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Hartsyard's Blog


By January 29, 2017 2 Comments

Q starts year one tomorrow and I have to say, thank the Good Lord of Education because it may have taken 6 weeks, but on Saturday I finally cracked. All day long the girls did one dumb thing after another which caused me to threaten to take away every single thing they have ever or will ever own and ended in me making them pay for bananas they’d ruined by leaving them out in the sun. They got out their money boxes (filled with money from Gregory’s pockets that they find under the couch cushions when he falls asleep there after service) and counted out $2. That’s right. I charged a 6 year old and a 3 year old $2 each for two bananas. 

The only one behaving with any decency was Kit, our 12 week old son, and all he does is poo.

While I was busy regressing 35 years, I was also trying to finish a newsletter, work out our 2017 strategy and research marketing and PR companies, because for the first time in Hartsyard’s history, we’re considering outsourcing that department as, (I think you’ll agree) I’ve got my hands full.

And also because I did a Degree in Musical Theatre, not Marketing, PR, HR, Business, Management, Hospitality, Finance, Accounting or any other subject that might have been remotely more helpful for running a restaurant and a bar than time-steps and 4-part harmonies.

(Me as the dancing plate in a production of Beauty And The Beast in USA).

This owning-your-own-business-while-trying-to-parent-malarkey takes some getting used to, even 5 years in, and every day I’m made uncomfortably aware of how rife with both pros and cons the situation is.

For example…

Since we own absolutely nothing, we weren’t able to secure a bank loan, so we opened Hartsyard and The Gretz with loans from family and friends. This means two things. 1 – we have incredible people in our lives who are generous, kind, trusting and risk-takers and 2 – since they were loans and not investments, Gregory and I answer only to each other.

The pro to this is that when I have a day where I charge my own kids for food and once they’re finally abed I spend the rest of the evening opening the freezer over and over and over again hoping a tub of ice cream will miraculously appear inside it and do absolutely no work whatsoever, Gregory gets home from service and doesn’t say anything more than; ‘i’m sorry, i’ll bring you home a softie tomorrow night I promise.’

The negative to working from home is that we rent and our house has no air con. The back of our house is like a fishbowl, which is beautiful when you’re lying on the couch with a glass of prosecco, looking out at the beautiful Eucalpyt…that the council is set to cut down this week, but in these 40 degree days it is PUNISHING. And with the heat not abating in the evening, I’ve been sitting here sweating more than Nadal did in his match against Dimitrov.

I’ve promised Edie that we can leave a cracked egg on a saucer on the kitchen bench tomorrow as an experiment to see how it fairs in the heat.

I also consider it an own-your-own-business-con that the girls already have an extensive list of swear words at their disposal thanks to the many times they’ve heard their father unload about one matter or another in front of them.

My sister-in-law tried to reframe this positively by telling me our children won’t grow up intimidated by risk or business because they’ll have heard it swimming around them their whole life.

True, maybe, but you’re not winning any points with the oldies when your 3 year old says; ‘for fucks sake’ in a clearly audible voice when you refuse to give her an Arrowroot biscuit on the bus.

Setting your own schedule so you can volunteer for Literacy Groups in your daughter’s class – Pro.

Answering frantic calls from Gregory at 615pm when service has started for him and it’s all starting to fall apart for you – Con.

Getting invited to fun industry events with fun industry folk – Pro.

Being a hospitality widow and going to most weekend events on your own because your husband is at work – Con.

Renovations and fix-ups that have to happen outside of opening hours – Con

Garnering a whole new group of friends through regulars and locals – Pro. Huge pro.

Never having had one, I’ve always been intrigued by office jobs. The lure of free access to the stationary cupboard. Heels, A-line skirts, elevators, important meetings, morning tea and a gossip by the water fountain have always held a secret appeal. But unless we sell up shop and I go back to uni, this is an environment I am unlikely to ever enjoy – Con.

Instead however, I can head to the local cafe with my laptop and headphones, dressed in comfy clothes and order what I like – Pro.

Pro Con Pro Con Pro Con Pro.

Most days are a little bit of this and a little bit of that. For work and parenting alike.

Right now it’s pretty pro. I’m typing this cross-legged on the couch, the tennis on in the background, Kit asleep by my side and the doors of the fishbowl wide open so I can hear the possums fighting in the Eucalypt. Maybe I should go and let them know they’re going to have to find a new place to hang out in two more sleeps…

Oh hang on, here comes the con…despite having 6 weeks to attend to this, I have left doing anything about Q’s uniform until now. The night before she starts year one. Sure, I put it out there to a few mums a couple of days ago that Q had grown over the summer and I hadn’t gotten around to getting the larger sized tunic, and one of the mums kindly offered me her older daughter’s one which I gratefully accepted. ‘Yeah, size 6, that’s the one I need, thanks very much, that would be great.’

But the thing is, I didn’t actually bother to check what size she’d need until now. Turns out she was already wearing the size 6 and now she needs the size 8.


So now my daughter will begin her first day of year one looking something like this…









Ah well, I take heart in the words of another school girl in plaits; ‘tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it’.








Remember that people. Every 24 hours we get a chance to try again.

May your week be fresh and your hemlines just right.


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