We live in a high fire danger area which means as soon as a hot day hits, we are on constant alert. Due to the location and access in an emergency, my daughter’s preschool have opted to close on Total Fire Ban (TFB) days as a precautionary measure.

In early October and just back from holidays, we weren’t quite expecting a TFB day so soon. As the husband turned up to preschool at 8:30am to an empty carpark and locked doors, we realised all too late that there would be no session that day. An electronic notice had been sent out the evening before but in the chaos of our home, we missed it.

My husband and I were both swamped with work and were banking on those preschool hours to wade through the emails that had backed up while we were out of the office. He also had a staff meeting which coordinates staff on a Skype call from around Australia. Not something that is easy to shift. I had a deadline that had already been renegotiated due to school holidays.

So, what to do when a spanner gets thrown in the works of a working day?

The same thing working parents are doing all over the world when desperate – bribing their child with food and screens for a little reprieve. Our daughter was plonked in front of a movie with headphones on in our home office. Her lunchbox was available whenever she wanted a snack and she had us there “supervising” her.

It’s not ideal. It’s not something I would have ever imagined when I had my first child but now we have four children, two businesses to co-ordinate and not much room for change of plans, the reality is you sometimes have to do what you have to do.

The movie didn’t stop her requesting a variety of things about every three minutes (turn the volume up, something different to eat, sitting on the couch instead of the chair etc) but it was enough to get me through so I could achieve my deadline and she could be kept relatively quiet during the staff meeting.

Ultimately, even though my husband and I were both put under pressure to work out a solution, I was grateful not to be calling into a boss at 8:30am to tell them we had a child at home thanks to a closed preschool. Working for yourself is an incredible balancing act but it certainly has a silver lining in situations like these. And with movies on tap, our daughter thought all her Christmases had come at once! Just don’t tell the Perfect Parenting Police.

About Kylie Orr, Kylie Orr

Kylie-OrrHer dream of becoming a back up dancer for Janet Jackson was quashed by a distinct lack of talent, forcing Kylie Orr into a day job of writing. She has four children and one husband to fuel her inspiration.

After eight years writing for Essential Baby, Kylie was keen to broaden into genres outside parenting. She found the murky waters and the swell of rejection in this cut-throat freelance writing business overwhelming. But 2015 is her year. She’s determined she will be successful, she will conquer the writing world and make enough money to eat more than 2 minute noodles.