I have spent much of the past two weeks thinking about pressure, perceived and real, and the impact that has on me and the people that I love. I guess the thing I am finding more and more evident is how grossly under-prepared I was for the juggling act of working full-time and having a school age child. It seems my life has become more and more complex in the last 12 years. Back in early ’07 I was living the single life, maintaining a pretty healthy looking body, heading out for wine time on the weekend and basically doing as I pleased with my time. Then I met Mr B Badger and began to share my time with him, we got married, bought a dog, bought a house and did couples stuff – which meant lot’s of trips to Bunnings on the weekend and wine time at home, a mortgage is a great way to stifle a good social life. Anyhoo 2012 saw us welcome Little Boss into our lives and we dropped to one income….fast forward to 2017 and I return to full time work but Little Boss is in Prep and only two days a week so woopity do, not much to organise there. Last year Kindy was ok…little bit of home work, swimming carnival, athletics carnival, assemblies and the like but overall fairly manageable. It’s safe to say that Year 1 has officially slapped my face and told me to wake up to myself. This Term is only nine weeks long and there are seven extra items on my Calendar for School….one is a Circus themed Disco and the other one is Book Week so I will have to whip out the Elna and come up with a snazzy outfit or two for those, Mothers Day Stall, Grandparents Day, Athletics Carnival, Class Assembly, Math’s Challenge and Parent Teacher Interviews….add to that Swimming Lessons, Soccer Training, Home Readers and Home Work, remembering what Uniform is on what day and what the transport arrangements are to and from school. And we don’t do half of what some do in the extra-curricular area….so after I send Little Boss off to school with a super awesome lunch box that will come home mostly untouched, I head off to work. Which is where I leave the best of me – cause they pay me – and then I bring home the tired, grumpy short tempered me who just wants to go and lift heavy things at the gym but after cooking dinner and getting Little Boss to bed all I can muster is a bit of GoT and date with my pillow.
I am going to have to change it up and get a new routine cause this is a cycle that will continue for the next 11 years….if I keep going at my current pace for that long my nervous system is going to look like a pin-ball that keeps hitting all the bumpers.
I take comfort in the fact that I am not alone and I am also grateful that we are able to provide Little Boss with this epic childhood filled with rich and colourful experiences. I am also super thankful for my friends that get to enjoy my animated and colourful language as we each discuss our shared frustrations on our parenting journey. While I am #grateful and #thankful I am also, at times, overwhelmed and too exhausted – mentally and physically – to phone a friend so then I start to beat myself up for not staying in touch with friends and family. It’s a hectic life that we all need to dial back a notch. Maybe the school could jam their homework and ask that kids help prepare dinner instead to learn about food, or write a letter to a person at their local nursing home to practise their writing….actual real tasks that encourage learning rather than columns of words and numbers on a page. Just a thought…anyhoo this has been the best time, just sitting here and typing away, getting these thoughts out of my head. Not my best post but necessary. If anyone reads this anymore, thank you, I appreciate you sticking in there even though my posts are about as regular as my menstrual cycle.
When will it end? Almost six years ago Little Boss entered our lives, in record time and not to the sound of David Bowie or Talking Heads as I had requested. Hey, I figured if I am not truly participating in the birth of my child I may as well enjoy some tunes – turned out that while Willy Wonka (my obstetrician for those that are new) and I shared the same number of years on the planet we did not share the same taste in tunes….anyhoo, I digress. So lives were changed and we have grown fond of each other over the last six years. Back in those early days – when Little Boss first started eating food as opposed to drinking it – I did everything I could to give her a balanced diet. A healthy mix of lean protein, good fats, whole grains and a rainbow of vegetables. I was nailing this mothering gig. Well I was nailing the food prep part – the consumption of my awesome food prep was not going so well as Little Boss would only eat orange food back then. Carrots, sweet potato and pumpkin were her top three. So I made sure she got the other stuff thrown in…..as long as it was all orange she didn’t care. That was when back before she got a mind of her own. Fast forward to 2018. Seriously I could make five different meals per meal time and they would all end up being rejected for a banana and honey sandwich or ‘just bread’….her diet has gone from orange to white. White bread, plain pasta, potato and occasionally chicken. I want to be able to say that Little Boss eats what we eat and loves it….but that is total bullshit. I try to put her up a plate of whatever we are eating and if it falls in line with her current dietary fad she will give it a crack. Otherwise she will return it to the kitchen and hold out for a butter sandwich. Old schoolers will say that if she is truly hungry she will eat whatever we put in front of her but I say – really? The reality is that if you feel like something so bad you will hold out until you get it – I know this to be true as I drunk texted Mr Badger last night (he was across the hotel room from me but we were trying to get Little Boss to sleep) asking him to get me Maccas and my last text said ‘seriously not joking…..go or die’ Actually glad he didn’t go cause auto-correct had me asking for Bug Macs…..
Anyways so it looks like we will be on this white bread, plain pasta, Hawaiian Pizza diet for a while longer. I am sooooo bored with being the sandwich lady though. I long for the day that she asked for a stir fry or a salad or even a vegetable other than carrot, corn or potato….it’s probably all my fault in the end. For six of the nine months I knew I was pregnant I think I ate mostly cobs of corn with butter and salt, toast with Vegemite and Fantales….take that developing foetus oh and here’s a few long blacks with hazelnut syrup to get you bouncing.
Thanks team – I think that through writing this post I have figured out that my frustrations with my child’s eating habits are my own fault…maybe I can blame it on those first 3 months where I had no idea I was with child….anyhoo I am off to prepare the culinary delight known as ‘cheese sandwich’ for tomorrows school lunch – you don’t get that in a cook book these days…..
Have a top week.
Last week Little Boss started school. I naively thought that raising a child and being a stay at home mum would make the sands of time slip a little slower through the hourglass…man was I wrong. These have easily been the fastest five of my 45 years.
So we have the uniform ready to go, the bag packed and everything labelled. All I have left to do is get her ready and pack her lunch…how hard can it be?
We have one of those fancy Bento style lunch boxes that has multiple little areas for food and it looks super cool so I set about filling up those little areas with a wrap, carrot sticks raspberries, cheese, chicken and grapes. I don’t have an ice brick to keep it all cool but I did freeze a yogurt pouch so that should do the trick. I am winning at parenting. Off she goes. No tears, from either of us. Fast forward to pick up and I say “what did you get up to today?” and her first response above anything else is “my yogurt exploded in my lunch bag and it went EVERYWHERE!” I said that was no good and that we would get her an ice brick for next week so it didn’t happen again. The next comment about the day was “the teacher told me that I had to keep some of my fruit so I had something to eat at fruit break” Now the theory behind the Bento Box is small portions that provide variety and it turns out that this is not suitable for Prep. I feel just a teensy bit shit that the top of mind memories from my childs first day at school were about my rookie lunchbox fails. Not only did I fail at lunchboxing but I also didn’t put a braid in her hair OR a ribbon which was very disappointing for her. To be fair I am still waiting for her hair to thicken up and one hit of static has her looking like a dandelion seed so braids are just not going to happen.
This week I feel as though I have redeemed myself – the exploding yogurt and the subsequent smell are still fresh in my nose – we have a new lunch box and an ice brick. Today lunch is a sandwich, grapes, strawberries, popcorn and crackers. There is a plait in her hair and a ribbon that I don’t expect to see this afternoon. I congratulate myself even more by turning up early….which I will never do again. When I got home I was having a look at Facebook and as if by magic a post appeared about school lunch boxes. Some parent in South Australia has been put on notice for sending chocolate cake to school with their child…shut the front gate. As I read through the comments I spotted one that made me laugh out loud…one parent got a note home saying that a Vegemite sandwich was not a green light food as Vegemite contains too much salt. While I don’t expect to see a note in Little Boss’ lunch bag, if I did I am pretty sure I would not be outraged enough to post it on facebook. To be honest I know Vegemite is salty and not the best choice and I would love to be able to load up my kids lunch box with awesome healthy options BUT I have always believed that fed is best and if the only thing she will eat is a plain wrap with no filling or a Vegemite sanga then that’s what will be in her bag. These are things my parents never had to concern themselves with….I got Vegemite on white and it got squashed in my bag and I ate it alongside my pals who had either Vegemite or Peanut Butter or, if they were really fancy, Devon and tomato sauce.
Hopefully today I get to hear about some friendships made, some books read and games played…the stars have aligned in the lunch and grooming galaxy so here’s hoping the rest of the days go well.