How I fell in love with my iron (a true story)
I BROKE up with my iron a long time ago.
It wasn't her, it was me. Well, it was a little bit her.
It was a pretty gradual break-up. I didn't just wake up one day and declare that I was never going to iron anything again.
But I just got to the point where I really didn't see that ironing my clothes was that important.
They were only going to get crumpled again, covered in paint or play dough, boogers or vomit.
And so, except for special occasions, I stopped.
I did consider that perhaps I had taken the no-ironing thing a bit too far when I asked the Boy to get something off the ironing board and he didn't know what that was.
Oh, the keyboard stand, he said.
Yep, my ironing board had become home to a small electronic piano and was no longer recognised as its former self.
I did think that maybe this gave me a few Bad Mother points, but didn't really pay much attention.
Ain't nobody got time for ironing.
This came up at a mums' morning tea the other week. I was not alone in the non-ironing camp, but one friend said she ironed every single day.
Befitting my slovenliness, I was shocked.
But it did get me thinking, so I set myself a little personal challenge. I was going to iron the kids' school uniforms for a week. Nothing major. Nothing life-changing.
Just ironing 10 school uniforms over the course of a week.
I bought a spiffy new ironing board cover and apologised to inanimate objects for my years of neglect.
And on Monday morning, instead of faffing about online reading celebrity gossip, I ironed.
I immediately remembered why I used to like to iron, once upon a time. Maybe I was high on Fabulon, but it's quite a meditative exercise.
And I started to notice little things that I'd missed by just yanking clothes off the line and hanging them straight in the wardrobe.
Or maybe leaving them in the basket until they got worn. Maybe.
Nothing major. Nothing life-changing. Just a lost button here, a dropped hem there.
It made me wonder though, and again this could be the Fabulon talking, what else am I missing?
What am I missing by being too busy to do the small stuff, the basic stuff?
Life with kids is busy, but a lot of the busyness is just noise, it's stuff I create for myself.
The house doesn't need to look like a display home every second of the day.
The kids don't need to do a different after-school activity every day.
I don't really need to know what twerking is.
So I've set myself a new challenge. Back to basics. Get rid of some of the noise, some of the stuff. Take a break from the "but I have to's". Declutter not just our home but our life.
Turns out ironing can be both major and life-changing.
Sometimes dads deserve a few points too
I HAVE been known to remark that I have five children - four I gave birth to and one I married.
And it is true that between his bush mechanics, his motorbike, pushbike, other pushbike, reptile collection, undies on the floor and uncanny ability to not die in Halo when I need him to help me with something, Modern Dad drives me fairly to distraction.
He's a cranky bugger when he wants to be.
But the way he loves his kids is unparalleled.
His dad journey has not been smooth, navigating the road of a sick child.
It's not an easy thing for a man to contemplate losing his son, especially before they've even had to opportunity to go Boys Own Adventuring.
Especially when he still feels the loss of his own dad 13 years ago so keenly.
One of the perks of writing this column is that I get to publicly acknowledge my husband and always have proof that I did.
I know people say marriage shouldn't be about scoring points, but they're just the people with fewer points.
So Happy Father's Day to all the Ipswich dads, but especially Modern Dad - Best Dad Ever.
We love you heaps. Have a great day, dads.