Why I’m Glad My Child Is Going To School

starting school

It’s that time. We are coming up to the time of year where everyone of a certain age will have their every social media platform flooded with pictures of children in brand new shiny, soon-to-be-ruined uniforms, shiny, soon-to-be scuffed/lost shoes, being forced to smile for a first day of school picture.

Last year I had a chuckle at the two people on my feed who chose to break the mould-my 23 year old cousin, who posted a picture of Sloth from the Goonies, with the caption ‘this is what I see when you all post pictures of your so called cute kids on their first day of school. Stop already,’ and my friend, who posted a picture of herself jumping up and down and high fiving the air, while her child cried in the background. Both were a humorous break!

I won’t be posting one, not because I feel strongly about them one way or the other, but because I don’t actually use my own social media very often-I’m mainly a bloody antisocial misery! I also seem to be the only person who is glad that their child is going to school. And it might not be for the reasons you think.

Firstly, he has made it very easy for me to look forward to him going. He has been excited about it for months, and lately has been asking to go to nursery more than his regular two days. He is so bored and over being at home with me and the assassin child. Admittedly, if he was terrified and anxious about going, this post would probably have a totally different tone, with me scouring the world for all cotton wool supplies to wrap him up with for ever, and looking to totally re-evaluate my future so I could homeschool him.

I can’t wait for the better balance I am 98% certain will make our fraught house a slightly more harmonious place to be, when I get to spend more time with both children on their own. Tensions between the two children and constant conflict over satisfying everyone’s needs (including the ‘third child’ husband,) has left me feeling kind of destroyed recently. Every day has felt like a battle, and one I haven’t had a chance of winning, or even neutralising.

Since the smallest was born, when the eldest was 14 months old, I’ve never managed to find anywhere near a balance of spending time with both of them individually-something I often ruminate may have inadvertently damaged my relationship with both of them. Last week, I had my first day on my own with the eldest, that I’ve had since his brother was born. That’s 3 and a half years ago. It was an AMAZING day. One of the best parenting days I’ve had in  such a long time.

When he is at school, I’ll have time with the smallest on his own, and during school holidays, when the smallest is at nursery, I’ll have the eldest on his own. They are both looking forward to this time like you wouldn’t believe-and so am I. I feel like I can finally get to know them properly, and enjoy each day, instead of dragging myself through it, dodging my ever boiling temper, and constant fights for assassin supremacy.

During a park meetup last week, with some of the parent/children who will be in the eldest’s new class, all of the parents were throwing out the classic phrases like ‘hasn’t the time gone quick?’ ‘I can’t believe we are at this stage already!’ Half of me wondered whether these are just small talk phrases, that nobody actually believes, and the other half of me wondered if I actually just feel time differently to everybody else-because I’ve felt every second of the last 4 and a half years. Then I settled on the fact that people only feel like it’s gone quickly because they can’t remember every second of it- your brain can’t possibly do that, so you just remember the abridged version, which makes it feel like there’s been much less time than there has been. I have been parenting (mainly solo, apart from occasional full weekends,) for about 1632 days. And as much as I’ve marvelled over the milestones, and enjoyed some of it, it certainly doesn’t feel like it’s flown by. At all.

I’m also feeling quite selfish at the moment. Maybe it didn’t help that until 2 weeks before I became a mum, I had spent 10 years in a job where I selflessly put other people’s needs before mine, mostly working more hours than I ever got paid for, to the detriment of my social life and anything I wanted to do for myself. I went straight from that, into a job with a very similar job description, which was 10 times harder, and completely unpaid (although largely more rewarding and love filled.) I just want to enjoy more time to myself now, and do something for me. I can’t wait for this, actually.

So yes, he’s my oldest baby, and I’ll miss his careful, considered, deep thinking (if somewhat a little moany) presence in my life. But, there are a lot of feelings that come along with having both children at home, that I’d rather not be feeling, given the choice, and that is why I’m looking forward to the new balance that his going to school will bring. I’ll more than likely send him off with a lump in my throat, and totally forget to take a picture of him, because I’m just a bit shit like that…!

 

26 Comments

  1. September 3, 2017 / 7:24 pm

    The honesty is great because pretty everyone feels the very same. I love meeting up with my kids after work and feeling like snuggles and playing is ok to do and not just clean the house or whatever

    • This Mum's Life
      September 3, 2017 / 7:51 pm

      I definitely feel our relationship will be improved with some time apart!!

  2. September 4, 2017 / 7:58 am

    You know I will be air punching my way all the way home when I drop my assassin off at school for the first time on Thursday. I love that little guy but I need some head space. You are normal. The mums you’ll see crying at school gates because they will miss their child are also normal. feel however you feel without encumbering yourself with guilt, you don’t need that shit. Enjoy and embrace this new stage in your life. Soon your assassin will be at school and you might by then have te energy to do the full on dance of childless glory which I plan to execute – all the way home!!!

    • This Mum's Life
      September 4, 2017 / 8:04 am

      I can totally understand the need to cry for some-I might even surprise myself and be one of those people!! I’m slowly allowing myself to feel normal about the fact that I’ve enjoyed most of the last few years, but am also allowed to not be too sad to move on! High fives all around, let’s start our freedom dance choreography!! X

  3. September 4, 2017 / 8:00 am

    Evie is back to school tomorrow and I am glad because she needs it. She needs the routine, the structure and she needs to always be learning. I also need to work and it’s so hard to keep her occupied and happy whilst constantly explaining I’m working. I am just looking forward to having some normality back to our lives! #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      September 4, 2017 / 8:05 am

      Phew, I’m glad I’m not the only one! It’s nice to hear that other people feel the same! Here’s to normality!!

  4. September 4, 2017 / 8:11 am

    I bet your youngest will enjoy having you all alone for a bit each day. It will be a treat for everyone. New dynamics help us to appreciate every moment! #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      September 4, 2017 / 8:26 am

      Yes they do!! And I’m definitely looking forward to this change! X

  5. The Mummy Bubble
    September 4, 2017 / 8:35 am

    Haha love this post and the honesty! I too am actually quite looking forward to the day mine start at school – although it still seems a bit daunting x #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      September 4, 2017 / 8:41 am

      It is daunting, and at the moment he’s making it easy for me not to worry too much! I might have changed my tune entirely, in a couple of weeks though!

  6. September 4, 2017 / 9:54 am

    Oh yes, I can’t wait until my daughter goes back this week! I am done with the squabbling (from all of us, not just the kids) and the constant asking to watch My Little Pony. She’s excited to start again and see her friends, which helps, of course. I’m looking forward to being back at work and actually reading a book on the train for once. I suspect I’ll be missing the holidays in a couple of weeks though!
    #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      September 4, 2017 / 10:34 am

      Those are things I’m looking forward too as well!! But isn’t it funny how the nostalgia soon sets in, and we miss the fraught times so quickly…?!

  7. September 4, 2017 / 8:12 pm

    I love how honest this is – I was literally rabid with excitement for my eldest starting school (when it came to it I was a puddle of tears but that’s another story!) The balance of quality time with both children is one of my favourite things now – like you say – I get to spend time with the youngest whilst the eldest is at school and in the holidays, me and the eldest have days out together when the youngest is in nursery. I don’t think it’s selfish at all to want some time for you either! My youngest still naps sometimes so, like today, I had over an hour of silence and hot tea. Amazing! Enjoy it – you’ve bloody well earned it!
    #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      September 5, 2017 / 6:37 am

      Thanks for the lovely comment! I’m glad you felt the same as me! It makes me feel much better!! X

  8. September 4, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    Good for you and your refreshing honesty! I’m dreading the change when my eldest will start school in a couple of years, just because I hate change and adjustment to change. But am hoping he will be excited like your boy is and will whole heartedly encourage the whole thing to be a huge positive step rather than a negative, emotional burden. More one on one time with each is also a great positive! We try and spend time with each of ours alone but it is tricky. Not enough hours in the day! #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      September 5, 2017 / 6:40 am

      The same here-with my husband always at work, and the little only ever wanting to be looked after by me, it’s just made time with each of them impossible! I’m not really looking forward to some parts of the new routine change-I’m sad that we no longer have the freedom to go away whenever we want to!! I hope you get a good experience when yours go to school x

  9. September 4, 2017 / 11:01 pm

    I hope he had a lovely first day today and it all went well 🙂 #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      September 5, 2017 / 6:42 am

      Thanks! He doesn’t start till next week, but still looking forward to it!

  10. September 5, 2017 / 8:56 pm

    A love the dose of honesty in this. A lot of what you said here makes so much sense, it’s tough having two small demanding children (and I’ve only been doing it for 10 weeks, so hats off to you doing it for the best part of both their lives!). Here’s to having more chance to enjoy them both individually, and to get some time to yourself too!
    #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      September 10, 2017 / 6:29 am

      I won’t lie, it’s a very exciting thought!!

  11. September 7, 2017 / 3:05 am

    I think you’ve just perfectly summed up my inner monologue at the moment too here. Don’t get me wrong I sobbed like you wouldn’t believe yesterday on the long first walk home after drop off. Luckily it was throwing it down so the mascara down face look was all down to weather obvs. My biggest little is very nearly 5 though and she is so ready for this. She needs that extra level of stimulation that it’s tough to provide while I’m trying to entertain her nearly 3 year old brother and generally stop them from killing each other. He is already revelling in the 1 to 1 time, and like you, I’ll have a day each school holiday just for grown up mummy-daughter time and I cannot wait. It’s been heartbreaking to hand her over, but it’s the right thing and we’re ready for this new phase in life. Hope you’re enjoying it and all is going well so far lovely x

    • This Mum's Life
      September 10, 2017 / 6:32 am

      Thanks so much Dawn!! Our first day is tomorrow (his school started so late!) so I’m still yet to know if I actually will be full of the sobs, or whether I’ll be skipping! And the days we’ve had just the two of us, in the run up to school starting, have been just lovely! X

  12. September 8, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    I have mixed feelings about the kids going back to school. I can’t wait for some time with my youngest but am also hoping to crack on with my blog plus my other 3 part time jobs. I will miss the kids but I know they need more than just me #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      September 10, 2017 / 6:33 am

      You’re soooo busy!!! You sound like superwoman with all of that going on! Good luck with everything you have planned x

  13. September 9, 2017 / 11:20 pm

    I love this so much. My eldest doesn’t start school until next year, but she’s already asking to go. I know that she needs so much stimulation that I just can’t keep up with, so I’m actually really looking forward to her starting. Also I’m kind of hoping that it’ll be easier to teach the smallest all of the lessons I taught the eldest when she was an only child. At the moment, he’s a bit feral, so I wouldn’t mind some one on one time haha!! #bigpinklink

    • This Mum's Life
      September 10, 2017 / 6:35 am

      Hehe, he sounds like my youngest!! You sound very much like me-it’s incredibly hard to juggle the needs of both children, to the standard you’d like! X