Having just experienced my first holiday as a stay at home Dad, I have made some observations. Like although I didn’t have to yell at the kids to get out of bed and dressed, or fight them to do homework, or scavenge in the pantry at eleven at night for something to put in lunch boxes, school holidays are not as much of a breeze as I imagined it would be. I confess I’m new at this, so let me know if I’ve got this about right:
- Education. I know how important education is and I have the utmost respect for teachers, but right now all I’m thinking’s school is essentially free babysitting so I can get shite done around here.
- Washing. One set of clothes per child per day. I’d forgotten that was possible.
- Lunch. If they don’t like it I can’t hear them complain. They certainly can’t ask me to make them something else, or drag half the fridge onto the kitchen bench to make a sandwich I’ll later find in the throws of rigour mortis under their bed.
- Shopping. I went shopping today and, because didn’t buy a single Frozen Egg or Chupa Chup, I could afford a coffee. Because I didn’t have to take kids with me I could even enjoy it instead of throwing it back like a motivational booster shot.
- Arguments. I’m sick of refereeing a game I’ve never seen a rule book for.
- Routine. The school week means there is now a reason to do things a certain way. Like there’s a sensible reason to have a shower and to get to bed by a certain time. And I mean for the kids as well! When your kid asks you for breakfast at 10am, you know you’ve dropped the ball. When it happens every day for a week I’m guessing that’s how we all know the holidays are nearly over.
- Scissors. Paper. All the scissors in the house are now at school in pencil cases, which means less tiny, pointless triangles of paper for me to have to suck up with the vacuum. Similarly, all the glue in the house is now at school in desks, which means less clumps of pointless triangles of paper stuck together which the vacuum won’t suck up because they’ve formed an attachment with the carpet.
- Carpet. We have carpet! It was under the toys, clothes and pointless bits of paper. Of course, it’s nearly destroyed from all the glue and other shite they’ve been grinding into it, but it’s there and it turns out it’s still mostly blue.
- Tunes. I can listen to my daggy music in the car without comment. Kids can be so cruel. I even tried throwing a little Kate Bush amongst the Bieber and MyLifeAsEva. They could tell. Probably because I knew the words. But now I can play what I like. I can even sing along if the need, as it so often does, takes me. Don’t worry, I’ll keep the windows up.
- Thoughts. Today I was able to hear myself think. I almost didn’t recognise the voice.
- “Napping”. Half the week we now only have one child left in the house with us for up to 6 hours a day – and that child still occasionally naps for an hour or two. This is important information since our kids developed strange habits over the hols – the worst of which is these days someone inevitably creeps into our bed at night. I’ve done the math – all I need is five minutes.
I love their cotton socks, but I’m ready for them to go back to school for a bit now and maybe we can do this again in a couple of months when I’ve caught up on sleep and housework.
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“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”
I swear to some infinite being, I bounced out of the school gate this morning. Even though I had to go to work, it was still the best feeling.
I’m hearing you. Tracey and I went and bought McDonalds drive through and didn’t have to change the order more than three times.
I didn’t think you guys would be in a hurry to go back through a drive through!
I do like their feta/spinach wrap 🙂
Just love reading your blog Bruce. Written by avery loving dad. Been there done that and loved every minute. Brought back memories. Keep up the good work. .love to you and Tracey and your beautiful family.
I’ve just spent the holidays at home too, unemployed and trying to start a mechanical business from home. Even with the wife home half the week, unpossible! I felt your pain and the wife and I (now) are so looking forward to today.
I love school holidays!! However am totally stoked when they are over!! Especially before the homework cycle kicks in! Enjoy your coffee, your carpet and more importantly, your time with just Tracey!
Oh I hear you on the clothes thing… how many set of clothes can four kids wear in one day? Our record these holidays was 14 different pairs of pants!!!!
Oooh I love Kate Bush! Kids just don’t get her at all. I did a little happy dance when my kids went to school yesterday.
Enjoy those coffees, only ten weeks til school holidays
Pause for thought… some of us home school. 🙂 lol