Donegal Mammy – Renascence From Empty Nest

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Today our guest blog is from a wonderful #DonegalMammy who has created a new and exciting life for herself , jumped into further education and set up her own business while raising 3 fine young sons.

The purpose of this Donegal Mammy website and our social media platforms are to inspire, motivate and support all of you to take the challenge and with great stories like this from Grainne prove to you that it is possible.  #EmptyNest syndrome is as much an issue for Donegal Mammy as it is for Mammy in Dublin, Darwin or Dallas and everything in between!

You can do “it” .

whatever “it” is, is up to you….  Donegal Mammy and all her friends are here to support and help you.



Hey all. I’m Gráinne from the village of Muff in Donegal. Muff is a little treasure trove of a village in North West Donegal, and bordering the wonderful city of Derry.

I am a Mum to three grown men, husband to one young (he wishes) man! Born just a few miles from here in Quigley’s Point, I lived in London during college summers, Shannon in Co. Clare for a few years after college, and then New York for a few short months after marriage. It’s all helped shape me into the person I am today.


My husband Paul and I eventually settled in this fabulous village in 1993 and have no plans of leaving any time soon. My eldest son was born when we lived in Shannon, Co. Clare in April 1991, and then son number two came along in 1994. I worked from home in those days writing CV’s for folk and had planned to return to the workforce over the next couple of years. I soon found a job part-time as a local secretary and settled in.

Then in January 1998, son number 3 arrived. It was then that I made a conscious decision to become a full-time Mum. And so my life was soon taken over with cooking, cleaning, homework, football games and then all over again. I loved it, but there was always something missing. I think it was just a little bit of me that was missing.

So in 2005 I decided to take the plunge and return to education.

To begin with it was a part-time course and after two years I had successfully completed a Higher Education Certificate in Irish Literature.

I was well chuffed with myself but I didn’t stop there.

I was finding myself enjoying this studying malarkey and wanted more. And so the undergraduate study began. In 2008 I graduated with my BA Hons in English. Now I wanted more still. I was enjoying spending days engrossed in books and forming my very own opinion on those books. In 2010 I graduated with an MA in Irish Literature in English. I think I was done studying! But now I realise that one is never done studying. The journey of life is all a study and it never ends.

By then my eldest son was finished school and embarking upon his college journey. And so I once again decided it was time to stay home and help him make the transition and help son number two prepare for Leaving Cert. During these years I was penning book reviews and music reviews for some publications and in 2013, I began contributing on a regular basis to Irish Music Magazine. In 2014, I began blogging with Mummy Pages. I think it was here that I really felt at home in my work. Writing about my experiences as a Mum just felt right. I’m not a perfect Mum but then no one is. I do have 27 years of experience and am still doing it so I think that leaves me pretty well qualified. With the baby now 20 and getting ready to leave home in just a few weeks’ time, I feel very privileged and lucky getting thus far reasonably trouble free.

On January 1st 2015 I set up my own business, The WRITE STUFF. Here I freelance for Irish Music Magazine, proofread student’s work, prepare CV’s and Cover Letter’s for people and put words together for many other folk too. I tutor Leaving Cert and Junior Cert English to school students. I particularly love delivering Shakespeare workshops and at present am thriving on encouraging young folk to appreciate King Lear. I also blog at my two blog sites, North West Culture Gal and Craic On Muff.





Grainne & Paul



During the summer of 2015 I started a local children’s Creative Writing and Reading group. Now known as The WRITE STUFF Kids Club: we meet one Saturday every three weeks here in Muff and fuel those imaginations with writing and reading. It gives me such pleasure seeing the little ones enjoying penning their stories and reading for the sheer enjoyment of it. We now have weekly workshops in Buncrana, Letterkenny and Greencastle. And monthly sessions in Derry too.


Why am I telling you all this? To encourage all you Donegal Mammy to find your passion and pursue it. Being a full-time mammy was one of the greatest, most rewarding jobs I have ever done, it is also the most difficult, with challenges at every turn.


But now it really is time for ME.

And one day it will be time for YOU. I guess I just want other Donegal Mammy to know that it’s never ever too late to go pursue your passion. I never envisaged that I would be running a business which involves reading and writing every day.

I love every day of my working life now and I would be lost without it.

Being Mammy was all I knew for so long. In just a few weeks’ time, my baby is leaving home.

Myself and himself will be just ‘me n him’. I’ve no idea how I would cope with this move and transition if I didn’t have something for me. Returning to education as a mature student was the best thing I’ve ever done. And you can do it too.


As Nike says, ‘just do it’.




Check out Donegal Mammy on  instagram   Twitter   facebook and in The Donegal Mammy Club.



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