Family quirks

I’ve been slack on the blog lately.

Some of it’s been work. Some of it’s been life. But most of it’s been … sigh … something … else?

I can’t concentrate. Social issues are getting me fired up, particularly when they’re close to home. (Confusing statement? Sorry. I grew up in Bendigo. They’re planning to build a big mosque. Some people aren’t happy about it. Many of those people aren’t even from Bendigo.)

I’ve started four new books recently, and none of them have taken. I’ve sat down to write or edit my stories, and almost immediately lost the thread of my thoughts. I’m in a funny space. I’m okay; I’m happy, and enjoying spending time with my kids. And my head stays screwed on when I’m writing or editing for work (phew!).

But otherwise, I’m feeling like Austin Powers, looking for his mojo.

So I’m going back to basics. Instead of forcing the books, I’m re-reading old favourites. (Harry Potter series, anyone?) Instead of forcing the words, I’m spending more time at the piano.

Instead of forcing the blog posts, I’m just not writing as many. And instead of sticking to some pre-determined schedule of posts, I’m sitting at the computer now to write about the thing that still gives me my mojo.

My family.


I keep getting hit with those moments. Those moments. Those ‘my kids are growing up so fast, STAAAHP IT ALREADY’ moments. Those ‘my kids aren’t going to want to cuddle me and kiss me and tell me their secrets forever’ moments. Those ‘I wonder if any other families do these funny little quirky things?’ moments.

Those moments. I’m loving the quirks at the moment. Here are just three of them.


Whenever my kids and I walk near a pay phone, they sprint for it, jump inside and ‘call daddy’. They can’t reach the handset, so they just yell in the general direction of the phone.


Every pay phone, without fail. And they walk out with the biggest smiles on their faces, excited to have just ‘talked’ to their father and told him about their day so far.


If we head out, the kids have a ritual when we get home. I can’t remember how it started, but it’s all but set in stone now.

The kids get out of the car or walk up the driveway, open the gate, then check the back of it for snails.

Once the snails have been observed, waved at, told about our day and, sometimes, relocated to the grass in the front garden, it’s time to check the mailbox. It could be 9.00am, 6.00pm or the weekend, but we still have to check the mailbox.

If there is mail, it gets ‘delivered’ to the house. The kids divide the mail between them (or each hold one end of the envelope, if there is only one item), walk to the front door, and push it underneath. I then open the door, and they pick up the mail they’ve just delivered and take it to the kitchen.


Each night, after the usual bath/teeth/hair rigmarole, it’s time for bed. We read one story for each child (my son usually chooses The Worst Princess, while my daughter is currently reading us The Wishing Chair Again), then sing three songs of their choosing.

After our three songs, my son will kiss, hug and squeeze me, then say, “‘Kay, time to go, mummy.” My daughter will whisper, “I love you soooooo much. See you in the morning.”

And with that, night-time is mine. Except for those nights that I don’t want to go, and I hang around in the shadows to watch them a little bit longer.


What are your quirky family habits? And what do you do when you lose your mojo?


  1. says

    I so enjoyed reading this Em! I “like that you lost your blog mojo” because look at how much mindful living & memory-making you are packing into each day! Family quirks & rituals are oh so special… This is a beautiful way to be “you”.. love, Denyse xx

  2. says

    I love these quirky family moments. The pay phone is gorgeous. I haven’t seen one of those around for ages. I’ve just started reading The Faraway Tree to Miss Five. While she protested at first because it didn’t have any colour pictures, she now whispers in my ear after we tuck Miss Three in, asking for a chapter of her big girl book. I feel like I’ve lost my mojo a little lately too and I think it’s just the result of a very big year :) xx

    • says

      We’ve got pay phones in all directions from our house. No matter where we go, that’s a ritual we get to carry out! A is the same with Enid Blyton – her eyes become saucers in her face. Reading the books as an adult, I want to edit them, but one look at her and I remember what it was like reading them as a child.

  3. says

    I love that you have pay phones! There are hardly any in suburban Sydney!
    The mosque issue gets me too- people who live on the other side of the country getting aggro about it is bizarre to me. In fact anyone being upset about it is nuts- there are churches and temples and synagogues all over the place- who cares?

  4. Karin says

    Hi Emily I’ve super lost my mojo at the mo. Fortunately I’m having a gap year/sabbatical so I can take the time to think “what do I need or what would I like right now?” Usually each day needs to involve something outside, eg a walk, something creative, something spiritual/mental, time with people. There is no particular routine, I’m not accomplishing some things I thought I would, & after 2 months SE other interesting patterns are emerging & I’m actually happier than when I seem to be more together. Fortunately I have the luxury to do this BUT I think it’s port any to reflect & reevaluate – keep going for it Emily, being thoughtful & reflective & enjoying your family. My chicks are leaving the nest & I’m needing to adjust to them bring gone.

    • says

      Thanks Karin. I like routine and I don’t think I could become a free spirit. That said, I’ve never given myself the space to try. Thanks for the brain food. x

  5. says

    My husband & I have strange conversations in the car on weekends. Often we’re going somwhere local, but our convesrations cover anything. It has gotten to the point that we’re considering setting up the GoPro in the car to record them haha.

  6. says

    My blogging mojo hasn’t been the same since Voices but I think it has more to do with me wanting to sink my teeth into the business course and my new business. The home front is rather chaotic with all three girls in the thick of exams. The eldest in year 11.

    They grow up so quickly, it’s really important to slow down and embrace these moments.

    Our quirky family moments? I might need to think about that one.

    • says

      That’s fair enough. I think other things are taking over as well. I don’t feel guilty about not blogging – just haven’t done it!
      Have a think and let me know. I’d really love to hear some!

  7. says

    Oh my! That is just super cute. I love how they yell in their direction of the pay phone. That made me giggle. I am sure our family has plenty of quirks, but I can’t think of any at the moment.

  8. says

    Love those quirky moments with the kids. These are the moments that we will remember from this season. As for finding your mojo… Maybe Christmas might help and some time away? I find a change of scenery always helps. X

    • says

      Thanks Bec. I will definitely have some time off over Christmas. Have also been working on a big blog thing that keeps getting pushed back. When that’s finally ready, it’ll clear space in my head for more posts. In theory…

  9. says

    Aww! That is seriously adorable! I have two quirky kids too. Every night we read My Cat Likes To Hide In Boxes and during the verse I will say it really fast and they’ll jiggle dance around the place, it’s super cute. They also love the mail box but they fight over the opening and removal of mail so it’s more a playing referee type activity than a ‘that’s so cute!’ activity sadly!

    • says

      I love Lynley Dodd! Winner winner. I’m sure there’ll come a day that we view the referee days with as much nostalgia as the super happy huggy joy joy days.

  10. says

    Man, you just described my whole year with that weird mojo/distraction thing. I’ve gone back to the old faithful books as well – just finished off Flowers in the Attic and keen to read through the rest of her canon. As far as the boys are concerned, they are all about Captain Underpants at the moment.

    • says

      We’ve not jumped on the Captain Underpants bandwagon. Am I missing out? It’s nice not to feel obligated to blog. Just drop in when I feel the mood take me. And now I know I’m in good company!

  11. says

    Oh my goodness…how much do I love what your kids do when they see a payphone! Come to think about it, why can’t we just have pay phones where you walk in and talk to the person without having to hold the receiver etc. I’m sure some sort of WiFi thingamajig could work. 😛

    Loved the Wishing Chair adventures! I agree not forcing yourself when you feel like you’ve lost your mojo. Taking a break always helps as does activities like exercise or mundane things.

    • says

      I’m sure there will come a day when that can happen! In fact, it will probably scan a microchip in our brain when we enter the box and take the funds for the call straight out of our bank accounts.

  12. says

    Oh, I love that phone box habit – how cute! I wonder how much longer phone boxes will even be around for? Our quirky family habit is making up silly songs about each other and our cat, putting our own lyrics to popular tunes. I’m probably the worst culprit 😉 . I thought every family did it; my mum did. But Miss 18 tells me her boyfriend’s family doesn’t, which made me realise that maybe it’s just us!

    Visiting today from #teamIBOT x
    PS have been loving your everyday style IG posts too so you haven’t lost your mojo there!

  13. says

    I love some of those rituals. I had to use a payphone recently and was relieved they still existed!!!

    And I completely get where you’re coming from on the blogging front. I’m keeping up with my book reviews but kinda lost my voice other than that.

    • says

      Hooray for pay phones! Book reviews have fallen aside for me – just can’t concentrate on anything new. Will head your way for inspiration.

  14. says

    I loved watching my girls faces when I read Enid Blyton to them, though I remember one chapter of the Faraway tree, the father mysteriously lost a large sum of money one week, so the girls had to do extra washing and ironing to earn money to eat… what kind of parents were they??? The girls didn’t seem to notice this at all however, and Joe, Beth, and Frannie (the names have changed since I was a kid) had their adventure.

    • says

      Ooh, I don’t remember that! Perhaps they edited that out in later editions? It’s been interesting – our new version of The Faraway Tree has replaced all smackings and spankings with severe scoldings instead, but The Wishing Chair still has smacks and threats of violence as discipline all through. If they’re going to change one, I wonder why they didn’t change both?

  15. says

    I loved reading this. Family quirks are just so special and cute and hilarious aren’t they. We have a few… one of them is that whenever I turn on the blender, the kids come running from wherever they are in the house or outside into the kitchen and start dancing and jumping around. Then when I turn it off they stop and go back to what they were doing. So funny.
    I know your blogging mojo will return. And it’s kinda nice to just blog whenever you want to with no set schedule. Xx

  16. says

    That damn blojo. (I mean the bloggy mojo … not the XXX kind.) It’s a bugger of a thing when that disappears.
    On the other hand I LOVE the whole public phone box thing. I don’t think my kids have ever experienced a phone box. Isn’t that shocking!
    I might need to rectify that.

  17. says

    Reading this Em, I don’t think your mojo has gone anywhere, just redirected itself. It was such a pleasure getting a peek into your little routines.
    We’ve had different ones over the years, as Bell’s gotten older. I love that we still have quirky little things that we do like clockwork. I hope we never stop having our little “moments”.
    I really think lots of people have pulled back on the blogging lately, I know I have. It’s just the different seasons of life, I guess xx

    • says

      Thanks Lisa. I think there was a post-PB push, and now a lull as we all approach Christmas. Perhaps we’re all assessing our blogging goals? Not that there’s anything like that actively going on here!

  18. says

    Love this so much, Em!!! That is so cute they run straight for the phone booth to call Daddy! We have so many family quirks and thanks to this post, I want to record them. But ask me right now what they are – none come mind! Off to have a think! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • says

      There’s nothing like putting someone on the spot to come up with memories, examples or… anything, really! You’re welcome. Hope to read some of your quirks soon!

  19. says

    Perfection, Em. Your two are such massive cuties and your family quirks are what make them even more special.

    I find sometimes that even though I love my life and am doing all the things I’m passionate about, I still get bored sometimes. Bored leaves me antsy. x

  20. says

    Sometimes focusing on the little things will bring you back Em, especially those gorgeous kids. The pay phone story is adorable!

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