As we come towards the end of the holiday a small shadow is encroaching on my holiday bliss; my youngest son, my baby, is starting school. A year ago I went through the emotional roller coaster of my eldest son starting school. Just as I had been warned since the day he was born – the time had just flown. Now I have to face it all over again, but somehow this time seems more of a milestone – because once my baby is at school, what do I do?
When I went on maternity leave I knew I wasn’t going back, for me it just wasn’t ever in question, and luckily I had a really supportive family to make this easier. The past few years of being full-time mummy have been hard, but also very rewarding and I wouldn’t have swapped it for anything. Now, as my youngest pulls on his uniform, I feel that it really is the end of that chapter. Although I have worked part-time and been involved in numerous things, I was predominantly a mummy. Now, with both children at school, my daily purpose and routine will be left gapingly empty, and I feel I can no longer call myself a stay-at-home-mummy.
Between the hours of 9 and 3.30 I will have no responsibility for my children; their care, their happiness and learning all lie with somebody else, and being very honest I feel like I am’ losing’ a part of them. For me this is the start of their real development as individuals and the gradual influence of others as I am slowly being replaced in certain elements of their life. Their teacher will be raised up on a pedestal, and I will be reminded by them how important she is.
However, all this is good, natural and exciting. As with all endings, they signal new beginnings, and for me it is time for me to shift the focus back to myself and where I go from here, and what I do to fill those ‘school hours’. Because I have now lost those daytime hours it makes me even more determined to be around for the remaining hours before and after school each day.
Once I have emerged from behind my dark glasses and box of tissues on the first few days of term I am sure I will quickly learn to adapt and enjoy the peace and quiet and freedom that working within school hours will bring, and maybe the gap left by my real babies will be replaced by my ‘3rd baby’ – Mum’s The Boss.
Anyone else about to wave a small person off to school for the first time this term? What are your plans and how will you be spening those hours between 9.00 and 3.00?