So that is it; all of my babies are at school. After the initial excitement of the first week of school activities and how busy everything has been I must admit that I had a wobbly first week of being a SAHM without any kids at home. The girls were so excited for the first week of school, but I must confess to feeling rather emotional about the whole thing.
I think I might have found the first week of school rather difficult anyway as it is a big change to go from having two kids at home all day (4 at one point) to being on my own all day, but emotions were heightened for a few reasons.
Injury and heartache
The first was that I managed to smash my head off the wall whilst tidying the playroom… Who knew that was a danger sport?! This left me with an egg sized bump above my eyebrow. I felt so sorry for myself and being on my own when it happened felt so very sad. I am not sure what I thought two four olds would have done if they were at home, but oh it made me cry…
More importantly one of my girls was finding the first week of school really hard. She has a speech delay and whilst her development is considered just within ‘normal’ she is behind others her age. She gets tired more easily as a result. She also has glue ear and so can’t always hear properly. These two things combined make a little girl who is exhausted and frustrated. In her first week of school she was refusing to get into line at the end of break and was getting really stressed out when asked to do things by the teachers. She kept screaming ‘no never’ at them. Not ideal! The school called me to let me know what had happened and said that they had given her a time out which involved her standing by the wall during play time. Her elder brother saw this and went to make sure that staff knew that his sister had difficulty understanding things. That tipped me over the edge and I had a good old sob!
I personally felt that this was not the right approach to take with a reception child in their first week of school. I have asked that it doesn’t happen again and that if she needs to have time out they take her out of the playground. It is horrible hearing that your child has been so upset when you weren’t there to ‘fix it’ so I had a really good cry about this one, but when I asked her about her day she said she had a great time and was really happy so perhaps Mummy was just feeling over emotional…
First Week of School; letting go
Sometimes it is hard as a parent to let go and trust the way that school handles things even when you already have kids there and have had nothing but a positive experience. As the parent you have been entirely responsible for that child’s well being for years and then come one day in September you have to hand that over to someone else for most of the day. I guess that is why the whole process of children starting school is such a big deal and feels like a real wrench to the heart strings. I felt this struggle much more with this little girl as I probably overprotect her more than the others. I know how hard she finds things and I have been worrying about this day for so long.
Honestly if she were not a twin I would not have sent her to school this year at all. As she does have a twin sister, who was ready for school from when she was about 3, I felt that I had no choice. It would have been too damaging to their relationship and her confidence/ self esteem to be held back. I should add that I have every faith in the school that my kids are at. They have been amazing with their response to my son’s issues with reading and writing so I am sure that they will take the same supportive approach to settling my daughter into school. I am also happy to say that by the end of the week she had got two stickers for being good and was totally thrilled with herself. She will be fine!
My other little lady has also been struggling with missing me. She has been crying at drop off and telling me that she likes school, but gets sad in the day as she wants mummy. How heart breaking is that? Today I told her that I had put some extra love in her dress pocket and that if she felt like she missed mummy or felt sad all she had to do was reach into her pocket and then mummy’s love would flow up her arm and into her heart. She went in without crying this morning so I really hope that it works for her all day. She does also tell me that she loves school, but just wishes mummy could be there with her.
So all in all the first week of school was emotionally draining and we are all exhausted. I am sure that over time we will all get used to this new normal and it is just going to take extra cuddles and early nights for everyone! In the meantime if you have any ideas for settling kids and mummies into the first few weeks of school please let me know.