Today my “baby”, started school and I was totally unprepared.
Of course the uniforms were labelled, books contacted, freezer chock-a-block with lunchbox-friendly foods and most importantly, my son was excited, happy and more than ready to take this next step.
But me, well, I hadn’t really given too much thought about how I’d pull through the transition to school. I assumed I’d be fine, like I was this time last year when he started kindy…….
Other mum friends had warned me of the flood of emotions that hit them when their kids started school. For some reason though, I thought it might be different for me.
Wasn’t school just another milestone? Like crawling, learning to walk or talk, or even sleeping through the night?
Yes and NO!
Starting school IS a very significant milestone that marks yet another chapter.
and NO. It is so very different from other milestones.
Starting school slams the doors on the fully dependent years and here’s what I was unprepared for the most…. the flood of doubt, questions, grief, and that awful mother guilt. They all hit me like a semi-trailer late last night, again in the middle of the night when I lay awake with a pounding headache, and again this morning after drop off.
Did I make the most of the precious babies years? Was I present enough? Did I enjoy him enough when I had him around me all the time?
Blah blah blah enough?
Of course I know I’ve done my very best to nurture and guide him as well as my other son, my marriage, my home, my business and myself (!) but still these self-doubting questions niggled at me.
And I now know they niggle all mums.
Mums of newborns. Working mums. Stay-at-home mums. Work-at-home mums. Mums of teenagers. Mums of adults!
Older mums get it.
That was more than evident today when I started to lose it and some mum friends of older kids swooped me up for a chat and cuppa in the parents room.
And I’m so glad they did.
Because I prepared my son super well for today. But I didn’t prepare myself.
As mums we’re programmed to put the needs of our families before us. Nature requires us to do so. But let’s not forget about ourselves.
I’ve just come back from a nice evening stroll and plan to have an early night. It’s a small step in the self-love department but I needed it today. It’s been a big day!
Whether you have your own school starter, or you’re still in the thick of juggling newborn, feeds, naps and nappies, remember to take the time to nurture yourself.
Your family are depending on you to do so.
So tonight, I urge you to take a moment to reflect on the awesome job you’re doing as mum and plan something special for you in the next day or so to take time out. I’m going to get my nails done (even if they are “mum-short”!). 😉
I’d love to hear what you get up to!
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