Category Archives: Parenthood

Night Classes by Illustrator Maeve O’Keeffe

Cartoon: Night Class by Illustrator Maeve O’Keeffe

It’s that time of year, again, when change is in the air – kids are starting a new school year, days are getting cooler and evenings shorter.  That modicum of change affects adults, too, as many consider doing a night class for self-improvement or simply do something interesting for the long winter nights. Continue reading

Charity seeking old Schoolbooks

Charity seeking old schoolbooks

Like thousands of parents at this time of year, I’m faced with the cost of kids going back to school and/or college.

As well as the uniforms, stationery, etc, textbooks must be bought — a major expense.

Every year, I’m enraged that perfectly good schoolbooks can’t be reused because either the content is supposedly improved and republished or the curriculum changes.

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Simon Open Door by Illustrator Maeve O’Keeffe

Cartoon: SimonOpenDoor by illustrator Maeve O’Keeffe

This year’s Simon Open Door initiative is currently underway, finishing May 19th.  For a €90 donation which goes directly to the Simon Community, an appointment can be booked for an hour-long consultation with a certified RIAI Architect.

I did this a few years ago which led us to adding an extension to our 3 bed, 1 bathroom bungalow.  With three kids, we longed for a second toilet.  Continue reading

Illustrator Maeve O’Keeffe – St. Pat’s Hats

Illustrator, Cork

Patrick’s Day Hats by Illustrator, Maeve O’Keeffe

Although Glounthaune, my hometown (village) near Cork city hosts one of the shortest St. Patrick’s Day parades, what it may lack in length, it makes up for in style.  Take hats – in the not too distant past, most of us would brave the chilly March 17th in sensible woolly hats and scarves, with a clump of shamrock safety-pinned to our coats.  However, sartorial tastes have changed, especially if the kids get involved! Continue reading

Illustrator Maeve O’Keeffe – Treadmill 2017

Illustrator, Cork

Treadmill – Illustrator, Maeve O’Keeffe

Spring is here, the days are getting longer, putting a pep in our step.  All good but what to do if you’re still struggling with excess Christmas weight?  Exercise is the obvious answer.  With a plethora of fitness classes, ‘Operation Transformation’ or the outdoor gym equipment by Glounthaune Playground, there’s surely no excuse?  A friend asks me to join her in trying out a gym.

I must admit I feel self-conscious in my mismatched tracksuit alongside the toned, lycra-clad clientele.  The bike and rowing machines are fine.  I then try the treadmill, apprehensively stepping on to read the instructions.  ‘Attach safety clips to clothing.’  Done.  There’s a cautionary note:  “To avoid injury, stand on side rails before starting treadmill.”  OK, safety first.

I examine the programs printed on the display panel: Manual, Muscle Toner, Fat Burner – oh, I like the sound of that.  Let’s kill those carbs!  I enthusiastically turn on the machine.  The conveyer belt moves and I wobble with it, hanging onto the handrails for dear life.  I’m half walking/running, desperately trying to keep up.  My stomach lurches like I’m on an erratic roller coaster.  I just can’t get the rhythm and nearly break my neck trying to stagger off.

So much for high-tech machines!  It’s easier to walk the roads – maybe even pick up a bit of litter.  At least I won’t fall flat on my face.  A few small steps is a giant leap for this frazzled mammy, trying to turn a new leaf!

©Maeve O’Keeffe 2017 

Debs Dress by Illustrator Maeve O’Keeffe

Cartoon: Debs Dress by Maeve O'Keeffe

Debs Dress by Illustrator Maeve O’Keeffe

Summer 2016 is ambling along, with its lacklustre weather, long-gone soccer, Rio Olympics and Pokémon Go.  Right now, I would normally think of schoolbooks and uniform shopping, but this year it’s different.  Daughter did the Leaving Cert, so no back to school for her.  I’m trying not to stress about exam results, CAO offers and the nightmare of finding student accommodation if she goes to Dublin.  A welcome diversion is the debs dance. Continue reading

Exam Survival – Illustrator

Exam Survival – Illustrator


Illustrator, Maeve O'Keeffe

Studying Hard – Keep Out!

The Leaving Cert is looming! With the state exams due to start on June 8th, there are households across the country trying to cope with this stressful time.  It’s hard on the students, revising or trying to cram in last-minute coursework.  But tough on parents, too, who have brought them this far.  As a mother of both a Leaving Cert and a Junior Cert student, I’m well aware of the tensions and traumas that accompany this ordeal.  Like other frazzled mammies, I’m try to keep it together.  The following survival hints might help ….

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Christmas Countdown – Illustrator

ChristmasCountdown by Illustrator, Cork, Ireland, Maeve O'Keeffe

ChristmasCountdown by Illustrator, Cork, Ireland, Maeve O’Keeffe

Christmas Countdown – Illustrator

It’s the countdown to Christmas.  Since the Toy Show, children have been double-checking their wish lists, posting or burning letters in the fireplace. They can now relax, excitedly waiting for Santa’s imminent arrival.  But what about us adults?  What of all the jobs we have to do?  If only we could write a letter and have Santa’s elves clean the house, do the shopping and magic a cooked turkey onto the table?  Christmas is a wondrous time but is it worth all the stress we put ourselves through? Continue reading