DIARY OF A DEMENTED HOME WORKER: Mother of god! What a year that was!

March 14th, 2021 6:25 PM

By Emma Connolly

I’ve been a demented home worker for a year and lived to tell the tale!

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It’s Week 52 which means the diary has turned one. And so say all of us ... even if the past 12 months have aged the rest of us by a decade

• WOO Hoo! Way hay! Go us! Diary of a Demented Home Worker has officially turned one. I know I’m making a lot of noise about it (it’s not like I’ve found a cure for cancer or anything), but  it’s all about the little wins these days. To be honest this little slot just started out as something to fill a gap one week, way back ‘In The Beginning’. I had a few things swirling around my little head, there was a hole on a page, a deadline was looming, so in it went. There certainly wasn’t any grand plan as I lurched from week to week, random thought to crazy theory. Sometimes it flowed and sometimes it definitely didn’t, but thanks for the likes and shares along the way, and reassuring me I’m not alone in my dementedness (who knows, I might even go viral during the virus!). To mark the milestone we had a WFH hamper up for grabs and from the many who entered (thanks for not leaving me hanging) the deserving winner was Sharon O’Riordan who lives in Ballyvourney with her husband and boys (14 and 9). She works full-time in the IT industry, and like many, says working from home and balancing life has been a real juggling act: ‘It’s not just a struggle for working mums and dads but all of us. For many, it’s been like “living at work” for the past 12 months, but hopefully, we are coming out the other side of it, and we’ll all be reunited with family and friends soon! Being nominated for this prize by one of my amazing work colleagues was the highlight of my week, and winning this fantastic hamper was such a lovely surprise. I’m sure there were much more deserving winners, but this act of kindness from The Southern Star is so appreciated, and I’ll do my best to pay it forward! Thank you!’

• We had more reasons to celebrate when the four-year-old turned five on International Women’s Day. Kids’ birthdays require the delicate management of a UN negotiator, preferably Kofi Annan. Naturally you want them to enjoy the build up, but there can’t be too long of a lead in, as their concept of time is a bit non-existent. I figured a week was a good run at things, but by day three, the usual ‘Can I have Coco Pops for breakfast?’ had become ‘How many more days to my birthday? Is today tomorrow yet? You said that it would be yesterday.’ By the time the actual day came I felt like I’d aged around 10 years and she had nearly spun herself out entirely. And that was before all the sugar kicked in. But my (cynical) heart did melt a bit when she turned to me at one stage during the non-party party as we pinged a balloon over and back to each other and she asked: ‘Is this the most fun you’ve had in years?’ I wish I was five again and thought the world revolved around me.

• Mother’s Day has rolled around again, and for the second year in a row there’s no chance of a lunch out (I’ll settle for a cover for the BBQ please if you’re reading). There was a time when it looked like I mightn’t be a mum at all, so I feel really conscious of promoting the Hallmark day as an all-inclusive one, and a way to celebrate any figure who has nurtured you in any way, along the way – and for them to celebrate you. And before you start with the Insta-spam, let’s remember that this can be a tricky and sensitive time for some people who have lost their mum, or who might be estranged from them, or for a whole lot of other reasons. It’s ‘think before you speak’ terrain. Guess we’ve found my ‘touchy’ spot!

• I feel really lucky, especially since Covid hit, to live right next door to my own mum, not only for the times I run out of loo roll (she’s always good for a stash), or when I think I’m having an existential crisis (and she reminds me that it’s just PMT and to cop on and get a grip). She has a pretty wicked sense of humour, gives great advice and shoots straight from the hip, in a good way. For example, she frequently suggests that I might give the leggings a break, (she claims she never went as far as the village in a pair and I believe her), and to enjoy a glass of wine only on Friday night as it’s very bloating (that’s advice usually given as I pour her nightly brandy!). In the greatest compliment, we called our daughter after her and the two are as thick as thieves.

• It’s a bit gas, actually, as my daughter calls her ‘mom.’ She’ll introduce her to someone as her granny, but she refers to her as mom, and calls me Emma (unless she wants something and then it’s a pathetically transparent ‘mama’). It did cause a few curious looks, back in the day when we were able to go out and about, and once in playschool when they had to draw their family, I did a double take at her picture on display in the window which had a mom, a mommy and a daddy. A most Modern Family indeed.

• Adding to their family (a baby girl in case you hadn’t heard) are Meghan and Harry whose interview with Oprah had us all giving Claire Byrne a skip last Monday night. I had been really looking forward to it all day but totally conked out before Harry made his appearance (then I did my usual thing where I go straight to bed in a daze, but spend around 30 minutes on my phone and end up wide awake again. Every time). The interview prompted almost equal parts admiration and condemnation depending what team you’re on (and what country you’re living in). I’ll leave the commentary to others, but what I was most impressed by was Oprah (less so her boots; just me or a strange choice?). I had forgotten how skilled an interviewer she is. Nearly as good as Claire Byrne.

• Anyway, as expected, I sent the feathered pyjamas back and got myself a cordless vacuum. It’s my first foray into the world of cordless vacuuming and I’m totally sucked in. It’s so powerful that at its highest setting, the five-year-old is in danger of being swallowed up. The only thing is that the battery just lasts 17 minutes at full throttle so it kind of doubles up as a home-workout. But sure how bad. I totally love it.

• Also, can I respectfully suggest that we’re now officially done with the Jerusalema challenge? If you haven’t already posted your video online, step away from it, we’re moving on (you’ll have to check with Tadhg Fleming and family what’s next). You have to be in and out with these things really fast, or it will die a death on you, a bit like my hoover.

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