School Holidays – Day 1

Today is the first day I’ve had both kids home from school. It was going well until it wasn’t.

I have always loved school holidays.

No alarm (for them), no lunches, lots of random hugs, no worries.

This year doesn’t feel the same. We have had so much home time that we don’t need home time. At least now we have home time without remote learning I suppose.

But tonight I log into Stan, someone’s using it. I log into Netflix, someone’s using it.

Bloody kids, it might be holiday time, but it’s also bedtime!

#parenting #summer #schoolholidays # #2021 #2022


How is the Black Dog treating you?

How is the Black Dog treating you?

I could sprout quite a few ideas about why my workplace is fantastic, but just one reason is that we have a Mental Health working group who collect information and share it with the team.

I have just read this article from the Black Dog Institute, Coping with the continuing pandemic in 2021. Have a read, I bet you can relate.

This is how I am going.

  • Reflect on how well you did last year. How well did I do? Pretty well, I guess. The children survived remote learning. I already worked from home. I got through teaching a the topic of Gender Equity online. My marriage celebrant business was a struggle with daily emails, phone calls, calendar changes, crying couples, angry couples, but overall, we got there. I still have 5 weddings which have not been rescheduled. The bright side is that they will make up some of the dates in 2022 which have not been booked yet because everyone is too shit scared to plan anything. We built a house and shed, we moved, I finalised Grandma’s estate, I put one foot in front of the other and I survived.  
  • Build a repertoire of coping strategies. The best thing about not being able to go anywhere is that you can’t go anywhere. I coped by drinking alcohol in the evening and taking up smoking cigarettes daily instead of socially. I was on the phone to friends and family often, sometimes up to 2 hours. I support my children by ensuring that there is always chocolate. I also began to do meditation daily, popping my headphones on and listening to something that suited my mood. Top of the play list:
    • Clear Anxiety
    • Detachment from Overthinking
    • Let Go of Worries and Strengthen Health
    • Deep Sleep Guided Meditation
    • Stop Procrastination
    • Confidence and Inner Power
  • Don’t dwell on the future. OK, the world is a bit fucked up right now and we are living life in limbo. I swear at the people who are controlling us Victorians daily, sorry, I should have said protecting us, and I want to punch QR codes in the face. My plans for the future are to wash my face masks, and buy some more chocolate. The kids and I are doing our best to spend the money their father and I earn on takeaway to support our local economy. We are doing our best to spend all of the money, so I guess that is not dwelling on the future.
  • Take up the support on offer. Thank you for the free money Australia. It really did help us to support the local economy and paid for the ciggies. Well done, you’ll get lots of tax back on the ciggies.
  • Don’t use unhelpful crutches. Oh shit, there go two of my coping strategies!
  • Look for the positives. I could hug our kids any time of the day. They usually liked hugs when I was in the middle of a major project, on the phone or in a Zoom meeting. I didn’t have to make school lunches for months. They usually liked lunch when I was in the middle of a major project, on the phone or in a Zoom meeting. My husband is a shift working essential worker and he left the house 9 days/nights a fortnight. It was good not to see him for a few hours and sometimes have the bed to myself. The concerts on TV were awesome. I enjoyed those cold winter nights, tucked up with a plate of pate and crispy veggies, Shiraz or Shiraz Gin in hand, “watching” it with some of my friends in video calls. We possibly saw more of each other in winter 2020 than other years.
  • Look out for each other. I’m always here for a two hour phone or video call and will listen, talk over the top of you out of excitement from hearing from you, or offer you a virtual shoulder to cry on. I will hold the punching bag with the QR codes printed on it for you as you destress your day if we are allowed to have people in our homes. I can customise the punching bag to your individual preferences if you would prefer to punch something/one else.

Stay sane my friends. I wish to hug you in person. I wish to travel across Australia for a wine with my bestie. I wish that my recent plans to spend time in Melbourne had not been cancelled for me, but most of all I wish for everyone to be healthy and safe.


Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

To all the mums on earth, mums who live on in our hearts, mums of children you didn’t birth, mums of critters, mums who are also dads, aunts who are like our mums and mums we have chosen to call mum.

T gifted me a comment, “teach me to make your coffee and you will never have to do it again”, a lovely hand made card saying the corona virus ruined mother’s day with one flower coloured to represent a sunset of the day we can go out again and another of a rainbow 💗

Z gifted me a card that says “Dad made me make a card last minute, sorry it’s bad” 😂 I have been hinting all week that she might like to draw me something.

They confessed Fuzz went and grabbed me a chocolate orange and a Ferrero box last minute. He has to work all day. I am going to miss complaining to him that it’s supposed to be my day, so why the fuck do I still have to do everything?

They didn’t wake me up early and they are now leaving me alone until I go pick up our pre ordered lunch.


Week 3- What about me?

Week 3 – What about me?

Most of what we have been doing in regards to remote learning up until now has been self directed revision of term 1, with very little consequence. The intention is to make this stress free for all involved. 

The ability to fluff about because I am busy working has led to a sense of freedom at our place.

Suddenly there are expectations from the structure. BC9 and I begin Monday with check in and then highlighting the weekly schedule so as he can clearly see what his must does for the week are. It is a living document, so some changes need to be acklowledged seeing as it was printed last week. He sets to work independently and has Monday nailed before lunch. Of course I don’t believe him and set to ticking off his list. Whoever made religion optional had better set themselves up for my children not having a clue who God, Mary or Jesus are when they return to face to face learning. 

GC11 has been cruising along. She is a strong independent mini woman just like all of her female forebears. So when I found her with head in hands sitting at the table I was totally unprepared. “What’s up?” I asked in my calmest I am your mother and a bitch, but I am always on your side voice. “nothing” she squeaked. “Don’t be silly honey, if something is wrong I need you to tell me”. When she looked up my heart shattered into tiny pieces. Something was definately up, and here I was trying so hard to keep Master Distracted on track that I had missed it.

“I haven’t done something that I must do, because I thought I knew what I was doing, but now I can’t do it” she screached at me with tiny little tears escaping her gorgeous little eyes. WTF? Like seriously WTF? I grab her some tissues and offer her some hugs and, for a change, she accepts them (hugging is not cool anymore). She admits to me she feels out of her depth. I downed tools and gave her my attention for the next hour or two, we methodically worked through it like this. “Don’t scroll so fucking fast, how in hell am I supposed to comprehend anything if you do that?” “show me where the instructions are?” and eventually it is done. I hate this she says. I hate it too. 

We soldier on. BC9 keeps finishing early, but can show me his work. Thursday CG11 and I are forced to plant something in 4 seperate pots in 4 different sets of conditions for STEM, we look at each other in horror. I suggest we can use food handling gloves to touch the dirt. She agrees. I ask what are we growing. She doesn’t know what the seeds are. I suggest that school could be teaching them to grow marijuana, she doesn’t think the Mrs W would make them do that and says that I am not funny. 

Today is Friday. I am wrecked. I have not had a load of work to do this week, but somehow I am more exhausted than the past two weeks put together. I listen in on grade 4 check in and hear what they are up to. I check in on grade 6 and make sure that all is well. I expect I might bludge the day away and watch some brain numbing TV.

Na. Nope. That doesn’t happen. 

I am required to assist with some grade 4 word finding, while that happens I am requested to assist with grade 6 spelling words. I say in a minute love, so she says I will do this Kahoot quiz while I wait. She finishes quiz and proudly tells me that she is in the lead, but it is early, and a lot of the other children are yet to do it. I finish Anzac word find and we set to her spelling. 

BC9 is finished school by 11am. This can’t be right. I make him show me his schedule and find him two unfinished tasks. I try to catch up on some professional development for myself. It’s not long before I find GC11 in same position as earlier in the week. I want to know what’s up. She says she hates this note taking, report writing stuff. She doesn’t get what she needs to do and suddenly we are back to square one. I check her notes and ask why can’t she just turn them into sentences, it looks pretty good to me. Really rational comments like “because I hate it”, “this isn’t fun”, “I don’t know why I have to do it” spew from her mouth. And then the truth. “It is due an hour ago and I didn’t know, I can’t get it in on time”. Fuck you anxiety! A quick email to teacher asking if a phone call is out of the question. Impossible, but can request another teacher responds. Email back explaining dilemma in short hand. She emails back and says said assignment was misleading, don’t stress, and as an aside our girl is the winner of the Kahoot which summed up all of this week’s learning. Champion! I tell GC11 not to stress, although I want her to finish the report, just don’t worry about the due time. Go and buy her some KFC, because I don’t care, I love her. Afternoon check in. Winner of the Kahoot announced. It is GC11. Her words “I have never felt this good”, shows me all of the comments of congratulations from fellow students. 

Note to self: we all need a little TLC right now, weekend is for bludging this week. 

The rest of week 2 in review

You may have read my post, Not even remotely getting it right and wondered what happened after that. Or, you might have thought FFS, we are all in the same boat, get over it.

Regardless. Here is the rest of the week. Week 2, days 2-5.

Tuesday: Moved the boy child into my office to prevent further punch ups. Printed of his schedule so he didn’t need to keep going back to the iPad when he changed tasks. We worked out a strategy of his “must dos” and listed what he needed to finish from his unproductive Monday. My phone doesn’t stop ringing, I cannot get anything done, I am replying to emails, but my productivity is low. I have parent forums to attend. BC9 nailed Tuesday. Check in with girl child. She is sitting in arm chair, using iPad to draw. As this is normal behaviour, I challenge whether she is doing school work. She is working on a comic about Anti Bullying. I feel like a bully. Next thing GC11 comes rushing in. There is something wrong with the cat. I am irate. I don’t need the interuption. I check the cat. Oh hell, there IS something wrong. I ring vet. They are booked out because all of us stay at home people are killing our pets with kindness taking them for walks they have never been on, and giving them love they have never had. I am invited to come and sit in the carpark until vet can see cat. He has UTI and now needs twice a day medication. I refrain from shoving a dirty plate down dear husband’s throat when I get home to find that none of them have lifted a finger since I left for my 2 hour vet visit.

Wednesday: I am freaking out. Last Wednesday was HARD. This week I am doing it solo. No husband to father his children. We set the ground rules early. I can’t keep BC9 in my office because I have to talk for hours in Zoom to my students and facilitate their forums when they are offline.  We get up in time, I set the rules. I finish the stuff I didn’t get done yesterday while they eat breakfast. I have one in the kitchen, one in the lounge room. They make promises that they will be angels today, and I don’t believe them. Morning tea is thrust in front of them. I get in trouble for making lunch earlier than their lunch time. I explain as best I can that this is not about them. It sounds like this “Oh for fuck sake, you think you are the only fucking person who has shit to do? Just don’t fucking eat it until 1:30, I really don’t care, I need to go back to work, it’s not all about you”. I am being a bully. The rest of the day goes reasonably well, they acheive their goals and sound like they are having a fun day. 

Thursday: Need to go get my flu needle. Try to do morning check in. Grade 4 is not working. BC9 gets anxious. Assure him it will be fine I will email Mrs S. I try one more time and she is online, says she had tech problems and tells our kid to stop stressing. Get them organised, BC9 brings his book along in the car to do his 15 minutes of independent reading while I get jabbed. We do a quick shop while we are out as we have no milk, no bread and need doughnuts, milkshakes and coffee. I have moved BC9 back into my office and we are so productive it is scary. Lists are ticked all over the place. BC9 is practicing his Italian. He googles “thank you for letting me have an apple”, we practice this sentence, I ask Google to translate my Italian back into English. I say “Grazie per avermi permesso di avere una mela”, Google tells me I said “your penis is too large for me”. Tears spring to my eyes, I shut down Google, I can’t breathe I am laughing so hard. BC9 asks what is so funny. I tell him a white lie. I say “google said your penis is too large” he thinks this is funny, but I still can’t stop laughing with the full truth. He is going to write in his journal that when mum tried to google her Italian it came up a private part. My face aches for the rest of the day. The bullying comic is still in progress, she won’t show it to me, I wonder whether the main character looks me?

Friday: End of the week. I am sitting in on morning check in. Grade 4 children have forgotten the rule about not speaking over the teacher and keeping their microphones turned off. We get through that and it is immediately followed by Anzac meeting. I go looking for a poppy, I know I have some, but with everything packed away, I cannot find them. I look in Grandma’s drawers and find a ribbon for him to wear. The 3 teachers do a brilliant job of their Anzac presentation. I find myself singing Advance Australia Fair for the second time this week. Sorry neighbours, lucky you don’t live too close. After this I need to know what the ribbon was for. I google it. It is a widow/mother’s ribbon from WW1. I print off the information and photo Grandma had me write up for Anzac day a few years ago of Grandma’s uncle Tom and give it to BC with the explanation, you, me, nan, great grandma, her uncle. We share a moment when he learns that his great, great, great uncle Tom survived the landing at Gallipoli, was promoted to a commissioned rank on 28th April 1915, but supposedly never learned of his promotion, dying on 8th May in a shell attack. There seems to be a lot of Just Dance going on today. Like a bit more than just morning exercise, but who cares it’s Friday and I have a wine meeting at 4pm to look forward to. They “swear” that they have completed all of their must dos and the Grade 6 check in meeting is earlier that usual. I am not nagging, I don’t want to be a bully.


Not even remotely getting it right.

Week 2, Day 1. Yesterday was so much fun at remote learning Farey style.
Well it started out that way.
After Grade 4 check in (less microphone interuptions this time) and morning prayer, T and I “attended” morning assembly. This involved logging into YouTube and singing Advance Australia Fair in our best voices 🎤, regardless of how good our best voices are, that song is freaking impossible, the only way I can make it sound good is by singing it in my take the piss voice, and then I feel all non patriotic and stuff. About time we changed it to make it more user friendly and inclusive for all Australians. I then popped by the Grade 6 class to witness the teachers being asked a range of clarification questions, they are so patient. Go Grade 6 Teachers! But it wasn’t long until they failed me. In true Aussie tradition, the children were asked to identify their favourite sportsperson before they signed off. Z turned and looked at me aghast. I said she could say me, I play tennis, we laughed. It was good to see lots of the other kids had nothing to say and didn’t have favourite sports stars, but the sporty spices were all chatted to and recognised while the others were not. Sorry, not sorry, but this “you are a superstar” attitude toward sports pisses me off. I hope this is not a daily occurance and other days they ask “who is your favourite YouTuber? or artist? or band? or actor?” or even “what is your favourite tree?”

The three of us then competed in Just Dance for our morning exercise. Not bragging or anything, but they were astonished that I won the first one as they know I am old, slow and uncordinated.

Then off to work we go. I go to help T find his 11am spelling class. He is having a fucking meltdown because he can’t find the link to the meeting. I tell him to send the teacher a message. He doesn’t want to. I tell him he needs to speak up or he will miss shit. He doesn’t want to. I type message on his behalf. He gets pissed off with me. I get pissed off with him. Something clicks over in the chat when I type message. Suddenly the message password is visable and I leave him to learn with his video off so as nobody can see that we have made each other cry.

After lesson, I go back and make sure he is doing his spelling work. He needs to write the words into sentences. Everyone is set up and working hard. So. I. Think!

Before long there is movement at the station. Scuffling. Muffled noises. Louder noises. Thumping. I walk to the other end of the house to find them beating the shit out of one another. Apparently this was just playing. The short answer is it is not working. I leave some grapes out for them and go back to work. They remain quiet. Deceptively quiet. I realise I must down tools and go and parent them. Let’s work on our sentences. Show me how you have done this? Have you even done fucking anything?

I remember the letter we got. The one that says don’t worry about your children’s school work, worry about their happiness and safety. I wonder how loose that statement is, because writing 10 sentences in 3 hours just doesn’t seem to cut it for me.

Today is another day. I have shit tonnes of work to do, and I wish to do it as it helps us to earn money. T is coming to work in the office with me. In the words of The Offspring, you gotta keep ’em separated. Actually, that is bloody good advice for everyone right now.


And Then One Day

And then one day…you are laying on the bed with your grandmother. Just hanging out and chatting. She says in the most serious of tones “Dear. It is time to start guiding Girl Child 10 toward a career”.

I reply “I am encouraging her art Grandma, she is amazing, check out her pics”.

I show her all kinds of GC10 art. She is blown away, but she is adament there is no money in art.

I explain I am 46 (she had 4 grandchildren at my age) and I am still trying to work out what I want to be when I grow up.

We laughed!

And laughed!

GC10 is going to go through more jobs in her lifetime than I have, and I have had a lot of jobs. Art, in the digital age might mean illustrating an ebook or creating characters in a game.

Grandma was a farmer. I asked her what she wanted to be when she was little.

And she said a mother of six children.

And then this day…I understand. She was lucky. She achieved her goal at a young age, then worked in order to maintain that goal. Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren are all influenced by this amazing woman (I secretly hope one of the eldest pops out a great-great before she leaves the earth, but the over 18s think I’m nuts, even though their parents were mostly under 25 when they were born).

But, she wasn’t only a farmer. She was a business woman, an employer a great wife and mother. She had the sense to buy a property “in town” when Grandpa’s work took him there every month.

I know our chats are going to end soon. 90 is a bloody good innings, and she is almost ready to retire. If her influence and guidance sees me be half the woman she is, I will have achieved a full life.

Where does the time go?

Who knows?

I am trawling through my email and found a question from my blogging guru “Can you believe it’s the end of January already?! How has the start of 2019 been for you and your blog?”

The short answer is “terrible”. I haven’t blogged for such a long time.

So, I considered;

  • do I need to set some intentions for 2019?
  • should I add some blogging to my schedule?
  • why do I blog?

Then I answered myself, because you can do that shit without looking like a nutcase when you are sitting home alone in front of a computer.

Intentions for 2019

  • keep calm and say no if it is going to stress me out
  • write a draft wedding ceremony at least one month prior to each wedding
  • keep asking the universe for the type of work that makes me happy- I have successfully been manifesting contracts which enable me to work from home and make me feel like I am kicking goals
  • work my marriage celebrant business and make it brilliant

I will add some blogging to my schedule, but the hard thing about blogging for me is it is usually a knee jerk reaction to something which pisses me off, something I am really impressed about or occasionally something that makes me sad, so saying I am going to write something daily, weekly or monthly might not work for me as I don’t want to get around pissed off and sad all the time.

I blog because I find it fun. I love to have an opinion or make some kind of comment which resonates with my community. That is why the knee jerk reaction is a fun place to start. I find it incredible that I have followers from all over the world and love to see that they have read my posts. Right now I am blogging because I am procrastinating.

So, 2019, I have already missed blogging in January due to being an awesome work from home mum who has been there for her kidlets. This is my first blog post for the year. I have been working my business and I have just signed up with a new contract doing stuff I really like.

Bring it on! Blogging or not blogging 2019 is going to make me happy!

Dear Nanna

Dear Nanna R. As I cleaned our home this past week there were so many little reminders of you. My fun fruit bowl and other ornaments you made for me in ceramics needed dusting, I found cards with your writing on it and this photo just popped up in my Google Drive while I was doing some work. I don’t wish you had lived longer as your life was full and your body was worn out. We miss you and shed little tears of love when we talk about you. You really were a great Nanna xCopy of 20150810_100050.jpg