I struggle sometimes but hard work pays off, Miriam reveals
Miriam O'Callaghan has revealed that as a working mother she often "struggles" to get things right.
But through "hard work" and perseverance she usually manages to get by.
In her experience, having "confidence" is crucial to balancing a busy career with the demands of motherhood.
"In my own life I struggle to try and do things right. I'm always late, I probably do everything half well, but it works," she said.
"What I say to other women is just to be happy in yourself, be confident in yourself, and work hard."
The mother of eight children, ranging from nine to 28, said she thought that when they got over the "baby stage" parenting would become easier.
"In fact, it's much more time-consuming now because you need to talk to them all the time," she told the Herald.
"What I have said to my four daughters all their lives is that they are wonderful and talented and beautiful inside and out, and to believe in themselves.
"I tell them - and I tell the same to my four sons, even the youngest little nine-year-old who looks at me bemused wondering what I am talking about - that they are as good as everyone else in this world."
She was speaking at the annual An Cosan International Women's Day luncheon at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.
Ms O'Callaghan described the centre of learning as a "fantastic movement".
"The money goes towards educating underprivileged women, who dropped out of education, and it sends them back."
Among the 350 guests at the annual fundraising lunch was Lynn Ruane, who was recently elected as President of Trinity College Dublin Student's Union.
At aged 16, Lynn was a participant on the first Young Women's Programme with An Cosan.
She is now in her third year of a four-year degree in philosophy, political science, economics and sociology.
The sold-out event was also attended by Tanaiste Joan Burton.
Broadcaster Olivia O'Leary delivered the keynote address.