11 essential tools that help me to be a moderately mediocre parent

tea - office mum

These are just my own personal essential parenting tools - they're not by any means universal - but without them, I suspect I'd be in some kind of institution at this stage. In no particular order: 1. Kids' TV TV saves my life every evening. Take yesterday for example. There were fourteen children running around my kitchen ...

12 Signs There’s a Thing We’re Calling a Heatwave

Offie Mum - wine - Dun Laoghaire

In most countries, temperatures of 18 degrees don't qualify as a heatwave but in Ireland, we'll take what we can get. It might be still chilly in exposed areas (in either sense) but we know how fleeting this is, and we're making the most of it. Some signs there's a thing we're calling a heatwave in ...

Valentine’s Day Mammy-style

Valentine

Ooh Valentine's Day - maybe we'll book a romantic night away in a hotel. Scrap that - no babysitter, no money. But I'll buy him a card and a present. Well, a card anyway. Those are nice cards! I'll get one each for the kids as well. Oh wait, there's €3.99 each. Maybe I'll just make cards for the ...

Three campsites in France: comparison and review

Beach in Carnac

Recently, I asked my seven-year-old if she remembered Sequoia Parc, the campsite we stayed in, two years ago in France. "Of course I do - it had a dragon pirate ship thing beside the pool," she said. "No," I said, "That was Clarys Plage, last year." She was sure I was wrong. I was sure I was right. ...

The rules

Office Mum Word Cloud

Drink eight glasses of water a day. Take the stairs. Put the phone away when the kids are around. Be on time for work. Be on time leaving work. Pay attention during homework time. Eat five servings of fruit and veg a day. Don't let the kids watch too much TV. Get seven hours sleep. Don't eat red ...

Feel the fear

It wasn

Today's newspaper was already on the mat when I arrived home last night, or rather this morning, just after 3am. I felt a surge of The Fear when I saw it there, reminiscent of the feeling I used to get fifteen years ago, arriving home from impromptu Wednesday beers and realising that there weren't a ...

my so-called lie-in

My husband and I don't do weekend lie-ins on alternate days, though I know lots of people who do. For us it just hasn't worked well for lots of reasons, not in the least because I'm a very light sleeper, so it's not a given that my lie-in would include much actual sleeping. Especially when the ...