School Holidays Kill Me

When you run a business from home, nothing screws up your routine like school holidays. The constant need for the Meatball to be entertained, fed and supervised makes me appreciate the reliability of our regular routine when school is on. I dread the Easter holidays even more than usual though. With the Meatball’s, his best friend’s and my father in law’s birthdays and the Easter long weekend all happening in those 2 ever so short weeks, they create the perfect storm of stress, panic and utter inability to work.

Not that I mind, of course. As a parent, I love the fact that I can stop what I’m doing to take an hour (or five) to play Lego with my son. But the business owner in me is screaming at me to get back to work otherwise I’ll be pulling another all-nighter to get everything finished. My inner parent just smacks that side of me over the head with a hammer, telling it to shut up while my inner child backs them up for daring to interrupt Lego time a la Herman’s Head (now I’m REALLY showing my age).

Part of my screw up with school holidays is the fact that I don’t stick to my timetable as much as I do during school. I know I should, but I don’t. Living with my parents and having limited space and time together as a family, I feel guilty saying no to the Meatball. Especially when I get heartbreaking comments like “No one wants to play with me” or seeing the sad face when I tell him I have to work and I can’t play.

Maybe it’s also the fact that he’s an only child and has no one his age to spend time with. His friends live about 25 mins away so it’s not always practical to just pop by for a visit. And because it’s not our house, I don’t like inviting friends and their kids over too often. To be fair, I tried organising a play date with his school friends at a park but it rained.

So I admit to breathing a sigh of relief when I dropped the Meatball off at school earlier this week. I got to work when I said I would, went to a mentoring session after lunch then back to work and basically had such a productive day. Actually, the whole week itself has been productive.

But next holidays, I promise myself that I’ll be good. I’ll stick to my timetable and I’ll work on being firm and say “no” if I have work that needs to be done. I’ll plan playdates well in advance and have a backup plan if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

Can other work at home mums give me some tips on how they stay sane and get work done during school holidays? Or do you not even try and just totally scale down the amount of work that you do?


Mario and Friends – a story

The Meatball was at my mum’s house the other day and at the grand old age of 5, has the aspirations to be a writer (good for him!).

Mum tells me he was typing away on her laptop, stopping only to randomly ask how to spell words and would then go back to his typing, giggling the whole time. The whole project was shrouded in secrecy and wouldn’t let her look at what he was doing.

Before he went home, she was finally allowed to see what he wrote. She was then sworn to secrecy and not allowed to tell anyone, especially his mum. So naturally, mum emails it to me (she only promised not to TELL).

So after squealing like a banshee about the cuteness of it all and showing Fruit Man, I thought I’d share it with you all.

Mario  wants  to  kiss  peach  in the  castle. Then came a monster and peach got scared and she ran away very very  fast. Bowser took her to bowser’s castle. Then Mario saw Luigi and he asked “Where is your princess”. Luigi answered, “she’s in bowser’s castle.

Luigi  was  visiting  Mario’s  house  and  they  went  to  yoshi  and  everyone  went  to  peach.

Isn’t it cute? Oh, and to clarify, this hasn’t been edited. All the quotation marks were done by him. Can you believe it? Quotation marks!! At 5!! All I could do at 5 was colour in pictures of apples!

What skills have your kids surprised you with? Something that you never thought they would be able to do at their age?


A Tale of Two Countries

Along with most other schools in NSW, my son’s school is celebrating Book Week this week. As part of their celebration of the theme “One World, Many Stories”, they were invited to come dressed in their national costumes for assembly.

In our house, the issue of race and “nationality” is not something that we bring to the Meatball’s attention, even though he’s of mixed heritage (I was born in the Philippines and Fruit Man’s parents are of Italian descent). When I started dating Fruit Man, I was attracted to his outgoing personality, not his bum nationality. The fact that I wasn’t Italian and that he wasn’t Filipino wasn’t an issue.

So anyway, I had to decide whether I was to dress the Meatball in the Philippines’ traditional costume

Barong Tagalog

Or go for the Italian traditional costume (I’m told of which there are many)

Oooo.... Trendy....

I even toyed with the idea of sewing two halves of each to get an effect like this

Won't work?

To be honest, I didn’t really want to dress him up. I didn’t want my son to have to choose my husband’s or my country of origin’s costume to dress in. He’s both. He’s also Australian. Why should he have to decide? Or better yet, why should I, as his parent have to decide?

After much agonising about what to do, I ended up sitting the Meatball down and told him he wasn’t going to go in costume.  I explained to him about his mixed background and why Mummy wasn’t going to pander to some ridiculous requirement for him to choose which country he related to the most. Well, not exactly in those exact words but in a way a 5 year old can understand (read: you’re not dressing up because Mum said so).

Freaking out and explaining to Meatball all the way to school about why we weren’t participating in this activity, we turn up at school and only half the kids have gone to the effort of dressing up…

These kids…. where’s their national pride????   =p

Have you ever had a school event/function that you didn’t get your kids to participate in because of your personal opinions?

Images courtesy of Wikipedia and

DIY Vaporizer for Colds and Coughs

As the weather turns colder, flu season is upon us again and this year, there seems to be a LOT of people coming down with the flu/cough/chest infections and my little boy is no exception.

During the recent school holidays. He was in perfect health but as soon as he got back to school, it was a germ free-for-all. Kids coughing without covering their mouths, wiping snotty noses on their sleeves… you know the scene. So it was no surprise when he came home one night with a cough. [Read more…]

When it rains, it pours

We all have days where nothing seems to go right. Today was one of those for me. After working until 1am this morning, I had overslept and was running late in dropping my son off to my dad’s place and made him miss his doctors appointment. It also started to rain once I got my 4 year old (who has no grasp of what it means to hurry up) in the car and left the house (I was dressed for sunny weather in a dress and Havaianas). On the train on my way to work, I had a brief reprieve and was able to read a book. I thought that was the end of it, but lo and behold, I had gotten off the train and was walking down the stairs when I realised I had left my umbrella in the train just as the doors were closing and the train was pulling out of the platform. Oh, and its also THAT time of the month. Normally it wouldn’t be so bad, but considering that my husband and I have been trying for Bub #2 for close to 6 months, I was definitely not a happy little Vegemite.
[Read more…]