Wash, rinse, repeat – the truth about afternoons

As anyone who works mornings and looks after kids in the afternoon knows, it's a day of two distinct halves. The morning is busy-busy, trying to cram in every last drop before the imaginary school-run klaxon sounds, and tools must be downed. Like the no-nonsense bell in a TV game show, ignoring the unsent email, the uneaten ...

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 read it out loud. All ...

The bit in the middle

Sky Garden London - Office Mum

"Okay, five minutes reading time, then lights out," I said to my smallest, after his story. "Six minutes? Pleeeeease?" "Okay, you can have six minutes reading time," I said, earning me a best mum ever badge that was much shinier than that worst mum ever one I'd got earlier for making him come on the school run ...

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, ...