Posts Tagged ‘family matters’
Today is Wednesday, which means tonight you’re probably serving the family risotto.
It’s a great mid-week option. Tomorrow you’ll probably do a stir-fry, or maybe some Mexican, before the day I like to call ‘Forget about it Friday’. As in forget about cooking, shall we get pizza?
New research reveals we mums and dads are horribly boring when it comes to cooking for the family.
It’s not a case of what’s in the fridge … our meal choices are dictated by what day it is.
Mondays and Tuesdays are chicken and pasta days. Saturdays are the day we go all Maggie Beer and serve a special meal – pork belly is popular at the moment (thanks Masterchef).
Sunday is the day we channel Nigella and do some baking … apparently.
I read this research, conducted online at www.taste.com.au , and thought two things.
‘Thank God I’m not the only mum stuck in a dinner rut’ and ‘What, your children actually eat pork belly? Get out of here!’
The research went on to say that most people have between eight and 15 recipes in their repertoire. I have counted mine and if you’re willing to classify eggs and soldiers and baked bean and avocado sandwiches as dinner items then I can just scrape in at 10.
Having children has been shocking in many ways but the biggest shock for me was the realisation that there were now two extra people relying on me to cook a decent meal … every bloody night.
So you’ve been driving a car for 15 years. You can reverse park with just one hand on the steering wheel and you’ve still got your no claim bonus.
Big deal. Try driving with children in the back and then come talk to me.
I reckon all driving tests should be conducted with two screaming kids in the backseat because if you can avoid crashing under those circumstances you’ll be fine in most motoring situations.
Cars and kids … where shall I start?
Kids have no appreciation for how hard it is to drive in traffic.
Picture this. You are concentrating hard as you prepare to merge at speed onto the busy Pacific Highway, when suddenly from the backseat you hear: ‘Mum, he hit me, MUMMMMMMM he’s hitting me, help me MUMMMMEEEEEEE.’
Weaker women would have a bingle right there, but we mums must block out the noise pollution and focus on Not. Crashing. The. Car.
I wrote this a few weeks ago for the Gold Coast Bulletin. I thank my husband for the inspiration. Sleeping on the job … it’s a sackable offence isn’t it?
Intruders had ransacked my living room.
I’d only been gone 90 minutes and it was a disaster zone.
Lego EVERYWHERE. Clothes and shoes had been thrown around the lounge room. Blankets too.
What were they looking for? My secret stash of gin? My book of ‘Five minute dinner recipes your child will actually eat’? Those nude modelling pics I had taken years ago?
It looked like a flash cyclone had gone through the joint.
I repeated my mantra: deep breaths. Calm, two, three, four.
I heard noise and realised I was not alone. In the corner of the room were two, near-naked boys. Wrestling.
About two-metres away was their father – aka the babysitter, aka my husband. Snoring.
Daddy Daycare at its best.
Please tell me I’m not the only mum who reads her childcare bill and has a brain explosion? I’ve been doing this childcare caper for six years now and I’m still no clearer. I wrote about my confusion for the Family Matters Page, which appears every Wednesday in the Gold Coast Bulletin. This is what I wrote.
I’ve just opened my quarterly child care rebate statement and the people at the government say I’m owed some money.
Who am I to argue with that?
And you know what, after seven years of exposure to this system, I’d be completely unable to argue even if I wanted to.
Please tell me I’m not the only mummy who finds the Australian child care benefits system near impossible to understand?
They couldn’t have made it any more confusing if they had tried … could they?
First you have to establish, is your child at approved care or registered care? Then you have to guestimate your income … when you’re married to a farmer – as I am – this is a very, very difficult thing to do.
Then you have to complete reams of government paperwork … do you plan to work, will you study, do you speak English. Yes, no, yes.
Once you’ve completed stage one and your child has started at your chosen centre (assuming there wasn’t a year-long waiting list), you can wait expectantly for the first childcare bill.
I’ll give a $100 to the first mum who proves she actually understands her bill.
CCB, JFA, CCR, Gap Fee … oh boy my eyes glaze over. My brain shuts down.
To further complicate matters our centre has a weird system which tells parents what they owe in the negative.
Currently I’m out -$300. Or maybe they owe me $300. Who would know?
Each time I receive a bill I have to ask the lovely centre manager if she’d mind just explaining it (again).
She assures me I’m not the only parent who is confused by the system.
But if you’ve conquered the childcare bills don’t relax yet … there’s still the quarterly Child Care payments to digest.
There we were, seated around the dinner table – a textbook picture of a content, happy family.
Then he dropped the bomb … the f-bomb.
Our youngest was nattering away to himself, Spiderman this, Ironman that, Bionicle this, Dinosaur that when … in between mouthfuls and to no one in particular … he said: ‘It’s F*&^ing.’
We were in shock. His brother laughed. His father and I were dumbstruck.
What to do, what to do? Quick what did the parenting guidebook say about this. React, don’t react? Which is it?
The clock is ticking away and we must decide what action to take – right or wrong we must make a decision.
Mr Bean made the first move.
The foul-mouthed four-year-old was sent to his room without dinner.
He howled, he hammered the door, he pleaded … ‘I’m missing all the fun, let me come and join the fun.’
We were tempted but remained strong in our fight with this tough adversary.
Who knew parenting could be so challenging?