Category Archives: work life balance

“GAME of WAR” Widow

I Game of Warhave lost my husband. My kids have lost their dad, but before you start sending us letters and cards of sympathy, you should know, he is not dead. No. He is away battling others in an app. A very popular app which consumes so much of his time that our kids now roll their eyes and say shit like, ‘Dad wont do that, because, Game of War”.

From the minute he wakes MY (work) iPad is taken outside for his morning coffee and smoke. It then travels to the toilet to do whatever it is that makes men sit for so many minutes- WTF is with men and toilets?  When he returns from work there is a repeat of this action, then he sits in his “spot” outside, or has Doctor Sheldon Cooper would say in Big Bang Theory “single point of consistency in an ever changing world”, where he continues to communicate with his allies and plan strategies to attack their opponents, thus stripping them of hundreds of dollars worth of in app purchases which can never be recovered.

According to Wikipedia

The best you can do is not lose”, because a single attack can “destroy so much that it would take months of gameplay to recover… or 100 bucks”, , in contrast to other MMO games where players who spend money receive benefits that are permanent.

God help us if we need something done and the “Alliance” is about to attack another kingdom. We may as well be poo on the bottom of your shoe. It is real. The troops cannot be left alone. They could all die if he is not in attendance.

Aside from disinfecting the iPad regularly with Glen20, I am now weeding the vegie patch, which isn’t doing so well because in his words “I didn’t really care that much about preparing the soil this year” as well as other Gardening activities, which, in our marriage agreement were to fall on his shoulders as I HATE gardening.

GC8 says “if I ask Dad to make toast, he says one sec, and it takes him 30 minutes”. BC5 concurs.

He seems to know more about his online community than he does his Mates. He shares what we are having for dinner much as I do on Instagram and Facebook, but he shares with people he has never met and has never even had a Facey account. I am ‘Facebook friends’ with his friends and family just to keep them all in the loop as to what the children and I are up to while he is playing GoW.

The upside is I get to look at food pictures from around the world and occasionally one of his “friends” will share information that might spark some very welcome discussion (I am a talker, that’s why I write).

If you are also feeling a void in your life due to some type of app-diction, I want you to know you are not alone. I am here for you. In fact, I’d love a chat about your situation if you would like to have one.

Disclaimer; this content is not intended to cause haters against my husband. He is a loving and caring man even if he can be a bit slow to butter the toast.

 

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An Outfit for Every Occassion

Fun in the SunI laughed my arse off when Miss 8 asked her father for a wrestle in the backyard. Not because she asked, nope, this is a very regular occurrence at our place. I laughed because he told her to go and put her wrestling gear on.

“What wrestling gear?” I asked, “is it because she has a skirt on?” At this point I am thinking shit like how weird, what a prude not to let her wrestle in a skirt or in her undies if that takes her fancy, you prick for contributing to the washing pile without contributing to the actual act of doing the washing. It’s too fucking hot for clothes…

His reply “No, nothing to do with a skirt, just delays it for another 5 minutes”.

Most probably had to make sure his allies were all in the right place before he could leave his Game of War for the 15 minutes that he will hold their attention. Gotta get the work/life/app balance right after all.

reflection-of-sadness-and-happinessThis post was written back in February. I couldn’t publish it then as I wasn’t in the right place to share. 

I am fantastic at the brave face. Those who have ever suffered with depression and/or anxiety know the one. The one where the smile is firmly planted, but the heart feels like a huge chunk of lead, pulling down shoulders. Those I love will cop an angry glance, a cross word or an all out fucking tirade.

I have various ‘excuses’ for my behaviour, which range from (several) family illnesses, breakdowns in said family communication, fear of not being ‘good enough’- (not quite sure what I need to be good enough for as I am AWESOME) and lack of sleep caused by a combination of over thinking, not getting to bed on time and horrible night sweats.

I came home from yoga this morning thinking woohoo it’s going to be a great day.Within an hour I am losing my shit because no one ever fucking listens. Miss 7 is in tears because she doesn’t want to do her reader that should have been done last night. Master 4 is rubbing her nose in the fact that she has to go to school, but as a preppy, he gets Wednesdays off for a while. Hubby cares that the whole neighbourhood can hear me. I don’t give a fat rat’s arse.

I hate angry me. I don’t want to be angry me. I keep trying to turn it around by telling myself that I cannot change the circumstances, only how I deal with them. Then I fuck it all up again.

I am not setting out to be off my head always happy, that isn’t realistic. I just don’t wish to be the lunatic who loses her shit to be heard by those closest to me.

Ironic, isn’t it, that the same people who push our buttons are the one’s who give us a reason for living. The same beings who will always be there for us no matter what. The people who make us happy and sad, the one’s who’s failures and triumphs give us as much grief or joy as if they were our own.

8 months on….

Lots of meditation, some different pills, ignoring other peoples issues and a life changing decision to change my work life balance. I am feeling better. My now 8 year old has even noticed that I am not yelling. I feel like there are new beginnings in the air.

I just need to work out which path to walk next.

 

 

 

 

 

Fuck You Book Week and other stories.

Wally Hat

Wally Hat

I love book week. What a brilliant concept, educating the masses that reading is fun and giving all the little people who are at school a chance to dress up as their favourite characters. I have even been the volunteer who sits in a shop and reads to the gorgeous ones as they do a tour of the street, showing off their costumes on one special day.

This year I did my best to be ready for book week well before the eve of said dress up day. But being prepared reared up it’s ugly head and bit me in the arse.

Firstly, let’s go back to March when I tried to buy outfits in Bali, what a time and place to shop the costume store. There were many a silky princess dress to be found. Alas, we did not purchase a princess dress, because miss pooh head wants to be Holly O’Hair (Rapunzel’s daughter in the Ever After High series) and none of the dresses were quite (let’s say) purple enough. I left the gorgeous (cheap) shop with a pirate outfit thinking that master good child could go as Tough Boris, and a knowledge that come August I will be wishing I had just sneaked a purplish dress into the shopping and pulled it out in surprise at a later date.

But good children often turn to shit, and now that the time is here, he hates Tough Boris and LOVES Where’s Wally. So Saturday I left our little town to shop the shit out of the next bigger city where Spotlight, Kmart and Big W are found. I knew in my heart I was going to be making a skirt for a princess, and creating an outfit for an adventurer so off we set to find the perfect costume pieces.

In Big W I could be heard yelling across the toy section to focus on the job at hand. I could not give two fucks what toys you guys ‘want’, I can barely find the floor in three rooms of the house as it is. Where the hell are the dress ups? We did three laps of the store, including two toilet stops within 10 minutes of each other, looking for something Wallyish, at least Wally Watcherish. I had several discussions with other parents, all on the same mission, apparently Kmart only have small sized outfits left, there’s not much variety here and the costumes are over that way. I walked over that way, and just as I was about to give up, asked a store attendant where are the fucking costumes? Just down the aisle with the coke at the end, with the party stuff. Right, of course, that’s logical (not). Nothing ready made was what my cherubs were after and I couldn’t even find a pair of Wally glasses. As we walked out with our new shoes, toys and other crap, I finally found a ladies t-shirt of the red and white striped variety. Plan B was found.

Holly's Skirt

Holly’s Skirt

Next stop Spotlight to find some floral fabric for this skirt. Not too painful. She chose reasonably quickly, but I couldn’t help but notice the madness that this costume shopping had created. Parents everywhere were looking harried. They had a rep to uphold as the crafty parent who had this costume shit covered. Staff were dressed as characters from Alice, the cool Cheshire Cat cut us some not floral fabric and binding and sent us on our way. As we browsed our way out the potential princess muttered something I couldn’t hear and would not repeat the statement, based on how I wouldn’t get it anyway. Blood pressure climbing I bit my tongue as I waited not very patiently in line at the checkout were the lollies were at eye level and I had to continually say no. No, not that one either. What part of no don’t you understand?

 

As we drove to Kmart for the one toy that could not be purchased anywhere else, I made the rules. We go in, look exactly where it should be and then leave if we can’t find it. I need lunch.

20160821_154712

Wally

A quick trip back to Big W where I flew in and purchased the t-shirt I should have bought two hours ago and an executive decision is made. I choose where we eat.

We went to a nice hotel for lunch. Somewhere they sell wine and delicious offerings. I ordered a pasta to level my mood and a glass of Sauv Blanc to compliment it. Both offspring managed to eat, drink and behave beautifully, and the result was a calmer mum who loves book week again.

A bit of fun with the sewing machine and making a pompom on Sunday and I am all ready for Thursday’s parade. I even found nerd glasses for Wally in the junk shop. My offspring are grateful for the time I spent and are kind of surprised how clever I am. We had lots of cuddles Sunday night and watched a movie together as I was too tired to read them a book.

 

 

 

How to Keep Your Shit Together

Do you ever get asked how you do it? These are a few of my tried and true tips which enable me to keep my shit together well enough to survive at times and thrive on the good days.

Washing!

Wash it when there is a load. That’s right, don’t wait until there are 5 loads and then tell the world via social media how you spent all day doing the washing. Take it in turns of  bed days or towell days, probably on a day when you don’t have a big enough load to fill the machine with clothes. Then hang it out using your nut. Hang the clothes in sections of what belongs to whom, then when you bring it in fold that shit straight off the line and into the basket. Walk inside and put it away. Put it away? Yes, you heard me, put it away, you already folded it, no need to dump a huge pile of clothes on a couch or a bed it’s ready to go, just put it there. Next step, go to the next bedroom and do it again. There you go, it’s done.

Housework.

Who made up the rules that you need to spend a whole day, once a week doing housework. Yes it is nice when it is all squeaky clean, but do you seriously have the energy? Just do a bit each day and keep it clean and tidy. Maybe once a month do a big all day clean, but only if you are feeling the need.

Bookwork.

Bills come and they go. Depending on what you do this can be a bit different. If you are a normal household, get yourself a bill folder and have the one that needs to be paid on top, when payday comes, check what has to be paid in that billing period and pay it. Done, not a problem except if the money and the bills don’t match, and this post has naught to do about budgeting. If you run a small home based business spend 10 minutes before you go home (or inside the home) to fill in those pesky journal entries, much more fun that a couple of days at the end of the quarter when the BAS is due.

Shopping.

Make a list. Stick to the list. Read the catalogues and buy your staples if they are really cheap, you don’t need washing powder this week, but you will after you have done those five loads of washing. Allow yourself chocolate as life is too short to not have treats. Don’t take the kids to the supermarket if you can avoid it. If you can’t say no to extras or make them choose a treat according to budget. Never take my husband shopping, he is worse than children, your significant other may be better behaved. Look after the small business, use the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker (OK, I know we don’t need candles every week any more, but I couldn’t help it). My local baker does a loaf of sliced bread and two litres of milk for $5, cheaper than walking through the lolly aisle with the kids to get to the milk at the back of the shop. Buy your mince and sausages in bulk and freeze the extras.

Kids.

This is my biggest failure. My ideas are good, but executing them can be somewhat of a trial because unlike the other things we now have to take into consideration personalities, moods and the position of the moon. My most successful tool is bribery. In the morning. You may play games on your tablet before school and kinder once you have eaten, gotten dressed, your hair is done and teeth are clean. This works most days find your bribe and stick to it. Stay consistent, as soon as you decide you can’t be bothered putting them to bed, so stay up a bit late and watch a movie, those little nutters will cut loose with the most annoying of behaviour making me instantly regret my laziness.

Cooking.

You can go and spend more than I spent on my first car on the most lavish of appliances these days. Personally I love chopping and preparing, it makes my wine taste better, and the love in the food shines on the plate. I love cooking, so I have no advise to those of you who don’t. The slow cooker trend puzzles me somewhat. You still have to prepare it, then leave and appliance on all day, often while at work. Sorry Dudettes and Dudes, this freaks me out as much as leaving the iron on.

Check your emails every two days.

Make sure there are no bills and unsubscribe to all the time wasters you accidentally subscribed to in the first place. Don’t attach your social media to your email, that’s just another way of getting you to log on and waste a few hours reading shit you already knew, like the content of this post.

But the one thing I have had to come to terms with is that I am not a superhero. I like the thought of it. I wish I was one. But I am not. There are days when all this organisation still gets me down. I used to get stressed. Now I just accept that the floor will still be dirty tomorrow when I feel more like doing it (I used to have to do that on Wednesday or my whole world would end), the family will survive on toasted sangas for dinner if I am not feeling the cooking love, there are plenty more clothes in the cupboard, the kids will not die if I don’t….the list is to long for this one. Keep your expectations of yourself real peeps, balance the life and keep your shit together xx

yogaTonight, as I lay on my mat for meditation at the conclusion of class, Jacqui, our instructor, asked us to reflect on the past nine weeks. How we feel, what we have learned and what we have achieved not only this term, but since we began practising yoga.

Tonight, as I lay on my mat, remember how I always thought yoga would be for me. I liked the idea of meditation, of the stretching, of the calm feeling that yoga would bring. But I didn’t take it up until I was over 40, hospitality hours are never good when commiting to activities.

Tonight, as I lay on my mat I realise I have changed.  I reflect, not only back over the past 18 or so months of going to yoga, but the past few years I had a couple of revelations.

Tonight, as I lay on my mat I can say, I don’t smoke. When I first enrolled, I was asked, what is your purpose of doing yoga? I hoped to stop smoking and not kill my children in the process. I am only ten weeks into the not smoking, but I was hypnotised to assist me to stop. I am positive the yoga breathing aided the hypnosis. I used to choke on the incense in class. I had a cough which lasted all winter.

Tonight,as I lay on my mat, I can hear how different my lungs sound (or don’t sound).

Tonight, as I lay on my mat I understand yoga has become a part of my life. I honour my body and my mind.

Tonight, as I lay on my mat, my  children are alive and well, and I am Me.

Namaste.

Top 10 School Holiday Fun

happy swimmersWhat have we actually done with the past two weeks?

I am very lucky to have two easy  to please little people.

These are the top 10 things that make them smile.

  1. staying in their pyjamas all day – my kids love a jarmie day, this is one is best done in winter
  2. baking something yummy to eat – measuring, sifting, stirring, licking the beaters
  3. eating the baking – no explanation required
  4. watching a movie before bed – because it doesn’t matter if you go to bed a bit later than usual
  5. watching a movie in bed – this usually happens because Mum and Dad want to spend some time alone and hope you crash out
  6. turning the entire house into a play centre – because one bedroom  each and a specified play room just isn’t enough
  7. going to work with mum – a treat of a day where biscuits are eaten and lunch is a special treat from the  shop
  8. hanging out with Nan while Mum goes to work – no explanation required
  9. having a family outing – my kids chose to go to an indoor swim centre, good exercise for wearing them out, and cheap for me
  10. coco pops – only allowed in school holidays at our place

It really is the simple things in life that are often the best.