Tag: school mum

Back to School anxiety: mine, not his.

It’s January. That time when it sinks in that the school holidays are not as long as you thought they were and you feel that downward slide back to reality. Another school year, filled with trying to remember stuff and being on time for drop offs and pick ups and SO MANY LUNCHES to be made.

I am looking forward to the Little Mister attending pre-primary full time. I imagine the first few weeks will be full of exhausted after school meltdowns, but I am excited to be able to spread my work hours out over the week more evenly and feel a lot more productive.

The thing is, I get anxious. Anxious that he will fit in and do OK compared to the other kids. Anxious that he’ll be anxious. Anxious that I will forget a whole lot of stuff or be totally awkward in the lead up to the first day back – book lists and the dreaded uniform shop visits (I swear I can never remember what hours or days they’re open).

I know it won’t be as bad as last year. Last year I was a wreck. The Little Mister was starting kindy at the same place I went to high school. I was having all kinds of flashbacks to my time there (nothing horrendous or obviously we wouldn’t send him there – just freak outs because I felt like I was still the student trying to be on my best behaviour and not get in trouble haha). I had never sent a kid to school before. I felt like I was still a kid. How was this happening?! Sure, we’d done day care a couple of days a week in 2015, but this was a big deal!

I had missed an orientation day because I screwed up the dates (and then my husband had unexpected surgery on his toe which would have meant we couldn’t make it anyway). I’d had a couple of false starts trying to get to the uniform shop (see – I messed up their opening hours then too haha). I hadn’t submitted my online booklist order on time, so had to send Mr Unprepared out to scramble for each individual item (which made me nervous because obviously if we got the wrong stuff we’d be outcasts forever haha). I was also feeling like a hot mess for a variety of reasons that had nothing to do with the the Little Mister’s schooling. I was not on top of things. I really was not. Even reading this paragraph back tells me that I was not in the running for “Mum of the Year”.

This year, I feel a little more settled. I know the school. I know the Little Mister has come a long way since the beginning of 2016. I’ve met a bunch of really nice school mums and I know I will meet a whole bunch more. I’ve got my shit sorted on a nice calendar now, which I keep updated. I have planned the final weeks of the school holidays so that I have everything done in time.

But still, I feel nervous. Of course I don’t show the Little Mister this and I really hope he can’t tell. He gets nervous enough on his own, truth be told.

I feel bummed that it’s not all holiday fun and games right now in my head anymore (even though that kid is driving me up the wall and ultimately I will be grateful to have dropped him off that first day haha).

I feel silly for being nervous and I feel like I’m wasting these precious last weeks worrying about school stuff when there’s still fun to be had. I’ve really got to get over myself! Just tick something off the list and then go have a blast, Kez. Seriously, woman!

Just like last year, we will survive this one too. I was struggling to get my head around a whole lot of stuff in 2016 (finally beginning treatment for infertility for one and in all honesty grief – grief that my little boy was starting school already and had no siblings that I’d always hoped to give him by the time he started kindy) and I think I should be kind to myself. It was a rough and scary year from beginning to end.

2017 may or may not be any better, but at least I will kind of know what to expect (probably jinxing myself right there).

Awesomely a little less unprepared, maybe?

Maybe one day, my heart won’t leap up into my throat when my child starts a new school year. Please tell me this gets easier! Lie to me if you have to!

Does anyone else get nervous like me? Am I …normal? Or a silly freak? 

 

The Happy List #34

Holy crap, it’s been a big week! I’m still trying to find my groove, now that the Little Mister has started kindy, but I am oddly excited about getting organised and starting a new routine. Oh, and time to myself will be great – however fleeting it will feel between work and school drop offs and pick ups!

I have had a lot on my mind lately and in some ways, all this school stuff has been a good distraction (as much as it has been nerve wracking)!

So here’s the stuff that has made me happy in the last week…

Surviving the first week of being a ‘school mum’

The Little Mister had staggered starts all week at kindy. Each day had different requirements and start times or finish times. It was chaotic inside my brain, to say the least! I was so worried I would forget something or that the Little Mister would buckle under the pressure! But…as each day passed and I didn’t forget anything and the Little Mister did OK, I thought – hey, maybe I can do this! In fact, maybe I can actually enjoy it! Sure, that might be the honeymoon phase talking, but I am optimistic, and a little enthusiastic, as only a new school mum can be haha.

The mums all seemed nice and friendly. The right advice always came at the right time. The school feels like a community. The Little Mister wasn’t upset about it. I only cried once – a tiny little bit – in the car after dropping him off for his first full day (and to be honest I blame at least 60% of that on PMS haha).

I even made a school lunch that consisted of healthy stuff, some of which I had PRE-MADE and frozen ahead of time. Like a real Pinterest school mum. OMG.

I am excited to start Week 2 of term, because that’s when a true routine kicks in. It will be nice to not be super nervous every day and to be able to really plan everything properly. I think the Little Mister will really respond to a steady routine – last week was a bit (understatement!) nerve wracking for both of us, I think.

Taking the Little Mister to the Lion King musical

He’d seen the movie and enjoyed the songs and read the book at bed time. He loves music, so I was really excited to take him to a live show! We went along with my parents (big fans – not even kidding) and made a day of it. While he did struggle a little to stay still (maybe another year older would have been the ‘perfect’ time), he did so well and I loved looking over to him when he was clapping earnestly after a big song or when he was so mesmerised with the performance. I also can’t say I minded too much when he wanted a cuddle during the ‘scary’ scenes. It was a long day for him (for all of us) and while it wasn’t the same relaxing experience we’d have if we didn’t take him, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. Especially when he exclaimed to Mr Unprepared as we walked out, “That was fun!”

He then decided he wanted to live at the hotel there (at Crown Perth) “FOREVER!”, so he could watch the Lion King over and over. The rest of us just wanted to go home to bed haha.

Totally amazing and totally worth it. There’s nothing like the joy of knowing you’re making fantastic family memories.

He wanted to sing Hakuna Matata all the way home!!

Freshly painted nails

I’d given my nails a break when we got home from camping. My nails were breaking and my skin was dry. But I was in first-week-of-term survival mode. I had a chance to sit down on Friday night and treat myself to a manicure. I even had some Jamberry samples sent to me by a friend (I am usually allergic to party plan things so this was a big deal), so I chucked a couple of those on – gotta love a feature nail haha. I feel like my hands are so pretty right now!

Self care for the win. So good to include it when things are stressful.

Having darker hair

I’d been rocking a reddish, brassy blondish balayage monstrosity for months. I decided that if I was to take my career as a school mum seriously, I would need to maybe not look like an adult fail/hot mess. I bought a home colour kit in the darkest shade of brown, and went to town on my skull foliage. No more brassy ends on my hair! Yippee! It did wonders for my confidence – especially as I am well aware that it has been way too long since I actually got my hair done professionally.

It’s so funny, because whenever I dye my hair really dark (i.e. closer to my natural colour), I feel like it’s too dark and I look like a goth/emo/whatever the cool word for it is at the time. But then I remind myself that I’m actually Asian and no-one is that shocked by seeing an Asian person with dark hair. I think I literally forget I’m not white sometimes!

Again, it was important self care!

Falling asleep nice and early almost every night

That’s not to say that I didn’t wake up a lot or struggle at times in the wee hours, but I really enjoyed that feeling of knowing I was drifting off without much effort. I am in love with that really lazy, comfy, I’m giving into this, kind of feeling right before you fall asleep. I think this really helped me with getting up nice and early to begin a new before-school routine.

Other stuff that made me happy this week:

  • Mr Unprepared having my back when I really needed him to.
  • Clearing the air.
  • Getting back to work.
  • My new lightbox (from Kmart – I only went in for some plastic plates and bowls I swear).
  • My mum’s group. They give the BEST advice and reassurance and are honestly, the most loving and supportive people. If it wasn’t for their little pep talks and encouragement, I don’t think the past week would have felt quite so manageable x
  • Watching crappy ‘reality’ shows (but not MKR – ew). I am not even sorry, bros.
  • Unexpected sms conversations with an old friend.

What would be on your happy list this week? x

 

I’m not ready (to be a school mum)!

OK, so technically I am ready in the sense that all of the booklist items have been procured and the Little Mister’s uniform is ready and all I have to do is put his name on everything. I learned about being prepared nice and early because BC (Before Child) I worked in a stationery and school supplies store and the stress the ‘last minute’ parents put themselves through was SO not worth it (and it made them into horrible monsters).

But mentally ready? Not. At. All.

As for the Little Mister – he seems nervous but glad to be a ‘big kid’ at ‘big school’ soon (we’re talking kindy for 4 year olds). He asks me questions about it all the time and he sounds so adorably naive and he thinks anything that is remotely grown up will be on offer at kindy. Like maybe he can use knives there and drink from glass tumblers and stuff. Because grown up. But he also asks if he’ll still get nap time and toys to play with.

He is also mourning the end of his time at day care – it’s started to sink in that he’s never going back (even though I started preparing him before Christmas last year). We run into his little day care buddies all the time in this small world we live in. He cries about missing one particular boy he used to play with a lot. He also misses his favourite teacher.

We’ve had little chats where I’ve told him that while it can be sad to leave a place and people that we love and know so well, as we grow up we have a chance to have new adventures and learn new things and make new friends we might love just as much. I’ve promised him that it’s OK. That as grown up as he is becoming, he is still my little kid and I will always be there for him to help guide him and explain how things work. He’s not on his own. Not yet!

All the while, I’m running a parallel shit scared commentary in my own head.

What if I’m a big fail of a school mum? What if I’m that mum that forgets stuff all the time (I seriously struggled with a couple of kindy preparation related things last year – probably me being in denial – and it really knocked my confidence)? What if I hate having to be so much more organised? Pressure’s on to get my act together! What if I am not the ideal ‘private school mum’? What if I just look like a hot bogan mess at school drop offs and pick ups and everyone else is wearing the latest active wear or corporate outfits or on point ‘mum’ clothes? What if a lot of the other mums are much more ‘proper’ than I am? I don’t even really know where to park my car. Not even kidding. I mean, there are several car parks but I have no idea which ones are for who. I never asked. HOLD ME.

Not to mention that being an ex (high school) student of that same school, I get crazy flashbacks walking in there all the time. I feel like I’m still the student. Like at any moment, I’m about to break a rule about how to wear my uniform or realise I haven’t done my homework in time or will somehow offend a teacher and get in trouble! I actually had a pretty great time there. I made great friends and the sense of community was strong. It was also a quality education that I was given. Which is why we picked the place for the Little Mister. But still. PTSD much? Haha.

How am I allowed to have a kid and send it to school? I’M NOT EVEN A GROWN UP YET AND I’M 31.

TELL ME. HOW?

I worry about whether he’ll get in trouble – not because he’s a bad kid, but because he can get a bit too excited about things. He’s very…exuberant (and strong minded). I just try to remind myself that he’s only 4. They’ll understand this. They’ll guide him. I’m sure of it. I hope?

Don’t even get me started on the first day I have to leave him there. In his little uniform. Waaaaaaaah.

Don’t get me wrong – he’ll be fine. Me? Who knows. My mum sent me a message the other day, regarding this. She told me to buy a box of tissues and used a wine glass emoji.

*gulp*

I mean, we both did fine with the day care drop off thing last year, but this just feels so much more emotional! Why is that?!

Is anyone else going to be school mum/dad for the first time this year? Have you got some experience under your belt – got any advice or reassurance to offer??