Tag Archives: HerFamily

Welcome To The HerFamily Week By Week Pregnancy Guides!

If you are secretly pregnant.. congrats. (I promise your secret is safe with me!)

At Week 4 you might not even realise that you’re pregnant yet and are wondering if you’re so exhausted simply because you drank so much wine at the weekend OR because you are already mum to a small child.

I knew between weeks 4 and 6 that I was pregnant with both of my kiddos – I’m acutely aware of my body’s changes and ran for pregnancy tests as soon as my symptoms presented themselves!

Finding out this early means you have a VERY long pregnancy but you also get to keep a secret with your partner for ages too before you reveal the Big News in a couple of months’ time!

I recorded these Week By Week Pregnancy Guides with HerFamily and WaterWipes in January and I think they’ve turned out SO well.

There’ll be an update each week on their Facebook page and YouTube accounts and I’ll share them here too.

I hope we can share your exciting preggo journey together – this all isn’t making me broody at all, I SWEAR!

Got any nice pregnancy announcement ideas to share? We’d love to hear them so let us know in the comments on Facebook!


8 Things You Can Do While Your Kiddos Are In The Bath

So, it’s January. And while you may have been listening to me giving out shite about that dreaded first month of the year, I do like that it forces us into a little clean-out.

I’m not talking about detoxing our livers here, I’m talking the house – the presses, the overstuffed wardrobes, the space in the attic where the Xmas decorations are going to be stuffed for the next 11 months.

Ass Monkey and I bagged up seven bags of stuff from our bedroom yesterday evening. It had been used as a dumping ground for months while we had been running around planning the wedding.

We’re talking rubbish, clothes, shoes, weird belts that he’d been hanging onto since possibly the 80’s, socks and jocks that we have no business hanging onto because they are tatty/grey when they should be white/say ‘SuperDad!’ on them – chucked, chucked, chuck.

It only took 20 minutes and felt great to get on top of it. And to make things all the nicer, the kids were in the bath the entire time. Look at that for multi-tasking!

It made me think about what you can achieve when your kids are occupied and quiet for a few minutes (although we did have to referee a few rows over rubber duckies), and I was reminded of this article I wrote for fab parenting site HerFamily.

NO, you cannot leave your children unattended while they are having a bath.

YES, you must supervise them at all times as they play with bubbles, brush their ears with toothbrushes and attempt to deliver all of the bathwater to the sitting room below.

BUT! While your kids are happily splashing around, they mostly don’t need you to interfere with their playtime in any meaningful way.

So why not let them at it, and rather than sitting on the toilet or the bathroom floor, counting down the minutes to when their little fingers officially turn prune-like, get on board with multi-tasking like a pro instead:

Here are 8 things you can totally do while your kids are blowing (or eating) bubbles:

1. Get your nails ‘did

Twenty minutes is plenty of time for a quick manicure. I can get my old chipped polish off, give my nails a quick file and rub some oil into the cuticles while the kids are doing their thing. Actual nail polish is impossible because you will literally be called upon to towel dry a little one as soon as you have one coat on. Not worth it!

2. Give your hair a boost

Whether you need to brighten up your blonde or give your brunette tresses a boost, these home treatments can be applied while you’re waiting for the little ones to clean behind their ears. Just apply, and relax.

3. De-fuzz

If you’re like me, you’ll know that the best-planned bath times for yourself don’t always come to fruition. Given that this is where I normally shave my legs, I end up having to find other convenient times to get them done if my own bath time is missed. So, lather up while you’re in there now and break out the lady shave.

4. Try a new product

Face masks, hair masks, exfoliators, eye creams, overnight recovery creams – pop them on now while you have a bit of time. Once the kid’s bath time is over and you actually get them into bed, it’s probably nearly your own bedtime too, right?

5. Tame those brow monsters

I am yet another woman who is bereft when she looks in the mirror each morning and sees the gaps where her eyebrows used to live. Why, fashionable-to-pluck-them-to-shit era, WHY?? Get them back in order, stat!

6. Massage your bags away

Not enjoying the sight of those under-eye bags every morning? Me neither. Take a few minutes and massage them away. Easy peasy.

7. Sort your socks

There is a laundry basket in my house that I try to ignore for as long as is humanly possible each week. It contains all the socks that have come out of the washing machine and have yet to be paired. No one else in our house gives a shit about this laundry basket so here and there, I drag it into the bathroom when the kids are having their bath, sit on the floor and deal with it. Painful but essential.

8. Clean as you go

I sometimes take the opportunity to give the bathroom a going over while we’re all already in there. I’m obviously conscious that you can’t use bleach and other toxic sprays while the kids are in the room, so try these natural cleaning ideas for the sinks, mirrors and surfaces. End result? Your kids AND your bathroom will be spotless. Boom.

It’s #BlueMonday today so we hope you’re doing ok and we’ve given you a bit of a laugh. Be kind to yourselves!

You’re A Better Parent Than You Think

I was given the great honour of speaking at a Cheerios Childline Breakfast in The Westbury last week (can someone please book me an overnight at The Westbury?! Omg it’s gorge). Anna Daly, the Cheerios Childline ambassador – and yes, even more beautiful in person – was speaking first,  followed by a woman called Gabrielle who works as a volunteer for Childline. I won’t repeat the heartbreaking stories she told us from the calls that she has received over the years, but suffice to say, the entire room of parents were pretty much crying their hearts out….

And then I had to try to lighten the mood….holy shitballs. Almost IMPOSSIBLE and so hard to try and keep it together myself! Anyway, I am hoping to host my own Cheerios Childline Breakfast shortly, to help raise funds for this amazing support for the children of Ireland. If you would like to too, you can register here: Cheerios Childline Breakfast Info

My speech on the morning was short to begin with, and made all the shorter by my being unable to stop myself from blubbing. You can read it below. And can I just sign off by saying this: the volunteers at Childline are ANGELS. I so could not do the job that they do x


‘My four year-old son Jacob peed on me yesterday. It wasn’t intentional, nor direct, thankfully but he’d had a little accident which he hadn’t told me about, and happily sat on my knee to eat a yoghurt. I was wearing quite thick jeans so it took a few minutes for it to sink in…and then for it to SINK IN, if you get me. 

Of course it happened in front of a friend who had dropped in for a cuppa, but I’d invited her at the wrong time: 6pm, or AKA ‘Witching Hour’. It’s that time of day when every corner of your house resembles a scene from Love/Hate, your children have suddenly turned into tired, screaming messes and you are counting down the minutes until your partner comes home and/or bedtime. 

And this friend is hoping to start trying for her first baby soon and so you sit there, with a fake smile plastered to your face, in your wee-stained jeans, sitting at the table in your Love/Hate house and lie ‘Doooo it. It’s amaaaaazing….’

Wee accidents are just wee accidents, they can happen to the best of us – and I’m willing to bet that there are a few of our preggo mums here today who have had a couple of wee accidents since leaving the house this morning ;o)

And so we don’t react to a four year old having a wee accident, we don’t want to give him a complex or feel bad, so we don’t give out. And of course we’re well used to dealing with gross stuff since becoming parents – we become immune to finding wee and puke and poo in or around our favourite handbags, on our favourite clothes…in our freshly washed hair (praying that it’s chocolate – praying).

And so we say goodbye to our friend (poor Sandra) and take our four year old upstairs where we put him into a bath and then into clean, dry PJs. Because that’s normal. And that’s my good parenting story from yesterday. But that’s not the story I remembered when Alan came home, I didn’t pat myself on the back about it. When Alan came home, I was exhausted and emotional and cried to him about how crap a parent I was yesterday, because I was grumpy and shouty and impatient and at times, unkind to the kids. I didn’t remember being a good parent. Office Mum wrote a fab article this week called First Child, about not expecting so much of our kids, especially the eldest, which resonated with everyone who read it, and I am totally guilty of expecting too much of Jacob, and then feeling rubbish about it later.

But after listening to the calls that some of the children in our country are making to Childline….I think we need to give ourselves a break….because I’m glad that my kids have us as their parents’.

How To Prepare For Travelling Abroad With Kids

5 Sleeps To Go

  1. Locate all summer clothes. If you live in Ireland, they’re probably still in the attic.
  2. Wash and dry all items. In the dryer. (See above)
  3. Return to attic to retrieve large suitcase.
  4. Realise gave large suitcase to brother on loan two years ago. Remind self to badger Ass Monkey later about why we don’t go on more holidays.
  5. Ask brother for suitcase, who informs that suitcase was in fact returned, but broken, so remember bashing it into small pieces to fit into the green bin last Christmas.
  6. Send Ass Monkey into town for a suitcase that is big enough for four people’s summer clothes, but not so big that we’d be charged extra baggage weight at the airport. Ass Monkey nods silently.
  7. Lay out all clothes on the spare bed. And top of dresser. And most of floor. It’s never going to fit into one suitcase.

4 Sleeps To Go

  1. The sun is shining! It’s a miracle. Promise to bring kids to the beach. Go to spare room for summer clothes items for all to wear.
  2. Finally cop that a double buggy is the most essential item for going abroad with a 1 and 3 year old. Ask to borrow one from a friend – inform Ass Monky of it’s whereabouts for pick up. Ass Monkey nods silently.
  3. Go to chemist for all summer essentials: sun cream, after-sun cream, baby sun cream, mosquito repellant, first-aid kit, Gaviscon, Motillium, headache tablets, Teethas, Calpol, Arret, shampoo, kids shampoo, body wash, moisturisers, hats, goggles, sun glasses, nappies, swimmer nappies, baby wipes. Reach the condom aisle but find self too exhausted to lift the box off the shelf.
  4. Have great day at the beach with the kids – return home to wash and dry all summer clothes again.

3 Sleeps To Go

  1. Everything in the house must be eaten and there will be no more food shopping. Try this combination for dinner: chicken breasts marinated in easi-singles, topped with sausage slices, with a side of peppa-pig shaped spaghetti with an avocado and mayonnaise mousse. Dessert will be mushed banana, digestive biscuits and petite flous. Eggs must feature in every meal, we must get rid of the eggs. What if they hatch while we’re gone?
  2. Pack everything into the new suitcase and stick to the ‘Seven Of Everything’ rule. If they run out of shorts, we’ll wash the shorts. In baby shampoo, perhaps. Might need to buy more baby shampoo.
  3. Vow not to have a repeat of THAT trip to Ibiza years ago and diligently pack underwear.
  4. Clean the oven and the fridge – who knows who’ll be inspecting your house when you’re gone? Also book in the window cleaner, just in case of extremely close levels of judgement.

2 Sleeps To Go

  1. Take the contents of the medicine cabinet and dump them into the toiletries bag. Realise how bloody heavy the toiletries bag and that you’ll definitely get charged for an overweight bag at the airport now. Send Ass Monkey out for two backpacks – sure we’ll divvy them out and carry them on our backs, I declare. Ass Monkey nods silently.
  2. Clean up all dog poo from garden, in case anyone might pop by to cut the grass in your absence.
  3. Leave spare key with neighbour (see above).
  4. Realise have made no provision for dog’s welfare while you are gone. Ask neighbor but they have a new cat. Reluctantly ask parents although mother is not a fan of dogs. They agree. Feel sorry for dog.
  5. Open a bottle of wine as you are so nearly on your holidays now.
  6. Order in the dinner – there is now only milk and half a tin of Peppa Pig-shaped spaghetti in the house. Feel proud.
  7. Dye hair and paint toe nails while a little bit tipsy. Be grand.

1 Sleep To Go

  1. Book self in for an emergency appointment with the beauty salon as one’s nails and general appearance is not grand. What happened to the days when one would spend weeks exercising for being ‘poolside ready’ and getting hair and tan and nails done ALL WEEK leading up to the hols?
  2. Remember am a mother now and whilst still a human being, have not had a cup of coffee alone this week, never mind had the opportunity to have a facial so just fork out the cash.
  3. Beautician comments on hair being ‘lovely and shiny’. Book self in for emergency hair appointment. It is Saturday so Ass Monkey can figure the kids out.
  4. Get home to find that entire family decided to ‘play’ in the spare room and now all packing is undone and must be re-done. Great craic. Love family.
  5. Open another bottle of wine. Sure the taxi will be here in 8 hours – it IS holiday time.
  6. Re-pack and weigh all bags when kids are in bed. We might just get away with it.
  7. Make sure to finish all open bottles of wine and spirits. Flies have a terrible habit of being drawn towards the sugar in liquor so we have to finish them in case of, you know, the plague.
  8. Drunkenly try to figure out how to navigate the double buggy up and down the hallway in pisses of laughter.
  9. Remember with horror that I did, in fact, forget to re-pack my underwear. Shove it all into my carry on and hope no one wants to search my bag at the airport.
  10. Set alarms for 4am and fall into bed. We’ll definitely wake up…won’t we??



** This Post Originally Appeared On The HerFamily.ie Website. Keep Reading HERE! **