Meet the PBC Expo Resident Dad George Georgievski

By George Georgievski, School Lunch Box

Introducing PBC Expos first ever Resident Dad, George Georgievski of School Lunch Box. George is a 44 year old dad from Geelong who uses his creativity to make amazing lunches for his 2 daughters and in the process has built an amazing online following by inspiring mums, dads and care givers through both his lunches and his parenting style.

We first met George last year when he came along to our Brisbane Expo with Stuck on You and made a splash with our Visitors, he went on to appear at the remainder of our Expos throughout 2017 and in this time the Expo team realised that although George may be a lunchbox hero he also has a lot more to offer our Visitors.

We sat down with George to give you some insight into the man behind the lunchboxes – so grab a cup of tea (or reheat the one that you made an hour ago and forgot about) and have a read – we know that you will love him as much as we do!

What’s a normal day like for you – what role do you play at home?

I get up at 6am, get myself ready, make coffee for “the wife” (Marina) and I and prepare breakfast for the girls. Then, I do lunches. Whether it be a school day or school holidays, I still prepare their lunches – either way they will still need to eat and snack throughout the day so by doing this at the start of the day it takes the constant requests for food out of the day! When I leave for work my wife does everything else with the girls – getting them ready for school and so forth.

My wife also works full time from home, so it is important to not have specific, defined “traditional roles”. Parenting is a partnership – there are no dad roles or mum roles – there are just parent roles.

When you have children, you adapt to work as a team to ensure that the load is evenly shared to make things run as smoothly as possible. It’s important for me to be involved - I don’t want to just be a father to my children – I want to be their dad.

Tell us about your family Life and parenting style

Working 5 ½ days a week, what time I have with my girls is precious. Instead of missing out on time with them by doing things like groceries we make it an event and they are involved. Turning the usual Thursday night shopping chore into a family outing is something that I love doing. Taking the girls to the supermarket on Sunday and letting them pick their fruit gives them a sense of appreciation for produce, and they learn to appreciate where food comes from and the process of making their school lunch boxes – it doesn’t just magically appear. It’s a win-win and we get to have fun. We haven’t been caught testing the grapes in the fresh produce section at the supermarket yet!

One thing that my wife and I do for ourselves is keep fit and active – we practice what we preach – we expect our girls to eat well, so we eat well. We also go to the gym as often as we can; we want to be fit and healthy enough to run around with them. It is important to us that we stay fit and focused. It’s well known that if you don’t look after yourself first you can’t look after anyone else! Look after yourself and then you are better able to look after the ones you love.

If I am taking the girls somewhere I don’t tell the girls how to dress, I ask them to get dressed and let them be who they want to be and express themselves through everything including appearance so they can be individuals. I am quite happy to go to the supermarket with Kiara dressed in a superhero outfit and little heels because I never want to stunt their creativity regardless of how bad or good it is – it’s their call. They then trust me and feel they can be themselves. This sets the foundation for when they are older and need advice. I am making myself more accessible so they feel they can talk and share with me, no matter what direction they choose, regarding anything from clothing, career, art, music, boys, girls who knows… Basically, kids are the most honest humans and it’s most important to let them be honest with themselves.

What do you do for fun? How did your lunchboxes come about?

I have always been creative and into music and arts, so instead of locking myself away and writing and recording music one day I wondered how I could use my creativity so my girls can benefit and let me spend time with them also. Basically, I call it a “dad win” – I still get to be myself – I am still being creative and having a creative outlet, now it’s just in the form of lunchbox ideas and creations that my girls and their health directly benefit from too.

For me, it was learning to adjust for my family’s needs at a stage in my dad-hood. Who knows, maybe in ten years’ time I might be a seamstress! He he.

I want to be a hands-on, active dad but I don’t want to miss out on things I love doing, so I figure out different ways of doing them. For example, involving my girls in naming the creations that I come up with, like the Rav-wich and Spring-wich. It’s making simple activities fun and putting our own stamp on them, almost like a little trademark. When the girls came to see me in action at PBC Expo and heard people say, “I make the spring-wich” they freaked out! It was my little creation in the kitchen at home and now all these people were here talking about it! It gave them a sense of contribution to the overall mission of School Lunch Box.

What do you believe in?

This is going to sound sappy – I believe in love and when you believe in love and come from a place of love everything is easier. That means when I look at my girls and I am creating lunch boxes for them, I am doing it because I love them. If you love your kids, you will do the best you can because everything is for their benefit.

What do you like best about being a dad?

Definitely the cuddles, hearing “I love you” and good morning / goodnight kisses. Being their sense of security. When they hug me I never let go until they let go - I let them tell me when they have had enough of their cuddles.

Best bits of advice for other dads?

Basically, sometimes dads just need to see what other dads do. We are not good with instructions or good with putting things together following instructions. We want to do it ourselves, but every now and then it’s good to peek over and see how other dads are doing it. That’s all I want to offer. If anything I do can resonate with other dads, I am happy. I would love to see more dads involved and sharing the load and sharing love. If you want your children to listen to you as teenagers and to share with you then you really need to start now. There will come a time when you want them to share and open up to you, that’s why it’s important for you to start being the person you want to be now for them.

In 2018 you will be able to meet George in person at all 7 of our Expos and see him in action – making lunches, chatting about life and taking selfies with his fans!

Note: The views and advice expressed on this blog post are those of the author and are not representative of the Pregnancy Babies & Children's Expo.

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