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family life

In the beginning, there were a lot of bad mental health days but then things started to get better.

I started to manage my anxiety and the clouds of negative thoughts slowly started to clear in my mind.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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I thought my anxiety was gone. I naively thought I was ‘cured’. I was too ignorant to realise that mental health disorders don’t just magically vanish. They’re something you have to manage for life.

My anxiety reappeared in May, 2018, on one of the hardest days of my life. The memory of this day is one that will never leave my mind, I remember it all too well.

I was curled up in bed, engulfed in my copy of The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill when I heard a strange noise from the room next to mine.

Was someone snoring or coughing? I wasn’t quite sure, but my gut told me to check what it was.

I opened the door to find my mam turned over on her side in bed, but she wasn’t asleep. She was having what we later discovered was a seizure.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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She was shaking uncontrollably, foaming at the mouth, making this horrid gurgling noise because her brain had shut down and her body was struggling to breathe.

I held her grey, lifeless body in my arms and just yelled and yelled until my dad and sister came upstairs to find us. We shouted at the paramedics to hurry up and get here because as I clung onto my mam, I genuinely thought she was dead, we all did.

I sat in the James’s Hospital A&E for thirteen hours, waiting, hoping and praying my mam was okay. And she was.

The doctors explained to us that mam had a seizure, but have yet to find the cause, but they upped her medication, schedule constant appointments and are pretty pleased with how she is doing at the moment.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Kat O'Connor (@katoconnorr) on

Mam is happy and healthy, but ever since that harrowing day I have been a ball of anxiety. The trauma of nearly losing her triggered my anxiety and let it attack when I was at my most vulnerable and I must admit I haven’t been able to manage it as well as I used to.

I am jumpy at home whenever I hear an unusual noise. I wake up in the middle of the night to make sure mam is okay. Dozens of thoughts whizzing through my mind: Is she breathing? Has she taken her medication? Will she be okay when I’m at work?

My parents tell me there’s nothing to worry about, but my brain disagrees. It’s full of panic and dread every single day.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The heart palpitations are back. The rapid breathing is back. The negative thinking is back. And I have accepted that.

I learned how to live with anxiety before and I know I can do it again.

There are days when I let my anxiety take over because I simply don’t have the energy to fight it, but one thing I’ll always remind myself of is that I am stronger than it, even on those days when I just want to give up.

I have accepted my anxiety. I have accepted the bad days, the panic attacks and the constant worrying, but I never let myself forget that this too shall pass.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this feature you can contact Pieta House 24/7 Helpline 1800 247 247 or the Samaritans Helpline 116 123.

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Being the eldest sibling isn’t easy. We often get blamed for everything, our siblings always steal our clothes and we had to put up with stricter rules when we were growing up.

However, our little brothers and sisters get away with murder.

A new report has revealed that the second born child is more likely to be a troublemaker and we’re not one bit surprised.

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MIT economist, Joseph Doyle, has discovered that the second-born child is more likely to misbehave and it has a lot to do with how parents reared them.

The report revealed that second-born children are 25 to 40 percent more likely to get in major trouble in school and even with the law.

Experts believe that this has a lot to do with how strict parents are with their first born and how they tend to go easy on their second-born.

The child’s role models are also completely different to their big brother or sister.

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Doyle explained to NPR, “The firstborn has role models, who are adults. And the second, later-born children have role models who are slightly irrational 2-year-olds, you know, their older siblings.”

He added, “Both the parental investments are different, and the sibling influences probably contribute to these differences we see in the labor market and what we find in delinquency. It's just very difficult to separate those two things because they happen at the same time.”

Thanks for giving us another reason to love being the oldest, science!

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The ISPCA is issuing a reminder that pets do not make good gifts and should never be bought on a whim or given as a surprise at any time of year.  

The charity have re-released a thought provoking video called #PuppyDotCon, previously issued by the Irish Pet Advertising Advisory Group (IPAAG), of which the ISPCA is a founding member, which demonstrates how easy it is to be fooled by unscrupulous dog breeders and highlights the dangers of buying a pet after responding to an online advert.

Any new puppy, kitten or even an adult pet placed in a new home during the busy festive season can find the process very stressful, especially young puppies separated from their siblings.

What any new pet really needs is a quiet, calm, safe home where routines can be established straight away so everyone has a good start and can easily adjust to new surroundings. 

During the Christmas festivities is not the best time to introduce a new pet in your home says the ISPCA.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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ISPCA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Andrew Kelly said: “Responsible pet owners understand the commitment involved in owning a pet but in the lead up to Christmas, it can be easy to give in to pressure from Children looking to get a new puppy or a kitten.

"The ISPCA is asking parents to reconsider giving a pet as a gift this Christmas as taking on a pet is a long-term commitment that can affect your life for the next 15 years so it needs to be a well thought out decision with all the family. Pets do not make good gifts and should never be given as a surprise at any time of year”.

Andrew added:  “There are a number of unscrupulous puppy breeders who cater for the Christmas market and is important to do your research and have adequate time and financial resources to care for a pet responsibly.  This year, the ISPCA is asking animal lovers to consider giving the gift of feeding a dog or puppy, a cat or kitten at one of the three ISPCA animal centres this Christmas.

"When you purchase a Thoughtful Gift from the ISPCA Shop, you will be helping many rescued animals in need this Christmas. 100% of profits from merchandise sales will go towards funding our life-saving work. You can also sign up to become an ISPCA volunteer or help out your local rescue centre this Christmas”.

"It’s not the case that on Stephen’s Day we see an influx of abandoned animals", said Andrew.  "We do see a problem later in the spring and summer months when puppies may have lost their ‘cute appeal’ when they might have started picking up bad habits due to the lack of attention, training, exercise and socialisation."

The charity recommends that you wait until after the festive season and go to the ISPCA for advice where expert staff will ensure that you and your new pet are a suitable match. Pets adopted from the ISPCA National Animal Centre will be health-checked, vaccinated, neutered or spayed and microchipped and the Centre is open to visitors Wednesday to Sunday from 11am – 4pm daily (Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day). 

As a charitable organisation, the ISPCA relies on public support for approximately 88% of funds which they receive through donations enabling us to continue our vital work rescuing animals that need help and rehabilitation costs are expensive. If you can this Christmas, please make a donation to support our work here.

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With the festive season approaching, so too does the arrival of the much-anticipated Jacob’s Elite seasonal range. Many biscuit lovers know that with the arrival of these festive favourites comes the need to safeguard their existence from thieving family and friends.

Fans of Jacob’s biscuits regularly report increased biscuit theft incidents over the Christmas period. To combat this, the iconic Irish brand launches the world’s first biscuit insurance, which offers people peace of mind this Christmas.

Jacob’s is encouraging fans who've experienced a recent biscuit theft to log on to jacobselite-biscuitinsurance.ie and share their stories for a chance to be compensated with a replacement Jacob’s Elite seasonal tin. The brand will be sharing some of the best stories across their social channels.

 Angela Harding, Marketing Communications Manager, Valeo Foods said: “Jacob's has been part of Christmas memories for generations and we’ve all experienced sitting down for an Elite Chocolate Kimberly or Mikado only to discover that they have been stolen.” This year, with new Elite Chocolate Tea Cakes now part of the seasonal range, they are especially at risk of theft.

"Jacob's Elite Biscuit Insurance offers fans peace of mind this Christmas, so remember – when the biscuit thieves invade, we’ll come to your aid!” 

The Jacob’s Elite seasonal range is now available in stores nationwide. The range includes Chocolate Mikado and, new for 2019, Chocolate Tea Cakes.

This Christmas Jacob’s also launched the Caffè di Milano Chocolate Wafer Selection. To share your story of biscuit theft for a chance to be reimbursed, click here, and make sure to follow follow Jacob’s on Instagram for more festive fun.

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Orlando Bloom has opened up about having children with his wife-to-be Katy Perry.

The actor and popstar got engaged on Valentine’s Day this year and rumour has it, they’ll be tying the knot in December.

The Pirates of the Caribbean star said he is hoping to have more children in the future. Orlando is already a dad to eight-year-old Flynn, whom he shares with ex-wife Miranda Kerr.

He told Man About Town, “I really want to enjoy family and friends, my beautiful son, and have more kids."

He stressed that he realises that starting a family with someone is the most serious step.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by KATY PERRY (@katyperry) on

“I want to make sure when I embark on that, it’s with my heart full and very clear about the reality of what that means, as opposed to some romantic idea of what it means to be in a relationship,” he stressed.

He explained that his previous marriage has taught him a lot about love and relationships.

“I think when you’re younger, we’ve all been sold this Hollywood idea of love and relationships, marriage and kids, and actually, what it really takes is communication and compromise, so life looks like somebody who’s willing to communicate and find joy in the simple and small moments,” the Carnival Row star added.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Orlando and Katy will reportedly marry in an intimate ceremony next month. “They are using a planner to finalise all the wedding details. Katy seems in charge, but Orlando is involved with the planning, too. They don’t seem stressed about it though. It will be a fun celebration with family and friends,” an insider told People magazine.

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We’ve got good news for those of you who are the eldest sibling in your family. You may have to deal with your younger brother always asking you for a lift or your little sister stealing your clothes when you’re not home, but all is not lost.

A new study has found that there is one major perk to being the oldest sibling.

Researchers revealed that the eldest child is usually the smartest.

 

Apparently, there is “a strong negative relation between birth order and cognitive outcomes of children.”

The study was conducted by teams of researchers at the Universities of Houston, New South Wales and Sheffield.

The teams discovered that older siblings feel more confident when it comes to their academic performance, whilst younger brothers and sisters can often doubt themselves.

This may be because the eldest sibling doesn’t have anyone to compare themselves to. However, as younger siblings know, you’re often compared to your big sister or brother.

The team explained that younger siblings may be ‘less intelligent’ because they don’t get as much attention from their parents, compared to their older siblings.

They said parental attention has a massive impact on children’s academic performance. For example, the youngest daughter may not feel as supported as her older brother did when he was in school because the parents have more children to focus on.

“Although later-born children are not born disadvantaged in their health or developmentally, we find that parents are unable to provide them with the same level of cognitive support as they do with their first-born,” they explained.

 

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Fail to prepare, prepare to fail, isn’t that right ladies? The Irish mammies leave NOTHING to chance. Come November there's no more messing around – the Christmas prep begins in earnest and God help anyone who gets in their way.

Have a look at our favourite memories when we were growing up.

1. The epic stockpile of selection boxes begins.

2. The even more epic stockpile of USA biscuits, Roses and Celebrations begins. God forbid you sit there on St. Stephen’s Day in front of the telly without a 5kg box each.

3. Four turkeys each the size of a twelve year old child are ordered ‘just in case’.

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4. A large ham is ordered, but not before she enters the local butcher’s Christmas raffle to win six more large hams.

5. Emergency presents are ordered in case unexpected guests pop round – think cheap cosmetic sets in mad colours no one would wear, bath salts and a few board games from the pound shop like Ludo and Backgammon. Oh, there will be no catching her out!

6. The Christmas saving plan money is collected with glee. The town better brace itself because the Irish mammy let loose with her Christmas money is a terrifying thing. If you get an elbow out of the way when you’re reaching for the last toy on the shelf, you’ll know who it was.

7. All those things she put a deposit on during the year are finally getting paid off and collected.

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8. The whole house is turned upside down for at least a week to get it ‘ready for the Christmas’. The guest rooms will be given special attention – beds will be covered with new sheets and quilts and the heating will be turned on each night to ‘take the damp out of the air’.

9. The baking begins – a few Christmas puddings, the all-important Christmas cake that no one except your great-uncle Pajo ever eats, and of course a stockpile of homemade mincemeat.

10. She will tell you that when she was younger she only got an orange and a few nuts for Christmas at least 3467 times, because you never heard that one before, right?

We LOVE these memories of growing up in Ireland in the lead-up to Christmas. Serious case of the warm and fuzzies when we think about them! Do you remember any of these gems?

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It's safe to say dads are fed up with getting slippers and vouchers for Father's Day. If you're struggling to find the perfect present from the kids, or even for your own dad, then we've got you sorted.

We have gathered up some of the quirkiest and sweetest gifts from a variety of shops and websites. There is something here for everyone, from the music lover to the Only Fools and Horses fanatic.

There's no doubt in our mind that any dad would be disappointed with one of these gifts.

1: Photo Block

Fujifilm (Prices Vary)

2: Freddie Mercury Card

image 0
Etsy €3.52

3: Tassimo Coffee Machine

Red 'Vivy 2' multi-beverage machine TAS1403GB
Debenhams €56

 

4: Set of Dad Jokes

5: Boombox 

 

Aldi €39.99

 

6: Bruce Springsteen Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits - Bruce Springsteen [VINYL]
Golden Discs €20

 

 

7: Rad Dad Mug

Green 'Rad Dad' mug
Debenhams €14.40

8: Paul Costelloe Shirt

9: Travel Print

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Etsy €110

10: Game of Thrones Monopoly

Amazon €20.80

11: Only Fools and Horses Talking Plush

Aldi €9.99

 

12: The Choice by Philly McMahon

Image result for the choice philly mcmahon
Dubray €13

 

13: Custom Cushion

Fujifilm (Prices Vary)

14: ClarinsMen Super Moisture Balm

Boots €38

15: Stainless Steel Flask

Aldi €3.99

 

 

 

 

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It’s safe to say the baby boom is well and truly back. Blogger Lisa Jordan has shared the most joyous baby news with the help of her little girl Pearl.

She revealed she is expecting her second child and the announcement video is just too cute for words.

The fashion blogger posted the sweetest video of her daughter to Instagram, captioned: “Pearl has something to tell you #dropthemic.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In the heartwarming video, the mum asks Pearl, “Tell everybody what's in mommy's belly. What's in it?"

Pearl replied excitedly: “A baby!”

“Are you going to be a big sister?” the popular blogger asks before Pearl wanders away like a true toddler.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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We are thrilled for Lisa. We cannot wait to see her pregnancy outfit of the day posts.

Fellow bloggers showered the Cork mum with love following her huge announcement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Fellow blogger and expectant-mum Rosie Connolly-Quinn commented: “Ahhh Lisa! How exciting. It’s a baby boom for sure.”

“Omg stop! Awe, congratulations, so exciting,” said popular blogger Faces by Grace.

“How cute is Pearl?” another said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Lisa Jordan (@justjordan.ie) on

“Aw, congratulations. This is such great news. The actual cuteness of Pearl, I can’t cope,” another shared.

Lisa’s pregnancy announcement video has already amassed 117,000 views and we’re not one bit surprised.

Pearl is going to be the best big sister.

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A Reddit user has shared the most moving list of things cancer patients will miss the most when they pass away. The emotional post really opens your eyes to just how valuable the little things are like kisses on the cheek and the smell of flowers.

The user shared: “The things my patients say they'll miss the most are NOT seeing the World Landmarks, buying fancy things, that new car, "living it up" party style, etc.”

The patients didn’t care about visiting Paris or seeing their favourite band in concert. The things they were going to miss were simple but so meaningful.

The full list reads:

Watching my sons throw a baseball

Listening to my grandparents tell stories

My girlfriend surprised me with a kiss on the cheek

Holding my wife in my arms knowing there's nowhere in the world I'd rather be

Gram's Sunday dinners and the whole family getting together

My dog

 

Seeing my fiancé smile and feeling his arms wrap around me

My daughter running to me when I get home

The smell of flowers and rain

The day I got married. I said I never would. And then I met her. And now I have to leave her.

Smelling the fireplace on Christmas morning with the family

All my friends

Watching my family sleep

The rush of weekday mornings. I know it sounds crazy, but I'll miss it. I'll miss the coffee, the crowded bathrooms, my wife's quick peck goodbye, the kids forgetting their lunch.. you get my point
Rain. Is that weird?

The heartbreaking list shows you that at the end of the day it isn’t about money or glamour, it’s about the people you love, those simple moments you experience every day, but ones you’ll miss more than anything when your time on this planet comes to an end.

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Bernard Brogan and his twin boys are just too cute for words and his latest Instagram proves it.

The doting dad posed with his two boys- Donagh & Keadán- whilst out for brunch over the weekend.

The stylish dad and his two boys even wore matching outfits for the occasion. He captioned the adorable photo: “Brunchin with the lads! #matchin #babychinos.”

 

A post shared by @bernardbrogan on

34-year-old Bernard donned a pair of chinos, a navy polo shirt and navy loafers. His boys rocked the same baby chinos with navy cardigans and even tiny navy shoes- How adorable.

TV presenter Sile Seoige gushed over Bernard and his boys: “Ah this is absolutely brilliant! Massive congrats to yee.”

“Two beautiful baby boys! Enjoy every moment of them!” said one fan.

“Cuteness overload,” another said.

 

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It’s safe to say Bernard is enjoying every moment of fatherhood. He recently told RTÉ’s Eoghan McDermott: “I’m absolutely delighted, every day is different. You're finding the personalities of the lads.”

Adding that he can’t get enough of his “two bouncing baby boys.”

Bernard announced the arrival of their twin boys on Instagram on July 13. The dad posted a black and white snap of him cradling both boys in his arms.

He captioned the snap: “Never have I felt as blessed. Thank you to my beautiful wife @keekib22 for bringing me so much joy. Welcome Donagh & Keadán Brogan 10/7/2018.”

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Jamie Dornan has opened up about losing his mum Lorna to pancreatic cancer. The actor was a mere 16-years-old when his mum passed away.

He got honest about the impact it had on him in an interview with Press Association.

The Fall star was only 14-years-old when his mum was diagnosed with cancer. “I look back on that time and see it in a very blurry way. I was very young. Every kid at that age is naive. I felt like I was particularly young and naive at that time.”

 

His mum’s untimely death caused Jamie to grow up very quickly.

The actor admitted that the pain of losing a parent never leaves you. “It has an ever evolving effect on me, that loss, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.”

The 36-year-old continued: “I feel like every single day it has an effect on me in ways which I am aware of and some ways I think I am not aware of.”

Jamie isn’t alone in his grief. He is aware of the millions of families who lose loved ones to cancer across the globe.

“Lots of people have lost people that are very dear to them at a young age. That’s the sad thing about this illness particularly, it seems to get people young, who often have very young families,” he said.

Jamie gushed about his mum and said she would have been thrilled with his success. The actor believes she would have loved the glamour of his career.

He added: “Hopefully there is some world where she has an awareness of it.”

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