So. Got called in for team meeting yesterday. By one of our au pairs (not the one who is my daughter) and my guy. By two guys basically. Called in for team meeting. Initially I felt mad. And then quite apprehensive. I suspected there was to be some questioning of my parenting. Even though I’m the first to admit I need help, don’t offer me any. It pisses me off.
There was a before school thing with Miss 8 (which involved a lot of writhing and screeching) and once she was all settled down again, we were finally getting shoes on and her shoes had holes in. I remembered these cool shoes I’d got weeks before and put in the cupboard for such a time (when she would need new shoes) and so she got these cute, new pink sneakers before school. After meltdown.
I get it. I get what it looked like. The kids have all be revolting this week. Total reactionary to the stuff kids would react to (changing circumstances, mum’s moving away, being tired, another kid having a meltdown and getting all the attention, another kid being good and getting all the attention, end of term – all that stuff). There’s been so many consequences thrown around you would think they’d get it by now. They haven’t. They actually don’t give two hoots if they don’t get dessert, or tech, or have to go to bed early, or have to spend time in their room playing with all their cool shit on their own. Prior to the new shoe incident, Miss 8 was given an early bedtime as a consequence for the dying spider on the carpet impersonation and yelling at me for not helping her get dressed while she writhed. And then she got new shoes. In the mean-time, we had 3 adults on duty, all of whom are actually completely capable of managing on their own. All getting in each-other’s way (well, mostly me and my guy getting in the way of our au pair).
I go on and on about not doing the stuff that is not your magic. But every now and then I get totally hijacked by an insane desire to clean the kitchen, or chase kids around trying to get them dressed, when I’ve already SUB-CONTRACTED that job. So, Dan (on of our au pairs, my daughter’s boyfriend and one half of the dynamic Splendour Talks duo) called team meeting. Basically to tell us to just fuck off and let them do their job, which is heaps easier when we are either not around, and certainly when we are not talking jobs off them that we are actually paying them to do and they are more than capable of doing.
I call it getting hijacked by the time pirates. See, this morning (after I got a talking to) I spent a lot of time in my leopard print robe, eating my breakfast and talking to the kid in front of me. I did do some hair, and put a few things in the dishwasher, but actually ultimately did my best not to mess with the system we have worked so hard to create. On time pirate mornings, I’m pretty much inside the dishwasher with at least 3 of the children, trying to braid hair while they writhe. And then they go to school and I’m so traumatised I don’t work for an hour, and then it’s lost. An hour of beautiful precious time when I’m meant to be writing. And having magical conversations helping people commit to making their dreams happen.
Once I stopped sulking about team meeting, I decided to show up, and we had a very useful discussion about reward systems and getting the kids on board and fucking off out of the way. More systems. More ways the kids can help us. More fun for the kids and ultimately us.
So, here’s my hot tip of the day. If you have a team of any kind (one parent, two parents, extended family, friends, au pairs etc.) call the team meeting. Bring your highest self to the meeting and get your team on the same page. It’s a never-ending process of changing and tweaking I know, but that’s life right?
We’re still talking about shoes. One of the greatest time pirates of all time.