Kildare parenting: My new challenge of life as a stay-at-home mum begins

It's Just A Phase parenting and lifestyle column with Ruth Chambers

Kildare parenting: My new challenge of life as a stay-at-home mum begins

Ruth with her friend and mentor, Leinster Leader sports editor Tommy Callaghan, at the Punchestown races. Picture: Grainne Egan

Last Tuesday was my last day working for Iconic Newspapers, the company that owns the Leinster Leader. I’ve decided it’s time for me to be a stay at home mum.

To be honest I can’t quite believe it. I never thought I’d want to be a stay at home mammy but things change, I guess.

Many parents want to be at home when their kids are really young and I totally understand why.

However, I was never in a position to do that. Financially it wouldn’t have worked, while, mental health wise, I was not in a good place back then.

I’m under no illusions about my new role as a stay at home mammy. I know it will probably be a lot more difficult than heading in to work in the office every day.

However, I am so ready to give it a go. I’m sick of rushing Aidan and Sarah out of the house every week day morning. Sick of rushing out of work to be back on time for them.

I’m sick of only having an hour and a half with them in the evenings before they go to bed. I’m just sick of it all.

I want to be the mammy that brings them to school every morning. I want to be the mammy that collects them from school. I want them to come home to their own house after school.

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I want to be there to help them with their homework. I want to make them a dinner without having to rush around like a mad woman. If there’s a play date, I want to bring them. I want them to be able to have their friends over after school some days.

I told Aidan and Sarah that I was finishing work. I don’t think they actually believe me though. It’s going to be a huge change for them too. Hopefully one for the better.

I must admit I am nervous about it all the same. I’m worried I’m making the wrong decision but I won’t know if I don’t try.

I’m quite lucky that I can still do some work when the kids are in school and in the evenings.

If you’d still like to have me, I will continue to write this column weekly. I will continue to keep the blog posts coming on my site, while I also plan to do some design work on the side.

Know anyone that needs wedding invitations? Well I’m your woman!

I started working in the Leinster Leader over ten years ago. I met then editor John Whelan and sports editor Tommy Callaghan in the Osprey Hotel one Wednesday morning for a chat.

Callaghan said to Whelan that he reckoned he could work with me and that was that. I handed in my notice in the Offaly Independent, rented a room in Newbridge and I haven’t looked back since.

At lot has happened since, mind you! I met Daddy Chambers. I moved in with him. Soon after I lost my father, hands down the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

The support I got from management and staff, or friends as I like to call them, of this newspaper at that time was unreal.

Thereafter I got married. There’s actually video evidence of Callaghan dancing to Last Night by The Strokes at the reception!

I had a baby. Then I had another baby and realised being a sports journalist wasn’t for me anymore. It took up way too much of my time, time that should have been spent with my family at the weekends. So I moved sideways. I went from writing to designing newspapers, something I have loved for the past three years.

Former editor Ronan Early gave me the chance to start this column three years ago too and it’s my baby. I absolutely love writing it every week so this certainly isn’t goodbye!

I saved the best until last though. The aforementioned Tommy Callaghan.

Now he can be a contrary auld yoke at times (much like myself!) but by God did I fall on my feet when I got him as a boss some ten years ago.

And although I haven’t been working directly with him for the last few years I will miss him.

I will miss his mince pies in the office at Christmas (well they are the work of his wife Ann but he likes to tell us he makes them!).

I will miss him calling up to the house in Newbridge on Christmas Eve with a bottle in his hand.

In case you didn’t know it Tommy, you were like a father to me after my own departed. So a big cheers for that.

And sure maybe I’ll come back for the mince pies if he gives me a bit of notice!

Until next week, folks.

You can contact me on; Twitter - @_itsjustaphase_; Instagram - @itsjustaphaseblog, or you’ll find more of my musings at

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