Monday, April 15, 2013

What we did on our holidays

The kids are back to school and kinder today, and we have an even busier week than usual, with husband having work functions on two nights, interstate friends visiting on Wednesday, me attending the Stella Awards on Thursday night and a party catch up with friends at Werribee Mansion on Saturday. This, in addition to the usual rounds (school, kinder, gymnastics, dancing, swimming, guitar, piano), a full working week for hubs, and a reasonable, although not crippling, amount of paid project work booked in for me.

I think we will be OK with this merry whirl, though, because we're fortified with what ended up being a really nice term 1 break. Although hubs only had one week day off work (last Friday), I was able to organise my projects so that I worked hard through Easter but was then work-free from 5pm on the first Tuesday of the hols til the following Monday afternoon, then working at a moderate pace only (3-4 hours a day) for a few days, and off work again Friday-Sunday for the final stretch. This meant I had lots of time to do fun things with the kids, which was great.

We didn't do anything too earth shattering for most of it. The kids had sleepovers at their grandparents, went to a schoolfriend's birthday party, did crafts, played together, watched TV and read books. I took them to see Zambezia at the cinema and we played video games in the arcade. We had pizza delivered and went out for Thai. We rode bikes and scooters and went to the park. They came with me shopping, to the physio and to the library. The big kids went to a CSIRO Double Helix Club science day, while I took the 4 year old to Collingwood Children's Farm for a few hours. We had an Easter egg hunt and went to Easter Sunday church, as it our wont. We had playdates and catch ups with quite a few different friends, which was really nice. We also had one little (2-day, 1-night) trip away, to Ballarat, which I will be posting about tomorrow, but suffice to say that it felt like a lot longer than two days away, in a good way.

The good thing, for me, was that this was the first school holidays where I feel like I was able to properly and effectively balance ongoing work with having the kids here fulltime. I didn't work over the summer hols at all, and I worked far too much (ie fulltime) in week 2 of the July hols, and all of the September hols, last year. Before that, I wasn't working nearly as much or as consistently, so it was less of an issue.

I'm not as booked with work now as I was last September - for which I give heartfelt thanks! - but I do have two projects live, one nearing its final phase but the other just really getting started. Neither project is small, and the potential for another "lost" holiday was there.

What was great about *these* holidays, though, is that I really feel we did not lose them, as time together and as downtime. I had to push it pretty hard over Easter - I did 43 hours in 5 days, and that's with losing most of Good Friday to social things and Easter Sunday morning to egg hunts and services - but the prize for doing so was some very nice quality time with the kids in the week following, and the ability to comfortably integrate the work after that into times when the kids were sleeping, at grandparents, playing together or reading.

I don't know what will happen for me work-wise after the conclusion of one of my current projects in May, when I start to actively source new work; but whatever way it goes, I hope I can manage the term 2 break as effectively as this one.

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