Adrian Millar
I am a stay-at-home dad with two PhDs - one in Politics and one in Japanese - who spends his days fending for his three daughters, snatching moments with his wife, having a quick coffee with friends, walking the dog, being mindful, and writing about my experiences of everyday life in The Irish Examiner. I am also the founder of

Nirvana, in other words.

The road to Nirvana has been a long one, however. It took me a while to figure it out.

I gave up my job as college lecturer of Japanese 15 years ago the second my wife got pregnant on our first child, and regretted it every Friday morning when I opened the jobs sections of The Irish Times.

So, I quit buying the paper.

My wife and I began to argue over the fact that my being a stay-at-home dad made her - a dedicated, working mother - look like a 'bad mother', so we went to marriage counselling and worked things out.

Then, year after year, I stood in the school-yard watching mothers in their 'power suits' drop their children off to school before heading to work, while I, 'a man' with two PhDs, went back home to change nappies. So, I took to writing while the kids watched Barney.

I wrote two novels and a book on the Northern Ireland conflict.

I am the author of Socio-ideological Fantasy and the Northern Ireland Conflict (Manchester University Press, 2007), which was short-listed in New York in 2007 for the Best Book Award by the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis and was awarded Best Theoretical Paper award in 2001 by the American International Association for Conflict Management.

I have had to publish my novels myself. You can buy The Quiet Life, a family drama, loved by Marian Keyes, on Amazon Kindle or in print at It can also be downloaded at Tomayto Tomahto, the story of a marriage, is available on Amazon here

My road to Nirvana took a further turn last year when I began writing Dad's World for The Irish Examiner - a weekly column about my everyday life as a stay-at-home dad, with a hard-won insight into hard-earned wisdom, though a good laugh, for all that.

In January 2013, I finally launched The aim of this website is to help others find personal happiness through mining their everyday personal experience. The 'trick' is to become mindful of one's story.

I have a book coming out in Oct 2014 with Mercier Press, entitled The Beauty Of Everyday Life, with contributions from 40 Irish 'celebs'.

Ask people what they want on their death-beds and they tell you that they wished they had spent more time with the kids, fallen in love etc. Essentially, when all is said and done in life, people want to know if they have loved sufficiently or been loved sufficiently. hopes to awaken people to that world of love and relationships step by step, but without having to abandon the world of work and achievement. When you get in touch with your story, you see that the 'ordinary' is extraordinary. There, the tiniest of things can feed you for a lifetime. In this sense, everyone is already a mystic. You don't have to go away to a meditation centre. On the contrary, you are better off staying right where you are. And the beauty of mindfulness-to-go, which is what I call mindfulness on my website, is that it allows for your everyday experience, warts and all. Everything is included. Everything is included because all things are bound together by your story. It, therefore, engages you at all levels of your being - body, heart, mind, spirit. And, remember, if it doesn't make you smile, it's not mindfulness.

That said, is not schmalz. We humans thrive among weeds.

Which brings me back to me.

I grew up in a 'war' in Northern Ireland. I have been to the edge and back with my wife. I have had the big job and travelled the world and got all the big qualifications. I have done the thirty-day silent meditation retreats and laid awake just as many nights with my children. I have changed thousands of shitty nappies. I have plumbed the depths of my experience and come up smelling of ...
And, as a friend says, if I can do it, any idiot can.

But if you don't trust me, trust my contributors on the site.

Now, people follow my various shenanigans on Facebook and on Twitter, in The Irish Examiner's Feelgood section (on Fridays), and on Linkedin. Feel free to join them. You can also keep up to date with happenings at
And if it's my wonderful HuffPost blog photo that you like, then check out

Entries by Adrian Millar

Connection - It's What Life Is All About

(0) Comments | Posted 19 May 2015 | (12:21)

It's a bitterly cold morning in March and I am en route to Grafton Street, in Dublin, to meet a friend who is writing a play of my novel, The Quiet Life. With an hour to kill, I decide to treat myself to a large café mocha (with chocolate on...

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30 Simple Ways to Cultivate Beauty In Your Everyday Life

(0) Comments | Posted 30 September 2014 | (16:23)

You have the power to recharge, refocus and recommit, without slog. All you have to do is keep in touch with the beauty of your everyday life. The way to do this is through your story.

Here's how.

1. To access the beauty of your story, notice, name, savour and...

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What Robin Williams Taught Me

(0) Comments | Posted 8 September 2014 | (20:22)

It's a month on since Robin Williams died, on August 11th, and I've been doing some thinking.
I've been thinking about why we were so attracted to Robin Williams and why his passing had such a powerful affect on us.
Was it because he was a great actor?

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Father's Day Is For Life

(0) Comments | Posted 13 June 2014 | (16:22)

We all know about the lack of equality for fathers under the law, but the real problem for fathers today isn't their legal status but what it means to be a father.

"Be quiet!" my 14-year-old daughter snaps at me as I walk into the kiddies' den. "I'm watching Pretty...

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The Beauty of Rearing Children in the Hardest of Times

(0) Comments | Posted 25 April 2014 | (14:54)

My wife rings me.
"I've been shopping, and we've only 200 Euros left to do us till my pay comes in a week from now."
"What? 200?"
I'm in shock. I leave my friend's house and return home. I check the fridge to see how much...

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I'm Not Just a Dad, I'm a Dad

(0) Comments | Posted 19 June 2013 | (12:50)

I am standing in The Residence piano bar, overlooking St. Stephen's Green in Dublin, with chef and father Neven Maguire and a group of guests gathered for the launch of The First 1,000 Days of life initiative, a movement to drive the awareness of the importance for nutrition for babies,...

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Bigger Picture, Perennial Wisdom?

(0) Comments | Posted 14 May 2013 | (10:44)

My two older girls are engaged in their fifth argument of the day, upstairs. I'm cracking up.
"What's going on up there?" I holler.

"I was going into the bathroom first to wash my hair and she went in in front of me and she won't get out," my...

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I Want One Of Those - A Stay-At-Home Dad

(0) Comments | Posted 14 May 2013 | (10:35)

My wife has left me.

Ok, you could say I drove her to it.

My children would.

So too would her friends.

And there's a lot of truth in that.

It started about six weeks ago.

"I want a party for my 50th birthday," she says....

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The Past Is Another Country: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

(9) Comments | Posted 17 March 2013 | (09:06)

My 14 year-old daughter, her best friend, a native of Co. Kildare in the Republic of Ireland, and I, are touring my hometown, Belfast, in Northern Ireland.

"Do you know anything about Northern Ireland?" I ask my daughter's friend as we enter Milltown Cemetery on the Falls Road.

Silence -...

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I Felt Like I Was Wasting My Life on My Children

(2) Comments | Posted 16 March 2013 | (22:46)

"But why do I have to go to Cork with you for the weekend, daddy?" my 8 year-old daughter pleads through a river of tears. "I never have time with my friends!"
"What do you mean you never have time with your friends?" I say. "There are three of...

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The People's Pope

(0) Comments | Posted 15 March 2013 | (15:47)

"Daddy, why are we waiting a whole hour to see a new pope?" my 13 year-old daughter asks as I rush back and forth from the kitchen, where I am cooking dinner, to the sitting-room, anxious not to miss the first glimpse of the newly elected pope on SKY television....

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Parents Don't Change The World - They Help Create It

(0) Comments | Posted 28 February 2013 | (15:37)

"It must be a lot easier for you now that your children are no longer babies," a woman said to me recently.

In a flash, I am back in my kitchen toilet-training my youngest who is running around hysterical before my eyes, weeping, chanting, arms flailing, grieving for the end...

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The Two Principles of Family Love: Change and Constancy

(0) Comments | Posted 22 February 2013 | (12:14)

My wife and I went to see Titanic fourteen years ago. I lapped up every moment of it. Rose and Jack running along the decks of the ship hand in hand? Sure, that was my wife and I - The Greatest Love Story Ever Told. We went to see it...

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The Day After St. Valentine's Day

(1) Comments | Posted 14 February 2013 | (18:55)

I hate St. Valentine's Day. I can't do romance on prescription. So, this year, as I do every year, I leave my three children with some relatives, book a night in a hotel in Dublin, with dinner for two thrown in, and take a deep breath. Fun? I don't think...

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If Jesus Tweeted...

(3) Comments | Posted 13 February 2013 | (14:37)

The biggest problem to face the new Pope later this month is not the 'potential millions of Catholics who could be lost to Islam and the evangelicals', or the 'battles over the issues of abortion, gay marriage, women in the priesthood and celibacy' or even the...

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Gay Marriage Isn't The Issue - The Conservative Party Should Talk to My Seven Year-Old

(0) Comments | Posted 7 February 2013 | (15:36)

I love men.

Okay, to be frank, this has never really been a problem for me. It only really became a problem for me when my seven year-old daughter found out recently. We were sitting at the kitchen table and she had just drawn a few circles on the...

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Dignity Action Day 2013: What Is The Most Dignifying Experience of Your Life? This Is Mine

(0) Comments | Posted 1 February 2013 | (14:54)

Sometimes I think that the hardest thing in life to take on board is one's own dignity.
I am sitting in my kiddies' den minding my own business, kids away for the weekend, watching TV, sipping a glass of wine, basically 'happy in my nappy', when the phone...

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Just Another Night on Channel 4 News

(0) Comments | Posted 30 January 2013 | (13:26)

Refugees fleeing their homes (Syria), people killing collaborators (Mali), security forces mowing down demonstrators (South Africa) - just another night on Channel 4 News. Nothing to do with us. Or has it?

I grew up in a war - in the UK. I'm still shell-shocked, though there wasn't a...

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What I Have Learned From the Recession

(0) Comments | Posted 29 January 2013 | (15:27)

I come from a long history of gamblers and alcoholics who would have taken the eye out of your head and come back for the eyelashes, on a bad day. (On a good day, they would have loved you to bits.) So, when I leaned into my sweetheart's ear on...

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Two Algerias

(0) Comments | Posted 18 January 2013 | (13:14)

My daughter hands me the house-phone while I am vacuuming.
"Someone for you," she says, "and I don't understand a word they're saying."
"Hello!" I say, switching off the Hoover.
"Tu viens manger chez moi ce soir?" a voice from thirty years ago said.

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