All I’ve seen these past weeks on social media is people getting upset about their kid starting school for the first time. Endless posts about new shoes, sports kits, dry runs of the journey to school and at first it made me worry that I’m not normal. I don’t feel at all sad about Athena starting school. Far from it! Not only will we get some semblance of a weekly routine back again after seven long weeks of holidays, but why would I feel sad about my kid heading off to school to learn more than I could ever have the patience to teach her. Spend more time with a whole bunch of kids, more than I could ever introduce her to. Learn about routine, other peoples habits, maybe even how to eat a cooked lunch without moaning that it is ‘yucky’. She is s looking forward to it, but probably for different reasons to me. She wants to spend time with friends, play with the sand tray and kick a football. I am looking forward to having some time to myself, to be able to eat lunch without sharing it, to do a supermarket shop without having to avoid the toy/bubble bath/biscuit aisles, and most importantly to work more in the day time so I can regain some time for myself in the evenings, and have some free time after school to take the kids to the park or to a friends house. I did spend a few weeks of the holidays wondering why exactly I wasn’t the big ball of emotions that many other mums seemed to be, am I missing the ’emosh-mum’ skither of my brain? No, I don’t think so… after all I still have a video clip on my phone of Athena’s very first belly laugh at a few months old… I did do a little cry then!
Maybe I’m heartless, but I just can’t shed a tear about it all. I didn’t cry when she left preschool either. “Bring your tissues” the pre-school teachers said when we got the end-of-term show invites, but nope, no tears from this mum! I’m just not really a super emotional person. Maybe I’m somehow repressing these ‘normal’ maternal emotional feelings? Who knows. Perhaps one day 33 years of unspent emotions will gush out and a thousand un-cried tears will drown me, but I doubt it. Anyway, don’t worry I’m sure my husband will shed one or two as he’s by far the more sappy of the pair of us.
I am fairly confident Athena will love school although she only turned four a few months ago. She’s an outgoing kid, she doesn’t suffer fools gladly and she’ll talk to us if she’s got a problem with something. I also don’t consider her my best friend (though she often tells me I am hers which is kind of cute) and always get a bit weirded out when I see mums saying they’re sad their best friends are leaving them for school. Now don’t get me wrong, I think a close parent/kid relationship is key but I’d just never call my kid my best friend. For a start I’m too old to have a ‘best’ friend, instead I have a lot of good friends, which is what we try and encourage Athena to have too. I also think it’s a bit odd that so many women have a kid and suddenly forget who they were pre-motherhood. To me a good friend is someone you can spend time with and be yourself with, maybe rant a bit about a stressful day (perhaps to do with the kids?) or go for a nice relaxing meal out with (definitely cannot do with my kids.) So no, my daughter is definitely not my best friend, but it doesn’t mean I love her any less! I really hope some of the mums who are loosing their best friend to schools 9-3 five days a week survive, and find that there is life out there to be had away from your kids! I don’t mean that in a harsh way, I just think that every parent should retain some of their pre-parenthood life every now and then, and your kid starting school is a good a time as any!
I tell you know, when Arlo joins her at school two years from now I will be having a proper celebration! Who’s with me?