First week!

We made it to the weekend!! It has been an emotional rollercoaster and definitely a shock to the system for all 3 of us!

Despite putting an alarm on, I woke up early ready for my daughters first day at school having spent the night before getting everything ready to make the morning as easy as possible. I was anxious for this first big milestone, and I guess I was anticipating how my daughter may feel. However, even though I had to wake her up she was excited about her first day. Before we left for school (20 minutes earlier than we needed to!) I took the obligatory photos of her in her uniform, and I cannot believe how grown up she looked!

When we arrived at school, she was still excited and could see all the fun things that her teacher had prepared for her class as we walked past her classroom. When it was time for her to go in, she walked in confidently without so much as a second glance at me or her sister and in a way that made it easier and even though I had my sunglasses on standby, they weren’t needed. The rest of the day consisted of checking the time and wondering how she was and what she was doing but I had her little sister to keep me distracted!

Home time couldn’t come quickly enough, and I was eager to see how her first day had gone. As she walked out of her classroom she looked as though she had been there for longer than a day and seemed to have taken it all in her stride. So, I breathed a huge sigh of relief!

However, when it came to the second day things were very different. I put it down to my daughter being on overdrive the night before as she kept talking about her day and struggling to fall asleep as if she still had adrenalin pumping around her body. So, the following morning from the minute I woke her up she was not a happy bunny and was tearful and kept saying that she didn’t want to go to school. This threw me a little even though it made sense how she may have felt tired or a little overwhelmed and so when it came to the start of the school day, I left her sobbing which broke my heart.

Luckily that seemed to be a one off and the rest of the week she was happy to go to school and spoke fondly of everything she had done and how she had made a friend.

Finally, Friday arrived and although it was lovely to see that my daughter appeared to have quickly settled into school, I was very relieved that it was the last school run of the week. I was exhausted!

On the first day I had made an effort to look good for the school run (don’t ask me why!) but by Friday I barely scraped my hair back or put any make up on and didn’t really care about what I was wearing!!

Who would have thought that the sunglasses would have been needed on the final day of the week?!

When my daughter came out of her classroom her teacher told me that she had something special to show me…she had been given a Headteachers Award for her first week at school and it said how kind and respectful she is. And that’s when I had a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye! A very proud Mummy moment!! I was incredibly proud of my daughter for getting through the first week of school and had already promised her a treat at the weekend, but this was the icing on the cake!

I am grateful to my daughter’s teacher for making this week as easy as possible as it is a lot for any child to take in.

I am also proud of my youngest daughter as this is the longest, she has spent without her big sister, and she has been amazing!

By Friday night I was definitely ready to put my feet up and so looking forward to not having to put my alarm on!

1st day of school!

It only seems like yesterday that my eldest daughter was born and yet here I am nearly 5 years later, and my baby girl is starting primary school this week!

I have to be honest and admit that I have very mixed emotions about it. I am sure some parents cannot wait for their child to start school but to be truthful, part of me doesn’t want her to go. Obviously, I won’t share this with her at all, I have been and will continue to be incredibly supportive and positive about her starting school. However, it has affected me more than I thought it would. I knew this day was coming but the closer it gets the more emotional I feel.

It’s bizarre because I taught 5- and 6-year-olds for more than 5 years and I know that those children who are tearful when leaving their grown-ups are often fine within a few minutes.

Yet here I am as a teacher and a Mum, and I feel as though I am handing over my baby/my little girl to a complete stranger (her teacher), and I don’t like it. Nobody knows my daughter like I do and I’ve not been inside her new school or had chance to talk to her teacher due to Covid restrictions.

I know that my daughter is ready for school, and she is looking forward to it, deep down I know that she will be fine, and she is ready for the challenges and fun times ahead.

I’m not sure if my emotions have stemmed from being a mother or whether feelings and memories been resurfaced from my own childhood. To be fair, I have lovely memories of most of my time at primary school. I remember being in reception and my first ever teacher – Mrs Duck! She was so incredibly lovely and everyone I went to school with remembers her fondly. I remember her playing ‘Congratulations’ by Cliff Richard in assemblies and how she would let us have a nap on the bed she had in her classroom. If we ever hurt ourselves, we would get given a jelly baby – I wonder how many children pretended to hurt themselves just so they could get one! Whenever it was a wet lunchtime, we would all sit in a room and the dinner ladies would bring in the television and put on Sesame Street for us to watch and every Friday afternoon our Headmistress would come and read us ‘The Naughtiest Girl in School’ books by Enid Blyton. Although we all stood up whenever she came into our classroom and being threatened with being sent to see her was enough to make us all quiver in our shoes, I have fond memories of her, not least because she gave me my first nickname (a nice one!).

However, those of you who have read my other blog posts will know that I also had some horrendous times towards the end of primary school and at the start of secondary school, which ultimately resulted in me being home educated. It is a shame that my fond memories of primary school have been tainted by my Year 5 teacher and the new Headteacher forcibly carrying me into school by my ankles and arms because I was too anxious to leave my Mum.

Not only that, but I am struggling with the expectations that are put on such young children and how much we require them to conform e.g., when children can eat/drink or go to the toilet. I appreciate that children are very good at adapting and that they are generally very resilient, however I suppose I don’t understand why we expect so much from them at such a young age.

So many countries across the world don’t send children to school until they are 6 or 7 and even then, a lot of countries have a much less conformist way of educating their children, particularly when they are young.

If I could home educate my children I probably would, as unlike when I was home educated there is a lot more help and support out there now and so many more social opportunities. However, all I can do is support my girls as much as possible and hope that they both have a good experience of primary school.

Fortunately, my daughter wasn’t around to see my shiny eyes as I got out her school uniform ready for next week! Whatever the weather I will have my sunglasses ready just in case my eyes get shiny again on her first day!

I will no doubt find it hard to begin with and will miss her, but I am sure that I will feel better when I pick her up after her first day and hear all about what she has been up to.

For all the other parents/carers out there sending their children off to school for the first time, I hope you can be kind to yourself, after all, this is one of their first big milestones in life!