Last month my eldest child started school (and when I say school, I mean full time reception/FS2, not nursery school!). And I have to admit that it has been more of a struggle for me than I initially bargained for.
My son is very outgoing and adapts well to change – you have to when you have had two part-time working parents and the whole “juggling childcare” thing that is quite common in our society now. From the age of two months Sam has attended nursery, and he was very used to it. But what I didn’t realise was that I was used to it too. I was used to picking him up after lunch and lazy afternoons. I was used to getting the feedback from the nursery nurse as to what he’d had for dinner and if he’d been good. I was used to the staff, the routine, the relaxed nature of it all.
School is not like nursery
It is every day. Every single day.
And it is tireless and unknown and relentless.
It is scary too, being a mum at the school gate rather than a mum quickly rushing in to nursery to pick up their child. There is waiting and there are awkward silences whilst you try to figure out which mums to talk to and which ones don’t want to talk. There isn’t always a lot of feedback on how your child is doing and there’s always things that are left behind on pegs or picked up by accident. To be honest, it is a big chaotic and a bit messy, but my son loves it.
I am so glad he loves it, and I know that this is the next chapter of our lives. I expected myself to be philosophical about it and hard nosed – that is how I see myself (although my husband says I’m always an emotional wreck!)! But it has been draining for me as a parent to let my child go, and it has been emotional to spend the days wondering how he is doing. I feel tired now just thinking about it!
So what was the point in writing this post? I don’t know – but I guess I just want to share that I’m not coping with this change very well, and if you’re not too then that’s OK. It takes more than a few weeks to adjust to letting our children go for a large part of the day, even if they did go to nursery, because school isn’t nursery. And now I am going off to curl up in a ball in my jammys because that’s about all I have the energy for nowadays…