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SimilaGarretforArticler to the days that proceeded, my day off has become very structured and planned out almost to the minute – the reason for this is having two young children. Emma is only 2 years old and has a routine that you could set a clock to! She wakes up at 7am, has a nap at 1pm and sleeps at 7pm. So I only have a certain window of time to work with! Daragh is 4 years old and is a lot more flexible but he has to work around this routine for now!

So, my day off is usually a timed-out affair. Naturally, each day off isn’t going to be the same, but the following would be a typical account…

My wife (Marion) & I are awoken by our 4 year old son, Daragh charging into our room. Within minutes we will hear Emma calling either “Mammy/Daddy” to lift her out of her cot. We will have breakfast; watch some Disney Junior and later head out for the first half of the day. Today, we are going to the Phoenix Park. I particularly like it here as it is easy to park and there is plenty of open space for the children to run around and play safely. We would often visit the food market at Farmleigh and pick up some fresh local produce for dinner later. We are members of the Zoo – which I would recommend to anyone! Skipping by the long queues we go straight in and enjoy a peaceful walk around.

We would have lunch in Johnstown House before returning home to put Emma down for her 1pm nap! We would have around 2 hours before she wakes. I then would either do some work in the Garden with Daragh’s help, play soccer on the front green or on a rainy day watch a movie – always Daragh’s choice! I generally use this time to check in on work and reduce down some of my emails.

When Emma wakes, we would bring them both to Base (a Play Centre in Celbridge) where they will run around relentlessly for over an hour. It would be around 5pm when we return home again. At this stage they would have had plenty of exercise and would play indoors – giving me a chance to prepare dinner. I like cooking and enjoy preparing dinner from scratch with as much fresh produce as possible. We later sit down together for dinner, something we generally only get the opportunity to do twice a week.

Back to the routine then! Emma will watch “Bedtime Stories” on CBeebies and on hearing the closing theme song, without any prompting she will automatically commence our journey up to her cot for sleep! So, by 7pm Emma is asleep and Daragh will play with his Lego until his bedtime – which will take a lot more persuasion!

At this point we have time to ourselves! I would generally head around the block for a quick 5K jog and then return to finally sit down and watch something besides Disney Junior or CBeebies!


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