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
Exam Survival – Illustrator
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 ….
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
Kindness – Cartoon Illustrator
Lent – 6 weeks of penance, giving up sweets, cigarettes or beverages that are bad for us. It’s a time to clean up our act. Like New Year’s, an opportunity to make a new start and redeem our sorry selves.
But first, there’s that last gluttonous fling of Shrove or Pancake Tuesday. Continue reading
Smack – Cartoon Illustrator
Is it OK to smack your child for bad behaviour? Pope Francis apparently thinks so, sparking controversial debate across newsprint, social media and radio. Last Monday, it was one of the topics on PJ Coogan’s ‘Opinion Line’ @pjcoogan on @Corks96FM . As a mother of three, I’ve had many scenarios where discipline is needed and was happy to join the discussion. Continue reading
Some people have one special treat that marks the start of Christmas. It could be advent calendars for the kids, setting up the crib, scoffing a first mince pie or decorating the tree.
“That’s my favourite thing,” sighed my friend, “Going to the garden centre and selecting the tree. I LOVE the fresh pine smell, the feel and colour of a real fir, bringing it home and decorating it with the kids. Last year, though, was a disaster.” Continue reading
Aaah! Home with three teens while teachers strike and there’s another day due in January? While I despair at having the kids at home when they could be doing something useful in school, I’m with the teachers on this one. Continue reading
My friend had great news the other morning. Her daughter was offered a place in the secondary school of her choice. “What a relief!” this mum said, “The great thing is, it’s her decision. And being co-ed, her brothers are guaranteed a place when it’s their turn in a few years time!” I was delighted for her. I know only too well, the stress associated with getting your pre-teen into second level. Continue reading
I’ve become the archetypal Irish Mammy – worrying and nagging to beat the band. I try to resist, but at the first hint of winter frost, I start my “Put on your coat, wear your hat!” mantra, especially when colds and flu strike. Is it just me or do other mums do this too? Continue reading
I bought zombie brains. Thought I was doing a great thing, getting them for my boys. The fourteen year-old looked at me in disgust “What do you think I am – four? I’m not dressing up. YOU wear it!” Continue reading