When Leaving Cert results are disappointing

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So the results are out!

For many, I hope, today brings a sense of relief, achievement and celebration.

YAY!

But for some there is mild to utterly devastating disappointment.

For some, the LC results bring a sense of relief, achievement & celebration. Yay! But for others there is mild or utterly devastating disappointment. How to cope: #leavingcert18 #parenting share with another LC student or parent

DisappointingResults

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We’re all gone Mango Mad!

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I was talking my niece who lives in Australia last week. We whatsapp regularly which is great, but we have only small windows during which we’re both awake and alert enough to be super witty and entertain each other – or indeed support each other as the need arises. (We’re only 8 years apart for anyone who might be concerned I’m leaning on a child for my entertainment and emotional needs!)

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Exams? Hold onto your sanity with these 10 quick tips!

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Just hours to go guys! (Like you don’t know…)

I’ll keep this simple and not link to supporting evidence – but, as with my last on Leaving Cert tips, know that I have it if you’re interested:)

DURING EXAMS:

1: Read the question (practice HOW here – that will make sense when you open it!) – you’ll know you understand it if you can rephrase it.

2: Underline key words.

3: Draw out a plan for your answer – scribble any names, dates, formulae you’ll need immediately.

4: Think of the invigilator as a helper, not a disciplinarian. Their job is to assist you in doing your best.  

5: Think of the person assessing your paper as trying to help you get the best marks, not take them away from you. These people want you to do well. Help them to help you by being clear and simple.

6: Avoid the temptation to discuss the gory details of each paper afterwards, especially with the ones mentioned in that last piece.

7: Eat in between exams. Even if you’re nervous and feel a little – eating will help.

8: If you feel a panic coming on try this:

Squeeze every muscle in your body including your face all the way to your toes.
Hold tight for 3 seconds, and then flop eveything.
Place a hand on your tummy and take a deep breathe into it, past your chest, so your hand moves. Keep your shoulders low. Breathe until your breath has slowed to a speed in the gif below 
Then do the squeeze again, hold for three, and flop.

 

Box breathing

 

 

This will help calm you down so that you can carry on. Don’t worry about other people seeing you do it. Firstly it’s discreet, secondly, they won’t be looking at you, you are the last thing on classmates’ minds right now, and that’s normal!

9: Reread all your answers and make any changes or additions necessary.

10: Check that you have answered as many Qs as required in each section.

When you’re done, pat yourself on the back knowing that you’ve just done one of the most difficult things in your life and that you’ve done your best.

 

That’s good enough!! (Yes it is!)

Good luck to you all – I wish you the very best that life has to offer – and that’s loads!!

More of our girls die by suicide than on mainland Europe – why?

Teen girl
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“Are you f*&king serious?” she asks me, looking at me in that angry / scared / amused way that only teens can do. I like this girl, this young woman. She’s valiant, honest and has a righteous rage.

I am serious I tell her. Really serious.

Moments earlier she’d whipped out her phone to show me an article that she read on the way to my office. The grim headline read: Ireland has the highest rate in Europe for young girls taking their own lives

And I had asked her why she thought this was the case.

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A mum’s letter to her sons: Don’t settle for consent

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I have a friend – well, I know and admire a woman who might yet be a friend –  and this morning I woke to find an email from her in my inbox, with a recording attached. She’s a journalist and normally an email from her means she’s writing a piece and is interested in my professional opinion on the topic. We’ve been back and forth-ing for a couple of years and, as you do, we’ve been rearranging the boundaries a little more each time.

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Are we going on the lash tomorrow lads?

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Begorrah and Top o’the Morning etc – ’tis Paddy’s Day tomorrow! (Sincerest apologies to those who hate calling it that and hate those phrases….)
Whatever you call it, it’s nearly here – Woohoo!!!

I love it actually. It’s great to have a day to celebrate our Irishness, our heritage, our achievements, our collective history. But we all know what really happening don’t we? It’s a day off for most of us, and drinking. Lots and lots of drinking. “The Sesh” – a new tradition to honour the way Saint Patrick got off his head on Vodka and drove the schhnakes out of Ireland… Sure he was a great fella. And isn’t it great the way it falls on Saturday this year so we won’t ‘have’ to call in sick while we deal with the fear, or worse?

(Like assault, liver failure, death…)

True Story

 

And I’m aware this week, as I am every year, of the sense of dread for those among us that are living with problematic drinking – which is a soft way of saying alcoholism I suppose – and that’s a lot of us. Most people reading this have an alcoholic in their family. There are families everywhere who’ll still be dealing with the fallout of Saturday this day next week. Mom or Dad or both were worse than usual, more abusive, more aggressive. There’ll be shouting, sulking, irrationality and it will be followed by remorse, empty-feeling apologies and genuine sounding promises that won’t be kept.

How many people reading this will be sick on Saturday and Sunday? Feeling they should stop drinking but not wanting to appear as “lightweights”. Not wanting to avoid ridicule. How many fights were started, how many unwise decisions made?

How many of these people will be your kids, or their friends?

St Patrick's weekend is one of those weekends when we collectively given each other permission to get completely off our faces on booze, all in the very transparent guise of celebrating a historical and religious figure #stpatricksday Click To Tweet

So, what are we at?

We have a wealth of things in this country that are worth celebrating, loving and cherishing. We are incredibly fortunate to live here. And while we love to complain, and there are things that could certainly be a lot better, the fact that we are fortunate remains true. Our greatest resource is of course our youth.

Here's one thing we can do to help our youth: we grown-ups can stop celebrating drunkedness #PaddysDay Click To Tweet

Last night I heard someone giving out (again) about teachers and parents saying THEY need to take our heads out of the sand when it comes to teen drinking. Well, I’ll take a slightly different slant – we all need to take our heads out of the bottle!

Teenagers are not the issue here!

Let’s stop telling stories about how hilarious it was when yer one fell asleep at the bar and fell off her stool. Or about how the fear was so bad he had to stay in bed all day with the shakes. Or how he doesn’t even remember getting home LOLLOLLOL! – must’ve been a good one! Gas man….

Credit: Rooster Mag

 

I don’t want to trigger guilt in anyone reading this, please, I really don’t. What I want, what I’d love is for us all to have a think about what we’re doing here. We are teaching our kids to have drink problems. We’re normalising the over-use of a drug that has dangerous effects on our behaviour and health – both short and long term. It’s pretty serious. And besides anything else, it’s costing us a fortune to deal with this mess. Worse though, it’s costing us our youth.

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Are you a good enough, normal Mother?

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SPOILER ALERT!!! If you're concerned about this then answer is yes... #mothersday #parenting tweet to fellow mum

A friend and I started a blog together a few years ago now and this is where this post originally appeared –  on Mother’s Day, 2015 (feels like last year!!) Not much has changed since then when it comes to parenting and the gnawing fear of not getting it right (whatever “right” is!!). We are acutely aware of how much judgement is out there, and how it seeps into moms’ heads and hearts.

 

So for the day that’s in it, here it is again:

Ah, Mothers Day – a day to celebrate all that is Mother (or Mom,  Mommy, Mama, Mam, Mum, or “Hey You!!” – depending on how your offspring refer to you).

We all know that parenting is one of the most demanding and difficult jobs there are – and there’s no training! (What’s that about?!).  As you can imagine, there are lots of parents out there fretting, wondering if they’re doing it ‘right’.

If you’ve clicked on this you’re probably a mother (or know a mother), so we’ve devised a super-scientific questionnaire based on our collective 40 years’ personal and professional experience to help to decide whether or not you’re a ‘good’ mother.

Ready?

Here we go – be honest now!

PART 1: AM I NORMAL?

the fun of parenting
Have you ever felt like this?

Am i going mad?
Ever wondered this??

real mom thoughts
Ever thought this?

mom thoughts breathe
Ever had this happen?

a moms changed body
Has your body erm…. changed?

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