School Holiday Survival

Yesterday I had a text conversation with one of my friends who was having a moan about her sons flicking their bitten off fingernails everywhere and how she’s threatening to fire the cleaner so they have to do the cleaning themselves if they continue to do it. She said she finds them everywhere throughout the house.

Meanwhile I fed my kids a lamington each for lunch.

Therefore I think it’s safe to say there are Mums pulling their hair out all over the country as we enter week two hundred of the school holidays.

I really love school holidays. Honestly, I do. They are chaotic and messy and I shout a lot but I love having the kids home and holidays are far more favourable than term time where I sometimes drive my car out of the driveway 20 times in a day, make packed lunches all night long and battle with homework and assignments and ten million after school activities. Term time with four kids is just really hard. How anyone with more than 4 does it I have no idea.

Because the kids are obviously home with me all day, even when we were away for christmas I’ve had my alarm set to somewhere between 4am-5am every day so I can get to the gym or run before they get up. So by 8am I it feels like lunchtime and by 5pm I am ready to check myself into the local nut house. I know most people say they don’t have enough hours in the day but at the moment I feel like there are too many.

I’ve already run out of activity ideas for them this holidays. I have spent a small fortune taking them places and entertaining them, so the rest of the school holidays we are going to swim in the pool, catch up with friends at home and nothing else. I am done.

When I start to feel guilty about that I try to remember that most people who are reading this, including myself, never did half the stuff we do with our kids when we were their ages. It’s actually quite ridiculous. When did we all start thinking we need to take our kids out and spend money all the time to entertain them?

Remember catching tadpoles as a kid when you were bored? My kids don’t even know what they are. Remember when you’d say “I’m bored” to your Mum and she’d say “go outside and play with your friends” So you did? Now we say “Go and play on your iPad, I’ll buy you a new game”. Or you go out somewhere. Makes you wonder what the next generation will suggest when their kids are bored. “Oh that’s a shame, why don’t we hop in the Apple iRocket and zoom to the Maldives for the afternoon”. 

On rainy days I start to panic a bit and look for things we can do or places we can go, when really all I’m probably teaching my kids is that when it rains we need to go out and spend money at the movies, or going bowling to avoid being bored. It’s actually really stupid.

Plus I hate bowling.

As I sit here typing this I’m watching my two youngest kids pushing a skateboard to each other, forward and back and I reckon they are having just as much fun as when I battled the crowds and took all four of them into the city and up Sydney Tower last week, which including lunch I didn’t get much change out of $200.


Towards the end of the school holidays our eating also starts to deteriorate. I’m sick of dragging all four kids around the supermarket so we’re surviving on the basics. I pretty much only eat steak, chicken, vegetables and eggs so there’s no interest from me in cooking delicious gourmet meals and my kids don’t really care what they have for dinner anyway. But it’s mainly because I just cannot be arsed to cook.

Plus after all the indulging everyone does during the christmas period, I’m done with tedious food prep.

So there has been one saving grace this holidays. A product so simple and forgotten that I think I might dedicate this whole blog post to them because, well, quite frankly they’ve saved my bacon recently.

The fish finger. The mighty fish finger.

The forgotten food. The one food in my house that every child eats (if you count Charlie stripping the fish finger, discarding the fish and only eating the breadcrumbs)

Fish fingers, rice and broccoli. Standard fare at Chez Marmalade if you are aged 12 or under.

At least they’re getting their Omega 3.

How are you surviving?



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