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Parenting Unfiltered: A Short-Lived Summer

As summer draws to a close, I have all the feelings this month. All of them.

MAN, IT IS AS HOT AS A CAT ON A TIN roof outside and not in a good way.

I am sitting here typing this little ditty ROASTING and no amount of water or fans in my face are making things any better.

Listen, before you head in, let me tell you that this month’s column is a total rant. Yes, I am that quintessential Irish mammy and I’m here just to give out. And, as it happens, there are quite a few bits on my mind actually...

Summertime, with kids, the living is not easy. 

Thank God it’s coming to an end. It’s a juggling act: eight weeks of organisation stares at you down the barrel of a gun and it has to be set up with military precision. Not a job, may I add, that my fella seems to think he needs to take on. But that is another week’s work.  It’s pure stress. At least the evenings are long enough to fit in a comedown glass of wine in the back garden at the end of the day. Thank Christ for that and for Nintendo.

But stress is only part of the story. Money, money, money, money, money. All-day, every day I’m handing out cash like 50 Cent in da club. Only it’s not on me. It’s all on the three musketeers, with zero thanks, may I add. Cinema trips, toys, ice creams, movies rented on Google Play, dinners out, picnics, playdates, guide trips, scout trips; the list goes on and on.

To really get down to it, can I just say that those summer camps for kids really grind my gears. Apart from the fact that they cost a bomb, just what exactly is the deal with the timings? Starting at 10 am and finishing at 2 pm? The only way they could get more awkward is if they were a teenager at a first disco.

Like, HOW are parents with jobs supposed to pull that one off?

‘Ehhh, yeah, listen I’ll be in work by half-past ten, but I have to leave at about half-past one, if that’s okay,’ S U R E. Of course, some of them do offer to keep the little blighters for another hour or so, just out of the goodness of their hearts – for an additional €10 per child PER HOUR. We are like lambs to the slaughter.

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My summertime tale of woe doesn’t end there. Once you have worked out where they are located each week of the holidays and feel like you can get in a bit of relaxation for yourself, the ads appear everywhere for back to school stuff. EVERYWHERE - C’mon people, give peace a chance!

Sure the school year has only just wrapped up. They are free, we are free no more lunch boxes, homework, ironing uniforms and all that jazz.

But time to catch our breaths.

Also, while I’m at it, can all news reporters knock it off with the obligatory slot on the cost of getting kids back to school and how parents are going into debt? WE KNOW. Nothing is ever going to get done about it so stop with the yearly same-old-song and just leave us to it, okay? - That one drives me banooonas, let me tell you.

The firstborn is starting secondary school in September and that is a whole new ballgame. The book list alone is off the charts. And the massive ‘voluntary’ contribution is a laugh riot. At least the sales are down to the wire and everything has been reduced to feck all, or Mama Bear would be getting no treats this month.

Oh, what else? I am on a roll.

The things that I saved in my basket from the aforementioned sales that sell out in my size before I get around to buying them?

Nobody talk to me

Currently coveting the boots of death just below. Will they be there by payday? Only time will tell. A veritable fashion roulette. 


Boots, €119, Zara

However, my mothers-in-arms-, things are looking up. We are off to Spain on holidays. Three kids, on a flight, sure nothing could possibly go wrong there...

Follow @emmaisthenewblack on Instagram 

This article was originally published in the September issue of Irish Tatler

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