28 Sep 2015

Being a school run mum



Today Becky started school full time, and boy, it hasn’t come a day too early. The last three weeks have been more stressful than I imagined and an organisational nightmare, as Becky was only in school for three hours a day as part of a phased induction procedure for reception children. And whilst - luckily - Becky has settled in really well and loves school, it’s fair to say that I haven’t adjusted to being a school mum quite so well.  

It appears I completely underestimated the drastic change and transition school would mean for all of us, not just for Becky. The last few weeks have honestly been some of the most exhausting periods of late; juggling the nursery run with Becky’s afternoon school sessions, remembering who needs what when, getting myself and the kids ready on time, picking Becky up on time, remembering everything she needs to bring (Does she need her PE kit today? Is it ‘show and tell’? Does she need her library books? Have I filled out the form for xyz?), making sure she’s settled and entertained for the morning and afternoon around school times, and all this while balancing it with my full time job and several trips to London and head office for meetings. I feel like I have been run over by a bus, and I don’t like it.

I’ve been feeling ill a lot, I’ve not slept properly and yet kept falling asleep at ridiculously early times, and I feel like I’ve been chasing my own tail for the last few weeks. I think the most difficult adjustment for me is that I no longer have the flexibility of the nursery set-up for both kids, where I’m the client and I can drop Alex and Becky off at my leisure and whenever we managed to get ready. Nursery was there to serve me, but now it feels like I am there to serve school, and with two little ones’ needs to coordinate each morning and now actually having to adhere to a schedule – well, it’s not easy.

To make things a little more manageable, I have been taking turns with one of Becky’s friend's Dads to do the childcare, drop-off and pick-up duties, and in fairness to Becky and her friend, they have been delightfully easy and well behaved and have been entertaining themselves beautifully without needing my attention too much, bar making sure that they hadn’t snuck off somewhere and the occasional “Mummy, can we have a drink”, “Mummy, can we have a sweety” or “Mummy, we’re hungry”, so I have been able to get on with my job (luckily I work from home).  

But still, we have been out of routine for the last few weeks, there has been way too much iPad watching and too much eating rubbish  - however, I refuse to feel guilty about that - and it’s time normal service resumed. So today Becky went in for a full day, followed by her first time at after school club. I’ll admit, I’ve been nervous how today would go for her. Is it all a bit too much to take in? Longer school hours AND a new after school setting with new carers and a new group of children… But I can happily report that she has been fine and has had a great day, and when I picked her up she was running around with her friends in the playground and laughing and joking, which is a huge relief.

So after the first couple of weeks of being a school mum, I’ve concluded the following:

1. Being a school mum is even worse than a nursery mum, as school and work seem pretty incompatible. Why do all meetings and parent / teacher gatherings have to be in the middle of the day? And there are so many of them! This, I really have to get used to.

2. Always check your child’s bag after school. Good heavens, the amount of paperwork and forms and info sheets she’s been coming back with every day is incredible. Who would have thought that there is so much admin and things to act upon at reception level?

3. No matter how hard you try, you will not get a single bit of info out of your child about how the day went. Me: “Did you have a nice day?” Enthusiastic nodding. “What did you eat today?” Becky: “Errr, for pudding we had jelly. I don’t know what we had for lunch.” Aaarrgh! Me: “Did you learn anything today”? Becky: “No.” Me: “What did you do today?” Becky: “I don’t know.” Me: “Did you play with a new friend?” More nodding. Me: “What’s her / his name?” Becky: “Don’t know.” These have been our daily conversations. I’m guessing if she was upset or didn’t like it, she’d tell me, so I’m taking the silence as a good thing.

Being a school run mum has been far more intense than I thought it would be, and I can’t quite believe that this is going to be my life now for the next however many years. Urgh. But I’m pleased to say that so far I’ve managed not to screw anything up and forget vital pieces of kit / signed forms / money for something or other etc. But let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time …

* Linking up with #ShareWithMe and  #BestAndWorst linkies. 
SHARE:

12 comments

  1. Aw, my eldest is 11 and just started secondary school, I feel like Ive got this school mum thing down to an art haha! If your LO is anything like mine: the above list will be the exact same come secondary school too, lol. #sharewithme

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the encouragement, Lianne! ;-) Hopefully we'll all settle in soon. We're getting there slowly, but it still feels like a little interim adventure, and then we'll all go back to nursery days! x

      Delete
  2. I feel your pain! My eldest has just started school too and I feel like I need a PA to help me remember everything! I've even set alarms on my phone to make sure I pick her up on time. I;m so paranoid about forgetting something. So glad Becky has settled in so well, my Ava has too thankfully, I think I was more worried than she was. We have harvest festival next week so I need to remember to go and get some extra canned food, must put that on one of my huge to do lists! Becky x #bestandworst

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So much to remember, isn't it? I can't get anything done without tons of reminders on my phone. Good idea about the PA, definitely feels like we need one, lol! x

      Delete
  3. I don't know how people cope with half day starts. A colleague's daughter has had 4 weeks of half days, and as she only works part time, she's only been able to do 2 hours a day at work. Madness. Thankfully N started full time at the start. It's true that it seems to be us all fitting in with school. The same here - parents evening - starts at 3.15 til 6, given I can't get there til 5.30 and would have to pick N up from after school club at that time, I shall be fighting over the limited slots with every other working parent who wants a slot in that last 30 minutes. And the 6 'target' assemblies at 2.30, plus church services at end of terms, and year group assemblies. And once they're in year 2 they go swimming but have to be picked up from the pool. How that works when some children go to after school club at the nursery (mine) - being picked up by a parent to transport them between school and nursery, and others back at clubs at school - I have no idea.

    Glad Becky's settling in well. I get similar back when I ask what he's been up to as well. #sharewithme

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's just so tricky to combine with work, or just other siblings and their routines, even. I'm slightly dreading the next few years and the school challenges, but I'm telling myself that I'm not the first or the last school run mum, so it must be possible to deal with it eventually! :-) x

      Delete
  4. Sounds like great fun (!) Glad Becky is enjoying it though! #bestandworst

    ReplyDelete
  5. Welcome to a lifetime of not getting any information out about school apart from the random things they choose to share!Sounds like the full days are working well, you really need them when working full time too, I know mine went from nursery to school and the drop in hours and half days were so hard to manage. #Sharewithme

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is tricky to juggle it all. I'm just so glad she's at school full time now and then after school club, and she is loving it, so that's reinstated a bit of a routine. x

      Delete
  6. I love this and can relate as B is now full time in school and it's nothing like being a nursery mom at all and I CAN'T believe the forms paperwork and things that come home in their bag someone has a plush job of writing for reception level hahaha Welcome to school days right? lol I am with you. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so much, isn't it, Jenny? Who would have thought there's so much admin! I'm sure we'll all settle eventually, not just our kids. Good job they are not bothered by any of this! x

      Delete

© Fairies & Pirates. All rights reserved.
BLOGGER TEMPLATE DESIGNED BY pipdig