6.30am The first of two alarms sound. I switch on the immersion and sneak back to bed for a 10-minute snooze. At the next alarm, I check emails, Twitter, FB, and LinkedIn and then shower and change into the clothes I’ve left hanging out, because minutes matter in the morning. For Gerry, my husband, it’s rise and shine from 6.50am. The boys’ alarm (Jack 16 and Tony 14) goes off at 7am. 7am Breakfast is Weetabix, banana, or berries. I make my own lunch and my daughter Rose’s (12) as Mammy guilt kicks in for not being there when she wakes up at 8am. Jack and Tony speed-eat breakfast. I drop them to the bus and head to the office in Johnstown Manor, which sounds posh, but is basically two rooms above Centra. 9am I check the agenda for the weekly staff meeting. We need to plan the week ahead and the key areas where people need help and input. Nurse managers Sinead and Saundra also attend, which is really important to keep our 13 liaison nurses up to speed and vice versa, so that we are aware of the issues coming up in the homes of families they visit, to provide support and advice. 10am Key items on the agenda this week are plans for our Jack and Jill Week, October 7 to 14, which includes making a video with our founder Jonathan Irwin. The Jack and Jill Foundation provides nursing care and support for children with severe neurological development issues, as well as offering some respite to the parents and families. 11am We have a meeting of charity shop managers. There’s lots of growth and changes in these shops in Newbridge, Naas, Athy, Portlaoise, Arklow, Wicklow, and Gorey. 1pm After lunch, I usually do a quick circuit from the office to Johnstown Garden Centre and back. On my return, I’m handed a letter from a mother who wants to thank our liaison nurse, Eilín Ní Mhurchú, for her terrific support. 2pm I read a draft of the annual report which shows where the money goes in Jack and Jill and also showcases our service. 6.15pm I’m late heading home so I won’t be able to help at a reception at the taekwondo class my husband runs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Instead I plan the menu for tomorrow’s dinners.
Jack and Jill Awareness Week runs to October 14. See www.jackandjill.ie
“It sounds posh but is two rooms above Centra”