This week, I consider myself, the luckiest mum in the world. It’s the first week of school holidays, and I was dreading it, as typically, it’s one of the biggest work weeks of the year. My boys are now 12 and 10 years old, so they are fairly self-sufficent when it comes to being able to look after themselves while I’m working, and I worry that they may have episodes of not getting along, annoying each other and just being boys, however this week, they truly excelled themselves.
My ‘day’ job produced my record week of work. In one day, I had to write up 14 properties and inspect 10. I kept my laptop with me, so between appointments I could write up the work, and I managed to write generally 8 properties on the road, ensuring I didn’t have too much work to do at home. But I was away from my boys for 9-10 hours each day. We texted each other every few hours, sometimes a phone call, and I have a lovely new neighbour who checked up on them a couple of times a day for me.
I won’t say it started off rosy. On Monday, after the boys had been to the Royal Melbourne Show with their father the day before and had come home with showbags full of lollies, I came home to a mess of lolly wrappers, dishes in places where they shouldn’t be, lunch that I prepared them still in the fridge and a complete disregard to the fact that this is ‘our home.’ So I cracked it. I’d given them a list of things to do throughout the day, which they had done to their credit, but very early on in the day, and then they made a mess after they had cleaned everything up. BOYS!!!
So I gave them the ultimate threat…. if I came home to this again, especially when I am on the road – getting no toilet breaks for 9-10 hours, eating the handful of snacks I prepared before I left while driving madly between appointments, completely thirsty because if I drink too much water I need to go to the toilet and completely mind-numb with the information overload in my head, then there would be consequences…. I will take their iPads with me to work the next day, and as we recently discovered that the tiles in our apartment actually have white grout (thanks to our new neighbour who scrubbed hers back to white, and no thanks to the endless stream of tenants before us who have never scrubbed ours so we thought the grout was grey), I threatened the boys to hard labour of scrubbing each and every tile till they were white. Hmmm… as you can imagine, they didn’t like the thought of that, so the rest of the week, our home was perfect.
On Tuesday, I came home with a migraine and my boys made dinner (microwave meals, as I knew that I wouldn’t be able to even think of cooking), they gave me neck massages and looked after me.
On Wednesday, after seeing 10 properties (and writing 8 on the road), I had an invite to a girlfriend’s house, and my boys were ok with me leaving them for a couple of hours as long as I brought them home chocolate! And it was nice catching up with some girlfriends with a glass of wine, that actually made me sleep really really well!
On Thursday, with 8 properties to see, I was home by 2pm, wrote up the last few I didn’t manage doing on the road, and I could give myself to my boys for the evening… We went to see Grown Ups 2 at the movies and bumped into some school friends there, which was a real treat.
On Friday, I only had 5 properties to see which were scattered around the morning, so I was able to pop back home a couple of times, and I was finished by 4pm, so we went to the chiropractor to get straightened up, did some shopping for our new holiday house, and came home for a movie night in.
Every day from Tuesday onwards, the house was clean, my boys were either playing nicely together or quietly in their separate rooms when I came home, they had eaten the lunch I prepared for them, put the rubbish in the bin and taken the bins to the road, dishwasher was stacked or turned on and cleaned, clothes that were washed were folded and put away, and even when I was home, they put the extra care into putting things away when they had finished with them. It was like a ‘thunderbolt’ of understanding had transformed to actually ‘doing.’ I am super proud of my boys for working as a team.
And the best thing ever, is that I come home to the most beautiful smiles, positive attitudes and loving boys. They always ask me how my day is, if I want something, and ask me nicely if they want something. It was a big week in so many ways, but fulfilling, successful and most of all, full of love.