4 things I learned about parenting from cream crackers

As I surveyed the entire contents of my shopping bag yesterday - two packets of similar-but-not-the-same crackers and nothing else at all - it struck me that this scene, and the lead-up to it, quite aptly summed up my parenting. It started when we realised we were out of cream crackers, and I had to go to ...

Lifestyle Lost and Found

It was five o'clock Thursday, rush hour in Dublin city centre. One of those beautiful sunny Autumn evenings we get in early October every year - the Indian summer my kids didn't believe existed. I was among throngs of post-work walkers - marchers really, marching towards buses and trains and shops and pubs. Women in trainers, ...

Fixing the morning I broke

Do you ever have mornings where everything goes wrong? Where you come downstairs and last night's saucepan is still on the hob and it's not anyone's fault because we were all out late at different events and activities, but still, it's irritating? And the kids are late getting up and late getting down for breakfast, ...

The Mothership Returns

"How was your summer and how does she like the new teacher and how is he settling back in?" The voices change but the questions are the same. "They're tired this week, I'm tired this week, how is it only Monday?" Stopping at the corner for a conversation worth an hour - condensed into ten minutes. Machine gun chat, ...

The Facebook Version of my Holiday

When I go on holidays, and I do what lots of people do – I put photos up on Facebook. It’s the modern version of the postcard isn’t it – “Having a lovely time, wish you were here!” So here’s the Facebook version of one holiday, as told through the photos I posted on social media: There was ...

Hindsight on what matters – a note to my eldest child

When you were born, I didn't know why you cried. I carried you night and day, thinking I was doing something wrong, but now I understand, you just wanted to be near me, as newborn babies do. It's so very obvious in hindsight. And 20 months later when your sister was born, I thought you were ...

An open letter to the person in the place

I've read many "an open letter to" posts in the last few years. Sometimes they're angry, sometimes conciliatory, and  sometimes empathetic. In particular, I've read posts about supermarket confrontations - women who have been judged for their parenting, or had some kind of less than pleasant encounter. I wondered when my day would come - ...

Breathing In All The Spaces

I promised myself (not just an in-the-air promise – an actual written down promise) that the next time I had a lull, I’d take a morning for myself. And here I am – almost all current deadlines met, book edits on the way but not here yet – doing just that. I’m getting my hair ...