Babies with the Independent: Taking the stress out of big school

Big school - Independent - Mothers and Babies - Andrea Mara

 

 

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