The hurricane inside our house was a LOT stronger than the one raging outside.
After the Government's decision to close schools, we had to scramble to take care of childcare and our family routine was turned upside down.
The kids were THRILLED about being off school, but the novelty was beginning to wane a little by the second afternoon.
And although, where I am living, it wasn't as dramatic a weather event as some of the rest of the country experienced, I felt the decision to close the schools was the right one. Despite the inconvenience to parents.
Journalist, Catherine O’Mahony wrote an article on it in today's Irish Independent and the reactions have been largely mixed. She writes that a blanket closure was unnecessary and that schools should have been allowed to make their own decisions.
She also makes note that the children's safety, of course, was paramount, but her opinion piece has sparked a debate. She wrote:
"Did the Government realise just how disruptive this would be for families right across Ireland? Note to Richard Bruton: most parents work outside the home these days and employers aren’t all that thrilled when staff stay home two days running."
She went on to point out:
"Perhaps the Department of Education is on a damage limitation exercise after waiting rather inexplicably until after most kids’ bedtimes on Sunday - and this was when an actual hurricane was pending - to let parents know that the schools wouldn’t open the following day. The confusion did nobody any favours."
I wasn't confused, were you?
I was lucky enough to have employers who understood that a red alert meant just that - not leaving the house unnecessarily. I worked from home while also keeping my three children amused. Let's just say it wasn't the easiest day and a half of my life.
We should remember too that school is not a babysitting service. The Government was seriously quick off the mark with the handling of what could have been an even more devastating event. We were given updates, coverage, messages from ESB, the Gardai and the health services in a very straight-forward and timely way.
It didn't hit every area of the country with such force as it did to others, but when it comes to my safety and that of my children, I do prefer to adopt a 'better safe than sorry' approach. My children are safer with me during a big weather event such as this and I actually really appreciated the extreme measures the leaders of our country decided to take on our behalf. It is important to know that it isn't just the wind that was cause for concern - debris on the road, loose fixtures on buildings and issues with electricity were among the reasons cited why the decision to close schools for a second day was taken. It is also likely that a day or two will be taken back from the February mid-term or Easter holidays to make up for those missed lessons.
I'm sure this was not a decision that was taken lightly. It could have been a very different story. What if a loose tile fell onto your child while at school? Snuggling up with my children wasn't the nightmare event others talk about. By the end of the alert, we were all a little frustrated, but safe. And that is the most important part of it all.
Sometimes, it turns out, you just can't please everybody.
What do you think of the decision? A waste of time or a Government dedicated to safety first?