Family trees are also a great interest of mine. Unfortunately, my own family tree has had a bit of surgery. A few branches have been cut off and some of that wood has been used to fuel fire. However, recently, this tree of mine has seen some new growth. I'm pleased to feel strength in it again.
When my twin girls were nine months old and my son was two, my husband packed his bags and left. To say it was a tough time would be an understatement. I wasn't a one parent family by choice. I had never intended to bring up my kids this way. But you can't change the circumstances- all you can do it make the best of what you've got.
Marriage is in a state of transition and the men I have spoken to for this research project hold contradictory views on its importance as a relational construct. However, they do consider the institution of marriage to be a necessary safeguard for the family unit.
The uniform has been carefully purchased, washed and ironed to an inch of its life and the painful task of labelling the whole flipping thing is finally done.The time has come at last time for the new school year and the kids are FINALLY back at school! I can feel your excitement from here.
Christ alive I've never known a rollercoaster of emotions quite like the last three and a half years. Gone are the 'good days' and 'bad days'. Days are less easy to emotionally rank now. Sometimes I encounter the full spectrum of emotions in the same day.
Enforcing this tough policy has resulted in surprisingly pleasant outcomes. The main one is that my children learned to engage themselves actively, either with pen and paper, make-belief dolls from corn stalks, paper costumes, pet circus and a whole myriad of creative past times that became the hallmark of their materially poor but spiritually rich childhood.
I've made it! Three kids have learned to eat, walk, use a toilet, quote Princess Bride, and talk in thick Boston accents (R's are hawd to say, ok?) under my tutelage. But now they are someone else's responsibility from 9am until 3pm.
Despite reaching your limits entertaining the kids day in and day out for six straight weeks (and feeling great comfort in knowing that this period is finally coming to an end), you realise that you have no idea whatsoever when school actually starts back. You know that it's sometime in early September... but that's about it.
We grabbed a budget rental car and headed to the laid back beaches of Fort Myers, compared to the more hedonistic Miami where an overnight stay at Loews hotel gave us a glam glimpse of city, with a super safe family swimming pool and Nikki Beach's famous brunch just a stone's throw away.
My sister was officially in labour. It was a little surreal since I just rolled over and continued to snooze, conscious of the pain she was about to endure and the chaotic hub of emotion about to let fly, but geographically and mentally I couldn't have felt further away. Winnipeg, CA - 3,630 miles away from Dublin city.
I consider myself lucky to be raising my girls in a generation where we are encouraged to talk about the difficulties of parenting, to share the tough days as well as the momentous and jubilant times beyond our partners and the family home.
The stuff I don't post on social media are the things that keep me up at night. The discussions I've had with Dad about Mum's health. Worries about whether Mum will make it up the stairs tonight. How exasperated I feel that my family seem to have stopped leaving the house.
My whole relationship with food has become consumed by the after-effects of my illness and dealing with them. As a result, I've forgotten that there's more to food than this. And I don't think I'm the only one.
It's taken me seven years to summon up the courage to write anything about the death of Josh. There's always been a lot of residual guilt (this is common when a sibling dies) but I could no more help that Dale died due to a 'cot death' than I could that the mental health services let my brother Josh so horrifically.
It's not that teenagers engaging is risky behaviours think they're invincible - they are fully aware of risky behaviours like smoking and drinking, it's just that they are more influenced by the risk perceptions of other teenagers and less by those of adults.
A good diet was hard enough to achieve before I had a baby, what with working long hours, drunken 2am cheese and peanut butter toastfests (try it, it's amazing), and hungover scoffing. But as soon as I fell pregnant, the assault on my good intentions and dubious resolve began.