Mykidstime.ie talks to Olive, a mum of three girls living in Mayo about parenting.
Tell us about your family
They participate in many after school activities such as voice coaching, drama, guitar, French, swimming and Zumba.
My husband owns his own dry-cleaning business and works 6 days a week from 8am to 7pm. I'm a stay at home Mum and study part-time in GMIT and participate in raising awareness about suicide through being an admin on Easy Speak. and also fundraise for other worthy local charities.
Describe a typical day in the Morrin O'Connor house
Get up at 7.30am, all get dressed, girls make their beds, have brekkie, take meds, clean face, brush teeth and hair and run up to school.
When they are in school I catch up on housework, do shopping, feed dog and animals, go to fundraising/parents committee meetings and do book-keeping and payroll for our business.
We also have many hospital/doctor/physio appointments as the girls have different medical issues.
Get lunch/dinner ready before they are home from school. Collect girls from school runs, have dinner, do homework (about an hour and a half) and go to any extra curricular classes.
The girls cycle two miles (as part of physio programme) and after watching about an hour of TV they go up and have a bath at 7.30pm and in bed by 8.15pm. I then catch up on housework (again!) and watch TV for about an hour with my hubby and go to bed about 10pm.
Two days a week I go to Zumba myself.
What aspect of parenting do you find most enjoyable?
I love doing things with my kids like going to the cinema or to pet shops. I love when they are playing in the playroom and are using their imaginations and it completely fascinates me.
I enjoy having conversations with them about different things and I feel they keep me feeling young.
What do you find most difficult as a parent?
When they are sick or sad.
My three girls have various health issues from my youngest having heart surgery at five weeks old, to my second girl having fibromyalgia/arthritis after getting swine fly and my eldest having high blood pressure from a chemical imbalance in the kidneys: it can get quite stressful at times.
My second girl was also bullied very badly and she stopped singing (she has a beautiful voice) and that broke my heart but we built her up from the inside and got her to voice coaching and she stood at the altar and sang the psalm for her communion so that was a very proud moment for us.
What is best piece of parenting advice you have ever received?
A mothers instinct is nearly always 100% right.
And the worst parenting advice you received?
"All doctors can't be wrong – they are qualified and they know best" – from a nurse in a hospital when everyone tolf me that Mackensie was healthy and I knew she wasn't.
Two days after this was said she was brought to Crumlin where they told us she had 6 ounces of fluid on her lungs from three holes in her heart and she was drowning in her own blood.
If you were Minister for Children what one change would you make?
I would give all children medical cards. Doctors are about €50 a visit and that doesn't even include medicine or consultants.
All children need to go to the doctor every now and a gain and its' so hard when a parent can't bring thier child because they just can't afford it.
What are your hopes for your children?
I hope for all my children to be happy, safe and healthy. To have fun and follow their dreams. To keep it real and treat others how they would like to be treated. And to fall in love one day.
We are looking to talk to more Mykidstime.ie parents about everyday parenting. If you would be interested in chatting to us, please get in touch.