In my mind, I’m calling this week the iceberg week – you know, the type of week that you know is going to be huge, but then when you’re in it, you realise that what you thought was huge was only the tip of the iceberg – everything is bigger than what I thought it was going to be.
This week, I was put in charge of the school magazine, which has been puttering along for the last couple of terms, with the children writing articles and so on. Of course, I don’t mind – this kind of work is right up my alley – so I spend Monday figuring out how I’m going to do it, finding a template for it and writing lists of things that need to be finished. I spend hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday interviewing children about all their favourite things and what they’ve enjoyed about their year, searching through thousands of photos and typing up their stories and poems. I also spend these days trying to fight off a rising feeling of overwhelm about how much needs to be done 🙂
I work every day this week except one – Thursday – which I have put aside to do my Christmas shopping. Which I haven’t started yet. I have a list all written out though, and I begin the day with a similar kind of feeling that the rest of the week has held: a feeling of hopefulness and gladness that I get to do fun things, with an undercurrent of OMG there is so much to do and so little time to do it in! It’s an hour plus drive to the nearest large town where all the presents live – I leave at 7:15am and get back home at 5:30pm – with everything I wanted. It was one of those blessed days where every shop had what I wanted at the right price, complete with friendly service and helpful people. Joy 🙂
I arrive home exhausted, to find that the Bear has dinner bubbling away on the stove and a cold cider waiting in the fridge. He spoils it a little by telling me that I always worry too much about Christmas, and if he did it, it would still get done, but with a minimum of fuss (or effort, or presents, or food). I restrain an overwhelming urge to jump on top of him and pummel him, and instead drink my cider 🙂
I’m taking a little time out to write this – because folks, we know that the show must go on. Plus, it’s good for my mental health to write 🙂 Let us begin, shall we?
Best Short Read
This excerpt is from an article written by Amy Murray, a director for early childhood education in Canada and blogger from miss night’s marbles. This is a beautiful, heartfelt open letter to parents who are worried about THAT child who has behavioural issues – and also to the parent of THAT child. It is very much worth clicking over to read the article in its entirety, but here is an excerpt:
I know. You’re worried. Every day, your child comes home with a story about THAT kid. The one who is always hitting shoving pinching scratching maybe even biting other children. The one who always has to hold my hand in the hallway. The one who has a special spot at the carpet, and sometimes sits on a chair rather than the floor. The one who had to leave the block centre because blocks are not for throwing. The one who climbed over the playground fence right exactly as I was telling her to stop. The one who poured his neighbour’s milk onto the floor in a fit of anger. On purpose. While I was watching. And then, when I asked him to clean it up, emptied the ENTIRE paper towel dispenser. On purpose. While I was watching. The one who dropped the REAL ACTUAL F-word in gym class.
I know, and I am worried, too.
You see, I worry all the time. About ALL of them. I worry about your child’s pencil grip, and another child’s letter sounds, and that little tiny one’s shyness, and that other one’s chronically empty lunchbox. I worry that Gavin’s coat is not warm enough, and that Talitha’s dad yells at her for printing the letter B backwards. Most of my car rides and showers are consumed with the worrying…read the rest of the article here.
The Wife Drought by Annabel Crabb
I loved this book. You will too. The end.
Seriously, if you are a parent in a modern industrialised country like Australia, the US or Britain, then this book is a must read. Annabel explains to us that we have been viewing the domestic sphere and the work sphere as two separate areas (because they are if you’re a man). If you want to really understand what’s going on in the world of work, then you must look at both spheres side by side, because if you’re a woman, the domestic influences your work and your work influences your domestic life, so much. Men? Not so much. Well researched, easy to read, fascinating and educational and not at all a man hating rant, because men are as trapped as women in their gender roles set for us by our society. Perfect!
‘I need a wife’
It’s a common joke among women juggling work and family. But it’s not actually a joke. Having a spouse who takes care of things at home is a Godsend on the domestic front. It’s a potent economic asset on the work front. And it’s an advantage enjoyed – even in our modern society – by vastly more men than women.
Working women are in an advanced, sustained, and chronically under-reported state of wife drought, and there is no sign of rain.
But why is the work-and-family debate always about women? Why don’t men get the same flexibility that women do? In our fixation on the barriers that face women on the way into the workplace, do we forget about the barriers that – for men – still block the exits?
The Wife Drought is about women, men, family and work. Written in Annabel Crabb’s inimitable style, it’s full of candid and funny stories from the author’s work in and around politics and the media, historical nuggets about the role of ‘The Wife’ in Australia, and intriguing research about the attitudes that pulse beneath the surface of egalitarian Australia.
Crabb’s call is for a ceasefire in the gender wars. Rather than a shout of rage, The Wife Drought is the thoughtful, engaging catalyst for a conversation that’s long overdue.
Watch Listen 🙂
OMG Paolo Nutini. Be still my beating heart 😉 Yes, he does appear to be smoking a cigarette, but I don’t care, and neither will you :). This is a single from this year’s album, Caustic Love. It’s awesome.
This is so important, my friends. These days I only do things that correspond with my core values and purpose…anything else just feels wrong. You know?
That’s all from me this week my friends – the finish line is near (school ends next Wednesday here for the summer) and I’m looking forward to so many things – catching up on blogs, reading novels, writing, bike riding with the kids, swimming, going to the movies, an early morning beachy Summer Solstice, visiting my brother and his family on the Gold Coast, Christmas (of course) and maybe even a New Years Eve party…what are you looking forward to?