It’s official I am now a school mum. I wrote a little here about my thoughts about this but now a whole term has passed, we’ve now had our first half term and in the main we have made it through pretty unscathed.
Although, I was worried about Miss Marnie settling in the new routine and school life really I should have been more worried about myself. Miss M settled in and took it all in her stride, I on the other hand have found it pretty tough. The change, new routine and the general military operation of getting to school and then onto work a struggle more than a few times!
Starting school has actually taught me a few things – and here’s just a few of things that I’ve learnt as a new school mum in my first term:
- Time Management: It seems no matter what time we get up we never have enough time. I am infamous for always thinking I have more time. But, I’ve learnt on more mornings than I care to remember that we don’t have more time. We need to 1) get up at a set time and 2) leave at a set time and stick to it. This means for me I really need to work on my time keeping skills especially on the days I have to make my train to the office!
- Exercise: As much as I loathe the school run, I wanted to benefit from the additional exercise in my day. Our school walk is a good 15 minutes or, over 2000 on my Fitbit. Yes, I got a Fitbit to calculate the steps to school – and it’s really motivating me to walk more throughout the day.
- Forgetfulness: Unless I pack whatever is needed for the day ahead the night before I am ultimately going to forget it come morning. This goes for my handbag, work bag and of course, Miss M’s school bag/book bag.
- Prepare, Prepare, Prepare: I now lay the school uniform. All of it. Yes, even the underwear and socks out the night before. Every night. I also now do this with my clothes on the days I work. It saves time, energy and raised voices (not to mention the odd swear word) come sunrise.
- Other Mum’s: That mum that doesn’t say hello, smile or even acknowledge you may be tired/upset or in a world of her own – and really I need not to worry about it. It’s not about me.
- PTA or PSA: On that note I’ve applied the above learning curve to any pre-conceived ideas about the parent and school association. It’s not (really) as cliquey as thought and I have even been to a meeting, donated some supplies to the school and even offered to volunteer. We’ll see how this one goes.
- The Day Flies By: The school day is really not long enough to get anything done (housework, blog, freelance work, chores etc) unless I’m organised. And, that I need to not sit in the coffee shop all morning on my phone!
- EOD: Seeing her face on pick up is just the best. End of.
- Questions: Asking ‘what did you do today?’ ‘What did you have for lunch today?’ and the like, is futile. I now re-phrase the questions ‘what made you smile today?’ ‘Did you have XYZ for lunch (after checking on the school menu)?’ ‘Did you play with so-and-so today?’
- Hunger: To have healthy snacks or dinner ready the minute she gets in. Starting school has brought out a hunger in Miss M I have never seen before. It was when the husband texted me at work after picking her up and asked what he could feed her quickly ”otherwise I fear she may eat me!” That I have since stocked the cupboards and fridge with fast-food, (yoghurt’s, pots of chopped fruit, popcorn bags, small tins of baked beans, leftover pasta).
- Changes: That I miss our days in week together. We used to have Mondays and Fridays together (I work 3-4 days a week). Now, we have Friday’s together only. We are trying to make the most of our afternoons after pick-up. But, it’s really not the same.
- WFH: Saying that, my days when I work from home I don’t have to feel guilty about working/being a mum at the same time. I also love my days working from home or my days off as I can do the school drop and avoid the running/rushing to get train to work. And look like I have my slizzle together.
- The Correspondence: The emails, school letters, texts, book bag leaflets. It’s really endless isn’t it? Adding this to my work/blog and personal messages I have information overload. But, saying that I read them all because if I don’t I will no doubt miss something – a date, event or meeting.
- Envelopes: And, that leads nicely to the replies. I have found having a stack of envelopes near the door helps when I have to send in money for various things – Christmas cards, tea towels, school photos…
- Write it Down: I now have a great mum school year diary (from Mum’s Office) to help me organise Miss M’s time (parties, playdates, dentist appointments), holidays (term dates, inset days) and school events (fairs, after school clubs) – as well as my own. It’s the only way I can keep track of all the dates whirling around in my head.
- Weekends: I’ve quickly learnt not to pack out our weekends with shopping trips, playdates or events. They just leave us all exhausted come Monday morning.
- And, Finally: This is only just the beginning of a very long journey for both of us. I hope I (we) make it.
What have you learnt? Go on share…