Summer is here! Here’s the crappy jobs I get to do while the kids play outside
This post was written by Rebel from Rebel Without A Pause.
It has been republished here with her permission.
The smells of summer plunge me right back into childhood.
Hot asphalt, jasmine, cut grass, chlorine … BAM! There I am playing handball on the road, and cricket in the neighbour’s yard. We were barely inside. To be fair, mum didn’t really want us inside – she was a night-shifter, our noise was much better for her when it was bothering the neighbours instead of her sleep.
Still, those aromas stir up the feelings of joy, freedom and summer happiness that come from growing up in Australia.
Is that the sniff of a BBQ in the air? Must be summer.
Sunblock? Yep, summer’s here.
Mangoes, peaches, plums, cherries? SUMMER BABY!
There’s a new thing that excites me as the weather warms up …
While the first sniff of frangipani used to have me imagining a lazy day at the beach, times have changed a little. Sure, we still spend days at the beach, but lazy wouldn’t be the exact word I’d associate with it these days. All of the stuff, all of the sand, all of the places … you know what I mean, right?
This year those sniffs of summer have plunged me into a place I never thought I’d find myself – and that is, excited about housework! Can you even?
You see, this summer we have taken steps to get the kids playing outside a little more.
“Go and play outside,” I urge.
“But there’s nothing to doooooo,” they whine.
YES THERE IS! There’s tonnes to do outside. And of course, there’ll be even more to do outside once we put our My Cubby up. Have I mentioned I am excited about that? I think I have, right? *chants “it’s for the kids, it’s for the kids, it’s for the kids, it’s for the kids … “*
The result of all the current ‘insideing’ is that I constantly have a jumble of children under my feet. And with this jumble of children never further than a metre or so from my ankles, the list of craptacular jobs around the house mounts up, undone, while I tend to the entertainment needs of my kids who would be having way more fun, parent-free OUTSIDE!
Damn it! I’m not sure how this happened, my kids must be the only ones in the world who didn’t get that memo. Parent-free = fun-times, kids. Get amongst it.
But I hold out hope. I hold out hope that the investment in this cubby is going to be the thing that gets the kids excited about the yard.
And when they’re outside, enjoying our Aussie summer … I’ll be inside, getting shit done.
My get-shit-done hit list
While before-children Rebel would have loved nothing more than to get outside and bask in the glorious rays of summer sunshine, after-children Rebel knows that this is an ideal opportunity to do some crossing-off of tasks that have been staring at me, begging for attention for the best part of the year.
Here’s some stuff I need to get done:
- Print photos If Facebook ever dies I have will have no photographic evidence of the existence of my last two children. Kid #1 and even kid #2 were born in an era where I either dropped off a film for development, or had time to sit in a print kiosk and edit them myself. These days? Not so much. Aside from one hospital print and two Santa photos, there is no printed images of Duke in existence. There’ll be no nostalgic flicking through albums for the youngest two unless I pull my finger out and get busy.
- Christmas cards I love sending and receiving Christmas cards, particularly to family overseas. Although the last couple of years, I have felt a twinge of guilt as I open the letterbox and see the beautiful cards and heartfelt messages from my fellow card-givers. No cheap multi-packs and hastily scribbled notes from them, that’s just me. Well, not this year.
- Me vs Weetbix The time for the battle has come. There is only so long that a quick wipe-over will hold the force of dried Weetbix at bay. They’ve been gathering strength, accruing troupes in the crevices of furniture, in the buckles of the high-chair, down the legs of the dining table. I’m calling in the big-guns, the combination of determined mum, scrubbing brush, sharp object and spare time will blast those cement-like piles into submission.
- I’m tackling the linen cupboard Well, it’s not really a linen cupboard, it’s the space under the stairs that is full of baskets of sheets and towels. Andy’s been promising to put shelves up in there for more than two years *crickets*. Every few months those baskets makes sense – beach towels here, kid sheets there, spare blankets over here, guest towels there … that usually last about a week before the kids begin hauling shit out to make forts, or the teenager puts the washing away. Her technique seems to be ‘open door, hurl in linen, close door’. Right now it looks like rats have made a nest in there, and if you need a beach towel you better get digging.
- The wardrobe rotation Kids growth is relentless. What might have been a suitable drawer full of clothes last week, can look like they’re wearing dolls clothes the next week. I’m the only person that realises this, of course. My husband has never once done the ‘wardrobe shuffle’ in his life. Here’s what the wardrobe shuffle looks like:
– Pull out all clothes and pyjamas and begin assessment
– Items that are still functional put back in drawers
– Items that are no longer functional, but can be passed to another sibling or cousin put into labelled tubs
– Items that can go to charity are bagged
– Items that will not see it through another child’s clothes torture are turned to rags
– Previous labelled tubs assessed to see if there is anything useful yet
– Make shopping list of the (hopefully few) things that child desperately needs
– Repeat x 3
– Do this every few months or so. Ugh.
- Deal with yo business, lady All of the school notes, all of the bills, all of the appointments that need to be made, all of the phone calls that need to be returned, all of the reminders on the fridge of important stuff that you never get around to. DO IT, REBEL. There is no PA turning up any time soon to sort this shit out. Do it.
- Sorting out my recipe folder Do you have one of these? Part notebook full of scribbles, part jumble of printed recipes, and part magazine pages pulled from their mother so that I can never organise them and they can become covered with food splatters? The time has come … I have a ring binder, this is happening.
- Putting up pictures When I was a renter, I longed for the chance to put hooks in the wall anywhere I wanted. I spent a tonne on 3M hooks so I could turn those rentals into a home with all of the pictures and treasures I had accrued along life’s way. When we purchased this house two years ago that was the first thing I was excited about … WE CAN DO WHATEVER WE WANT! Except we haven’t. Two years in and not one of those pictures is up. What the?
- Bye bye toys! It’s the great circle of life. The reason we are buying the amazing cubby to get them outside is because we are choosing not to bring a truckload of stuff into the house at Christmas. And that was inspired by the amount of crap already in our house. So, while the kids are outside playing in the cubby that was motivated by crap, I will be inside … culling the shit outta that crap. Winning!
Look, at the end of the day, none of those tasks will win out over me watching a fashion show, or listening to a six-year-old lecture on dinosaur migration. They just won’t, which is why they are currently not done. However, I have high hopes for this summer. The time for kid-fun and mum-efficiency has come!