This morning is a classic example of what I imagine school holidays to be like versus the reality. What I had planned to happen this morning was to have an energising run at 6am then go into work (for the first time this week) and settle down with my favourite cup of Melbourne Breakfast tea and spend a few hours writing my blog. After a full week of solo parenting I’d be able to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of doing something for myself in a space set up to do so.

The reality is that Matt went to work at 5am this morning to catch up on urgent work and blew all of my plans up. I no longer had the sanctuary of work to write so I decided to get up at 5am as well and do a 20 minute yoga session instead of running so I could get cracking on writing before the kids were awake. My first downward facing dog at 5.05am had both kids up and arguing about who was the true guardian of ‘Billy the buoy’ - a discarded yellow buoy we found on a walk around Lake Wendouree on Wednesday. 

I had to quickly pivot from yogie to referee as the kids fought over what was essentially rubbish until I managed to get them both back in their corners/bedrooms with a screen in hand so I could at least finish stretching and have a shower before the next round. My 5am start quickly became 6am once I sat down at the computer because I also had to quickly chuck on a load of washing, even though I promised myself that I was going to go straight to the computer to write.

This is the downfall of working from home during school holidays. There are literally 25 things that need doing in our house at any one moment. I believe that ‘washing’ is probably one of my top 5 topics to write about and given that it's winter in Ballarat the washing routine has never been so important. This sadly occupies far more of my day than I’d like to admit but when working from home, it's impossible to ignore. It's also hard to ignore the level of crafting that Alice has been up to this week. I walked into her room yesterday and it looked like a confetti cannon had gone off. There was paper, beads, glitter, buttons and paper clips everywhere.

Alice also said the winning quote of the week which was “It’s okay Mum because I’m running with scissors the right way”. This pretty much sums up what school holidays are like at our house. Best intentions but never really executed as planned. 

The one thing we have got right these holidays is making the most of the winter sun. Monday was miserable and I thought we were doomed but the rest of the week has been bright and I dare say, warm in parts. We’ve walked Lake Wendouree, Le Gerche in Creswick and once I’ve finished this we’re off to Lerderderg near Bacchus Marsh today. 

The juxtaposition between this week and last is extraordinary. Last week I wrote about meeting with MPs and discussing the future of housing in Victoria. This week I’m refereeing seemingly irrational fights over rubbish and while actively encouraging bush bashing. 

Moments like this really highlight the many roles we all play in our own lives. Who we are at home with our families versus who we are in our workplaces. How we behave and interact with our kids, partners, friends, colleagues and check out staff at the supermarket all contribute to the complex system that makes you uniquely you. 

During this week I’ve also been stealing moments in between parenting and work to read Julia Baird’s book ‘Bright Shining’. This fantastic book about grace has been a great antidote to the pressure of school holidays. I learnt this great word ‘Sonder’ which is the realisation that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own. Each person has their own epic story filled with ambitions, friends, routines and worries. In other peoples stories we may only appear as an extra in a queue at the supermarket or as a blur of traffic passing by on the freeway. 

Isn’t this a humbling concept? Not only does it make you instantly have more empathy towards strangers (which we could all do with more of) it also makes me so incredibly grateful and proud to have the roles I do have in other people's lives. To be a friend, sister, mother, daughter, colleague, partner, buddy, acquaintance, mentor, mentee, runner, walker, designer, and even a referee at 5am in the morning are all a privilege. 

While my morning may have veered off the original script, the show must go on!

Video of the week
Embracing Uncertainty with Rogan Jansen from DashDigital® Studio - TDC2024 Sample
Podcast of the week
Armchair Anonymous: Parent-Teacher Conference
Font of the week
Doner: Font of the week by Rajesh Rajput

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