If you’re a parent, you probably know it.
It happens four times per year.
Most of the time, it lasts two weeks. Once a year, it’s six whole weeks.
There is noise. Chaos, mess, injury, sleeplessness, stress, conflict. There is more complaining and whining than you ever thought was possible from one small group of humans.
Work will not get done. Routines are OUT the window.
Yes, you do know it.
It is the third week of April and, my friends,
I have survived another round of School Holidays.
My work routine didn’t just go out the window, it went flying down the road, across the highway and crash-landed into a sheep farmer’s dam.
But that’s okay, farmers really like routines.
Out of our 6 children, three no longer attend school anyway, and some live with their other parents, so we only had two here for most of the holidays. Who knew two children could take so much time? (I know, everyone with two or more children knew. Sorry.)
I start out at Easter weekend, happily handing out large quantities of chocolate to children dying for a break from the evils of school, and looking forward to some lovely refreshing Quality Time, while I practice my Excellent Parenting Skills and Amazing Time Management.
Two weeks later, there’s not a morsel of Dairy Milk to be found and I’m wishing everyone would just HUSH and FIND SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE TO DO so I can finally get that ONE work task done.
How good is that first day of a new school term? Aaaahhhh…. I could just duck out for some extra chocolate… but maybe I’ll just sit and stare silently at nothing for a sweet while.
Back when I was a young, idealistic, perfect parent (you know the type), I never would have complained about school holidays. I thought parents who complained about school holidays were mean, terrible parents. I have come to learn the error of my idealistic ways, in my old age, now that I’ve actually lived with tweens and teens. It’s hard work. Sorry, kids, it’s true. I love you.
Running a businesss – a voiceover business – a business that requires a fair bit of HUSH and concentration – during school holidays – can be difficult.
(And here I must say, I know many of you are doing this constantly at the moment because of lockdowns and school closures. I feel you! I hope you’re doing okay.)
Here’s how to do it:
Just chill the heck out.
Calm down. Stop worrying. Cool off. Relax. Mellow out. Take it easy. Take a breather. Take ten. Hang loose.
Sorry, got carried away on thesaurus.com.
Like, for real, is the world going to end if there’s too much noise in the house to record for a while? Chances are, later that day they’ll be back in their bedrooms with their faces glued to devices, so she’ll be right.
Will your voiceover clients send you whoopie cushions and fake spiders if you tell them that turnaround time is a few hours longer than usual this week? Not if you’re an amazing businessperson who is always better and faster than expected, anyway. Which I’m sure you are!
Are you going to have your name etched into the Very Bad Voiceover Artist Book if you don’t do any voiceover for a few days while you take children to appointments and playgrounds and Macca’s shifts and driving lessons? I suspect not. Nobody etches anything anymore.
I LOVE my voiceover clients. And if I do say so myself, they love me too. Even when I’m not ridiculously perfect. The best clients are those who are actual humans (I’m pleased to report all my clients are that), who realise that voice actors are actual humans, too. With lives and families and shit happening sometimes.
Okay… to be completely honest, I’m having trouble not beating myself up for the things I didn’t get done in the last couple of weeks. Perhaps writing this article, reminding you to be kind to yourselves, will help me, too. Let’s remember, if we’re managing family lives and businesses and goodness knows what else in our days…. We’re doing okay.
We can etch our own damn names into the Fabulous Voiceover Artist Book.
Before you go! Please comment here for me and tell me I’m not a terrible parent… I mean, wait, no, tell me about YOUR school-holiday survival mechanisms!
Images by @DimaBerlin , @try2benice , @groovinonapps and @pchyburrs via Twenty20
I’m definitely not in the super-parent club. I ask kindly for about a week to stop the noise, especially when the little darlings wake me up while I’m sleeping. When I have reached the end of my tether, I raise my voice. I usually feel bad but suddenly, things start changing. Sometimes I wonder why I just don’t bypass the being kind stage and just don’t go straight to being loud. Hope that makes you feel better.
You are indeed very kind when young monsters keep making noise. ❤️ And just in general, you are very kind to young monsters. 🐕
Well Sumara, here’s the deal…
It’s like that old quote about dads: Anyone can be a mother, but it takes someone special to be a “Mom.”
It sounds to me like you’ve got this Mom thing down.
Now for your next challenge…
Take all your children out of school, and homeschool each and every one. We’ve been doing that with all six of our children for over twenty years! It is not for the faint of heart.
You keep on keepin’ on.
You sound like you’re doing just fine – Mom. 😉
Thanks so much, JD! You’re very kind.
I homeschooled one of my children for one year… she chose to go back to school! I think homeschooling is wonderful. 💜
I am hitherto etching into the comment box of this blog that you are NOT a terrible parent! Know it. I have spoken. With that, allow me to say that I loved this one! I confess to uproariously guffawing at “the evils of school”, “(I’m pleased to report all my clients are that)” and “Nobody etches anything anymore.”
Brilliant! Keep up the great work. You know I recently wrote a blog on this as well, and I feel your School Holiday pain. *insert mockingjay salute here*
Be well – and three cheers for surviving it and emerging stronger! Now, go. Git. Be fabulous somewhere with your Dairy Milk. Oh! And don’t spill water on your 6 children after midnight or they’ll multiply. (I suspect that’s how you got 6 in the first place.) Little boogers.
Thank you Josh! I love that you appreciate my hilarious one-liners. 😁
And I appreciate your etching!
Another great post Sumara! You are not a mean, terrible parent just because you wish your kids weren’t there to bother you. Wait… what?
I can say I am glad I didn’t have to deal with the necessities of voice-over when I was raising my kids!
A few tips: If you run out of milk, there are always those sheep across the road. Also, sitting and staring silently is a great thing to do sometimes but only in moderation. I am still trying to get the strap marks out of my skin from when I escaped from my straight jacket.
PS. Your clients are obviously much nicer than mine. I get real spiders in the mail.
Ahahahaha, thank you Jon – next time the 10yo complains about the milk, I’m sending him out to the sheep paddock!