parents

I just met a man who is living my fantasy.

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I’ve had one of those mornings.

Every single seemingly simple task was derailed by disaster.

I somehow managed to forget there was no fresh bread for the school sandwiches. Cruskits it is.

I left my slightly feverish 3yo son alone in the bathroom for 2 minutes and came back to find him standing proudly on a mountain made from one entire, unravelled toilet roll. Great.

My daughter’s hair had morphed into matted dreadlocks overnight, impossible to pull a brush through without her sobbing and me swearing. A lot.

My phone was pinging every five minutes with messages from work colleagues and the kitchen clock’s hands seemed to be on fast forward as they inevitably span towards the time when I would miss my bus.

Billy 2 Holly's post
My boy Billy. Really cute when he’s not projectile vomiting on the rug.

And then, just when everyone was dressed and ready, my son had a small coughing fit. And projectile vomited all over himself, the living room, and me…

Cue my partner and I looking at each other and saying, “Who can stay home today?” Cue a tussle about who’s got meetings they can’t miss, who’s got deadlines that can’t be pushed, and who is more likely to not get fired if they spend a day working from home with a sick child who will soon be pushing all the buttons on your keyboard.

Today, that was me.

And today, I am dreaming about being John Ahern.

John-Ahern-jpg
Here he is, fantasy man John Ahern.
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Because one day, John, a fancy investment development something something (as you can see, the corporate world is a mystery to me) for Flight Centre, was sitting in a meeting when he suddenly thought: My life’s crazy. I just want to be with my kids.

We all feel like that, from time to time, but John acted. Not only did he walk out of that meeting and go straight home to tell his wife their lives were about to change dramatically, but his epiphany was extreme. It wasn’t just the job that had to go. It was the house, and the grind.


They went online, bought a campervan in Holland, and started a year-long journey that would see John, his wife, and their two small kids travel through 32 countries in a a glorifed tin can on wheels.

This is how he sums up that year of their life:

“We row hard in the bowels of the slave ship, doing lots of stuff we don’t want to, dreaming of the day we can afford to do what we really want. And when that day comes, we wonder why we didn’t wake up to the fact that life is short and that we should have chased our real dreams earlier.” – John Ahern, On The Road With Kids.

Now, I’m almost 100 per cent certain that in real life, I don’t want to spend 24-7 in a teeny-tiny enclosed space with my loved ones and no Netflix, but today. Today, it’s a pretty brilliant fantasy.

You can listen to the whole of This Glorious Mess, including Andrew Daddo and I discussing piking, whether or not Botox is bad for babies and how it’s possible to FAIL book week, here:

Or, listen on itunes

Listen on Omny Radio

Listen on Soundcloud.

And you can buy John Ahern’s book about his travels with his kids, here.

Podcasts are the best. But if you have no idea what they are, or how to get them, read THIS, or check out this extremely helpful video:

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