Tag Archives: school

Merry martyr Christmas

 

martyr2Tonight I put on my Christmas martyr pants, stood on my Christmas martyr soap box and let it rip.

“I am doing EVERYTHING around here to get ready for Christmas and no-one else is doing ANYTHING!!”

“Like what?” came the reply from my rather shell shocked family.

So I listed all the stuff I have been doing or will do in the lead up to 25 December:

My martyr list

  • Buy four presents and cards for friends of my children who selfishly decided to be born in December.
  • Buy 50 chocolates Santas and 50 small Christmas cards for my children’s classmates.
  • Buy a Christmas present for the kids’ tennis coach.
  • Buy Christmas gift bags to carry all the Christmas stuff to school.
  • Make over 60 brownies as presents for teachers, school crossing supervisors, after school care carers, workmates, family and friends.
  • Write 40 Christmas cards to family and friends.
  • Source and buy Christmas presents for my children. Track down the one doll my daughter wants that has sold out everywhere, so I’m forced to buy it online. Then the wrong one is delivered. Then I panic that the correct one won’t arrive on time so I ask my lovely workmates to keep an eye out for it in the stores. Then I really panic and decide to buy another one just in case. Then the store sends me the correct one plus the second one I bought; and my workmate buys me one too. So I now have three  dolls.
  • Book my children in to school holiday program for January that needs to be booked and paid for in December.
  • Buy a Kris Kringle gift.
  • Buy new Christmas lights for the Christmas tree because the cats ate the lights last year.
  • Buy the cats a Christmas present.
  • Get up at sparrow’s fart to line up to have photos of the kids taken with Santa.
  • Book in for a spray tan, manicure, pedicure and hair cut before Christmas.
  • Book kids in for a hair cut before Christmas.
  • Make sure the kids have nice outfits to wear for Christmas Day.

Impressive, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The deafening sound of a silent blog

Would silenceyou believe it’s taken me about three weeks and at least 12 failed attempts to actually sit down and write on my blog? I’m not even sure I can call it my blog anymore, as it’s probably disowned me due to terrible neglect.

I imagine my blog sitting on the top of my computer monitor, swinging its legs and waving its arms around at me each time I’m sitting down bashing away at the keyboard, doing anything but blogging.

“Shhh!” I say. “I’ve got nothing meaningful to say to you yet.”

Or.

“Shhh! You’re a reminder of when I had time to sit down and gather my thoughts in such a way that they were worthy of sharing.”

Or.

“Shhh! Everyone is writing really articulate blogs and I just..can’t..put..words..good..together.”

But today I have found a sliver of time to sit down and check in.

Today I have raced out of the office to pick up my son from school because he was looking very green and complaining of a headache and sore tummy. And for once, I didn’t grab some work to bring home with me.

So here I am. He’s tucked up in bed asleep and I have a house to myself – for a bit.

Now…what shall we talk about?

 

 

The green eyed monster

To the stay-at-home Mums in my suburb (warning: contains bitterness borne out of jealousy):

I’m jealous.

I’m jealous that you seem to have all the time in the world in the morning to get yourself dressed and your little cherubs ready for school. You don’t know that the house you all walk past with the white car in the driveway contains a woman who is only just stepping in to the shower, after having a miserable morning dealing with tired children, when she should be heading to the school drop off.

I’m jealous that you get to walk your children to school in the morning sunshine, sharing lovely jokes and enjoying some special bonding moments. I see you all as I am driving past, cursing the 40km/h speed zone because I am once again running late to get my children to school and then to get myself to work on time.

I’m jealous that you al seem to have the time to chat to each other once school starts, keeping yourselves up to date with all the latest school events. Meanwhile, I am the one who arrives at school with the only children who are not dressed up in yellow for some fundraising event; causing us all to hop back in the car, race in to the house, get changed and race back to school. Of course, then I have to walk the hall of shame to the School Office to sign my children in, as they are so late and have missed the roll.

jealousI’m jealous because I assume you always have the house running smoothly, and there are always freshly made healthy snacks for the children to eat when they get home and a nutritious dinner on the boil, ready to be served at the sensible time of 5.30pm – leaving plenty of time for some family togetherness. I think of you as I walk in the door at 6.15pm and head straight to the kitchen to whip up a meal that only takes 10 minutes to cook so we can fit in bath time and a book before bed.

I’m also thankful that you answer my panicked texts at 8.15am when I need to know if today is the day the children are heading off to the excursion; or to check if it is Nude Food Day, and therefore whether I need to un-Glad Wrap their lunches.

I’m thankful for your sweet smiles of understanding as I arrive at school in a mad flap because I have dropped one of the many balls I try to keep up in the air.

Please forgive my steely looks as I see you walk past my house in the morning, assuming (wrongly) that you haven’t a care in the world, while I feel like the world is on my shoulders. It’s only because I am jealous…and tired.

An ode to my Mum

I am an only child – my husband and friends will tell you that this is plainly obvious! – and I am very close to my Mum.

It’s a nice bond, coming from being a small family unit where it was always just the three of us.

To commemorate Mother’s Day, I thought I would share a few pearls of wisdom that my Mum has taught me over the years (and some behaviours I have taken on board):

  • When an item is on sale, think not of what you will spend; but focus on what you will SAVE.
  • When the credit card statement arrives in the mail, hide it from your husband.
  • When you buy anything new, place it in your wardrobe straight away and when your husband comments on your outfit say, “Whaaat? This old thing? I’ve had it for AGES.”
  • There is no such thing as a wasted education. Everything you learn adds to your being. This attitude came in handy when I had to talk my folks through my plans to go back to uni at 29.
  • Girls rule! Feminism is ace! Yeah!
  • You can be a wonderful mother and work full time.
  • Blue and green should never be seen, unless there’s a colour between.
  • Always stick up for what you believe in. Speak out and be proud.
  • Just because you can’t cook toffees for the school fete, does not mean you are not a terrific Mum!
  • Chocolate cures all ills.
  • A mother’s love is never more apparent than when she is rubbing Vicks VapoRub on your tummy when you are little and struggling with a bad cold.

So, thanks Mum for showing me how it’s done. Love ya to bits!

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A holiday from my life

In about two hours, my holidays will be up. For the past week and a bit, I have been on leave and it has been pure, unadulterated bliss!

I am normally a full time working mother and my normal life is busy, busy, busy. So having Old-Suitcase-with-Travel-Stickers2this time off from work has been amazing!

I have been able to walk the kids to school and back; to prepare healthy snacks for them when they got home; and to spend time with them to chat about their day. It has been extra special because my little boy started school this year.

The highlights:

A quiet house

How nice is it to walk in to an empty, quiet house?

Oh, joy! The air almost tingles with peace and quiet.

Time to myself

On average, I normally have the house to myself for about one hour a month.

And the only time I normally have time to myself is the 15 minutes from work to home each day. So being able to just ‘be’ was amazing.

No plans

Like most working parents with two small children, my life is mapped out with military precision.

But not in the past week and a bit!

After dropping the kids off at school, I would walk home in the sunshine, let myself in to the empty house and do an inner happy dance. What would I do today? Where would I go? And the answer was: anything and anywhere (until 3.30pm).

Breaking Bad

I watched Series 1 and 2. It was ace. ‘Nuff said!

Exercise? Bah!

I have not done one speck of exercise apart from walking the kids to school and back.

In my normal life, I usually get up at about 5.30am every second morning or so, to get to the gym by 6am so I am home by 7am.

But I refused to do anything that would bear any semblance to my normal life – and that included exercise.

Sure, I’ve put on weight. And sure I feel sluggish and stiff.

But in a childish way I also enjoyed blowing a raspberry to what I “should” be doing!

Yeah, I know exercise should be part of your daily routine..blah, blah, blah…snore… but I dinna wanna do it! So ner!

Of course, it all ends tomorrow! Boo hoo.

Dabbling in interior design

While I was enjoying my time in my wonderfully quiet empty house, I would take a style audit of the rooms and decide what I needed to give them a lift.

So I bought new photo frames, cushions, glassware and throws.

I moved items from one room to another where they worked better and even bought a few interior design books and magazines!

My husband can’t wait for me to get back to work so I can stop banging on about aqua v teal cushions, and whether we need to add shelves or a print above the TV. Talk about First World problems!

It’s all over now

Yes, it’s all over and it was a wonderful glimpse into the life of being a stay-at-home Mum with both kids at school.

Although I know that if that was my normal life, it wouldn’t be as much fun. Instead, I can imagine it would be more about taking the children to and from after school activities, and running errands, plus lots more!

But who needs reality at a time like this?

The Facebook Mum from hell

I was the Facebook Mum from hell yesterday!

It was my little boy’s first day at school and I was determined to score the perfect Facebook shot. You know the one. Where your child is beaming in their new uniform and they are giving you an enormous hug, and everyone is full of love and anticipation.

A few of my friends had already posted pictures just like that, and I was determined to outshine them all!

Yeah, first day of school for me. And, yeah, this is my big sister. And yeah, what's the big deal?
Yeah, first day of school for me. And, yeah, this is my big sister. And yeah, what’s the big deal?

But I had forgotten to tell my son.

He didn’t want a bar of it, and in each shot he was grumpy, snarly and fiddly.

So of course I did what any sane, calm mother would do. I yelled at him to SMILE and GIVE ME A GOOD PHOTO!

And when yelling didn’t work, I pleaded and begged for one little smile – just one teeny weeny grin. Anything so he wasn’t looking like he was hating every second.

And I am ashamed to admit that I got so carried away, that I actually told him he had wrecked the day for me and had hurt my feelings.

Oh dear, it was not my finest moment and I am truly ashamed of myself. I was a woman possessed.

The money shot.
The money shot.

Of course,  once we got to school and there was no mention of trying to get the perfect photo, everyone relaxed and we got the pic!

Thankfully, we ended on a high note and my little boy was wonderfully forgiving (and forgetful) and didn’t hold a grudge against his silly Mum who lost her head for a second.

I hope all the Preps out there had a wonderful first day of school (and that you all managed to smile in the photos – or else!).

Battling Halloween

anti-halloweenI always had that forboding feeling that once my kids went to school, I would lose my tightly held control over their lives and they would be at the mercy of external influences – and kids that taught them to swear.

And I was right!

My 7-year-old is as sharp as a whip and has an amazing grasp of the English language. And by grasp, I mean that she is starting to gather an arsenal of swear words. Mostly thanks to her BFF at school!

And now the latest external influence that I am battling against is not just from school friends, but from the media and marketers. It’s Halloween.

I was always so dead set against celebrating Halloween. I was happy to leave that to people in the States. It is their gig and they do it brilliantly. It’s not an Aussie thing at all. Until recently.

Now there are giant pumpkins in Coles supermarkets; Halloween costumes and novelty gifts everywhere; and my 5-year-old’s day care has Halloween dress up days.

Last year we actually had trick-or-treaters!

It was only a pathetically small trickle of people that came to our door, including a young couple and their toddler who drove to my street from their rough neighbourhood because they wanted to trick-or-treat in nicer surroundings!

It seems that everyone is trying so hard to make Halloween a big thing. And it’s getting more and more difficult to shut the door on the whole event – especially when your kids have friends with parents who throw themselves into decorating the house and dressing up for Halloween.

I feel I’m fighting a losing battle!

Is anyone else trying to hold out against succumbing to the pressure of celebrating Halloween? We need to stick together!

And the verdict is: Guilty!

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Aaagh, some peace and quiet!

When I was pregnant, I read lots of ‘what to expect’ books (side note: thank you Kaz Cooke for writing ‘Up The Duff’ and making me laugh at the weirdness of my pregnant body).

During my pregnancy, I was totally across what was happening week by week.  Of course, like every Mum, once I gave birth to my first baby, I realised I had no idea what to expect at all!

But in all those books, not once did they mention that once you became a Mum you put on a cloak of guilt – and don’t take it off!

And I’m not talking about about retail guilt.  I don’t recall feeling guilty that I hadn’t bought a certain type of pram, bottle, etc, etc – although I was a subscriber to ‘Choice’ and trawled through their safety reports! Ha Ha.

The guilt I struggle with is totally self-inflicted, all in the name of trying to be a good Mum!

I feel guilty when:

I go to work

I feel guilty that we are always so rushed in the morning to get to school/daycare/ work, when all the kids want to do is play with me.

I feel guilty when I work late and miss out on time with my kids.

I also feel guilty when I can’t do more for my daughter at school.  I can’t go on school excursions, I can’t do any reading with her class, and I can’t be on any committees. She is always asking me to do more because most of her little friends have Mums who don’t work at all.

And then there are those mornings when I feel guilty about feeling happy and relieved that I get to go to work and leave the kids at school or daycare because they have been feral and annoying!

I’m too tired

Sometimes at the end of the day, when my little boy is regaling me with a monologue on the complexities of ‘Lego Chima’, my mind wanders and I totally tune out because I am bone-tired.

And then he catches me out and I feel bad because he’s been waiting all day to talk to me – but I can’t fake any interest!

I feel guilty when I am so tired that I am a grumpy Mummy and seem to spend the whole day/evening nagging and yelling at the kids.

I feel guilty when I am so tired on the weekends, that I encourage the kids to watch lots of TV so I can get some time out and read the papers in peace!

Guilt.  It’s always there.

I feel guilty for being a bad Mum; I feel guilty for being a slack Mum; I feel guilty for being an over indulgent Mum; I feel guilty for needing a break from being a Mum!

It’s exhausting!

Somehow I missed the memo

Something weird is going on. It seems that I’ve somehow missed a memo on what’s going on in my life, but that everyone else seems to have a handle on it.

For example, my daughter has just started Grade One and with a new class comes new routines.  So I’ve been checking and checking the school newsletter, the class noticeboard and the classroom windows for info on what day is sport, library, etc etc. There’s been absolutely nothing.

Then all of a sudden this morning we turn up for the school drop off and my daughter’s classmates are all in their sports uniforms.  How did the other Mum’s know? Did every one of them ask the teacher? Was I meant to? And if so, how was I supposed to know to do that?

And how hard is it to put up a bloody notice on the classroom door of what the week’s schedule is? I’ve noticed that every other class has.

It happened again this Saturday. My daughter had a birthday party that, according to the invitation, was from 12.30 to 2pm. So I turned up at 2pm.  And the rest of the other Mums turned up at 2.30pm.

Again, I ask you – how did they know? How can I tap into this seemingly mysterious and out of reach grapevine? Is it because I seem to be the only full time working Mum at my daughter’s school?

I think I’m doomed to be forever playing catch up!

 

 

 

I’ve become one of those Mums!

I just had to quickly share what happened today.

My daughter received a Principal’s Award for improving her reading and spelling.  She is only six and in grade Prep, so I was very proud.

Plus, she has been quite a pain lately with an attitude I didn’t think I would have to deal with for at least another 10 years. So we needed this positive achievement.

She was to receive her award at the school assembly this morning.  I stood with the other parents in the assembly hall and when some of the other Preps’ names were called out I started to clap.  There was only a smattering of applause which I thought was pretty pathetic.

When my daughter’s name was called out I started to clap wildly but was cut short because no-one else was clapping.  Do you know that awkward feeling when you are the only one clapping in a large group? It’s not the best feeling in the world.

Then a mother kindly leaned over to me and told me they wait until all the awards are read out and then everyone claps.  Right.  I considered myself told.  A bit too late, though.  She could have told me after clapped the first time!

Luckily my daughter is still too young to be embarrassed by her Mum.  Judging by my spectacle this morning though, the time will come!