I’m Andrea Mara, author (crime), blogger (parenting), and mum of three (kids).
Office Mum is about being a parent, about juggling work and home, and mostly about being a human today, muddling through.
Here’s a bit of background:
Until April 2015, I worked in the Funds Industry – I spent a decade there as a relatively carefree employee, followed by a further seven years as a working mother – a very different experience.
When I went back to work after my third maternity leave, I wanted more than ever to find ways to make life more manageable, to find that elusive balance between work and home and avoid falling to pieces trying to hold it all together. I wanted to chat to other mums who enjoy work, who don’t wish to succeed at all costs or to the detriment of their children, but who also don’t want to sit on the sidelines and be ignored. I couldn’t find any forums or groups, and I got tired talking to myself, texting radio stations and wittering on to my ever-patient husband so I started this blog.
Then rather awkwardly for someone with a blog called Office Mum, in April 2015, my office closed.
I was offered redundancy or redeployment, and I decided, heart in mouth, to take the opportunity to make a change. I stepped away from the office, and into the world of freelance writing. I planned to try it for six months, and happily for me I’m still here. Sometimes I resent it – like at night when I’d really quite like to be watching Netflix, but most of the time, I love it.
Then I decided to try writing fiction, and my first book – a suspense thriller called The Other Side of the Wall was published by Poolbeg in June 2017. My second book, One Click, was published in 2018, and my third, The Sleeper Lies, will be out in February 2020.
A little bit on the personal side …
I’m a list-maker and a note-taker; a sporadic diary-keeper and frequent photo taker. So this blog has become an extension of the obsessive cataloging – a hobby, an outlet, therapy, a soapbox, but also a personal record – a means of capturing moments for future reference – for me, for my husband, and some day, for my three smallies.
My blog started out as an anonymous blog, and though I posted pictures of my kids, I liked keeping them relatively anonymous too.
In early posts, the kids had blogger identities – names that I might have given them in a parallel universe. If anyone is reading old posts, the references to “Clara”, “Emmie”, and “Sam” might be confusing, especially if you know me in real life.
Lastly (I promise!), I live in Dun Laoghaire – I love Dun Laoghaire, especially the pier. It was while walking the pier one morning in March 2013 that I decided to start writing a blog. It’s a place for ordering thoughts and blowing away cobwebs – much like a blog really. It was there in October 2016 that I pressed send on the outline that got me my book deal and became The Other Side of the Wall. And actually since I wrote this paragraph, we’ve moved house. We don’t technically, technically live in Dun Laoghaire any more, but in all other ways, I think we still do.