We are only in our second week of school and I’m sure we still have a lot to discover, but here’s what I have learnt so far…
- The school car park could be a setting for the Hunger Games. Mums will get there over an hour before school starts just to get a space, they’ll park where ever their car fits, block any cars in that happen to be in the way, and then they’ll do it all over again in the afternoon!
- It’s cliquey. Remember at baby group where there were those groups of mums who would stick together in a little pack and not chat to anyone else? The school gates are exactly the same! Everyone is in their little group and they won’t make eye contact with you unless they know you. If you’re new to an area or school then you stand no chance.
- Information overload! In the first week of school we received 14 emails, 4 paper forms to fill in, and attended a parent’s “Welcome” evening. I’m not knocking communication but I’ve had to buy a family organiser just to write all the school related things in.
- You will have no idea what your child gets up to during the day. We get little to no information out of H when she finishes school, other than what she’s had for lunch. Any probing questions get the reply of “I can’t remember”, or even ” I don’t want to tell you”.
- But you’ll hear what everyone else’s kids got up to. “Billy wouldn’t sit still”. “Olivia got told off for ignoring the teacher”. “Molly wouldn’t let me play with the bricks”. Argh.
- You’ll feel like you spend most of your life at school. For me, driving to the school, parking, and then waiting for the gate to open takes approx 30 minutes. Do that twice a day, 5 times a week, plus add on any meetings and after school clubs – just think what you could be doing with that time!
- Life is one big rush. If, like me you’re a working mum, you’ll rush to get to school on time, then leg it back to the car as soon as your child is through the gate, and head off to work through the dreaded rush hour traffic. Once there you’ll spend the day checking the clock to make sure you leave in time to collect the little darling, then rush back to school to find a parking spot before the bell goes. Phew.
- Having a child at school makes you feel old. There’s nothing like meeting with teachers (who are clearly younger than you), dropping a little person off at the school gate, and signing parental permission forms to make you feel like a proper grown up.
But all that said, nothing makes me feel prouder than seeing my (not so) little girl skip down the path to her classroom with her book bag in the morning, and then run up to me with a big cuddle at the end of the day 🙂
If any more experienced parents amongst you have anything that us newbies need to be aware of please let us know in the comments!