This week I have been a really needy Mum, in-fact, I’ve been a bit of a stressed, shouty Mum with a side of bawling my eyes out, and all because the time has finally come, my little babe is ready to start school.
This week will be her last at nursery, and after the summer holidays she will don a shiny new uniform, pack her bag and be off to big school. Surely I can’t be alone in feeling this way, but I am really am struggling. When my first daughter went to school, It was a great moment, she was so excited and we we’re too, (well you are with your first aren’t you), but this time it’s different. This time I say goodbye, not only to my baby and last born child, but to that whole period of my life. I won’t be birthing anymore babies, this factory is well and truly closed for business, there will be no more nappies to change or boobie milk to provide, and for me, that’s a hard pill for me to swallow.
There is a 10 yr gap between my two girls, and 8 yrs of that were spent trying to conceive ( that will be another post ), so when this little munchkin came into our lives, we decided that we were done having children, we felt complete and grateful to have 2 healthy daughters. In the beginning I spent weeks just staring at her through sleep deprived eyes, trying to soak up every second of her babiness, but time just got away from me. At 11 months she was walking, ‘too early’ I thought, ‘where did my little baby go’? I had spent so many years putting my life on hold, waiting to have a second child, and now she’s here and life has picked up speed again, leaving me struggling to keep up.
I became a ‘stay at home mum’ when she was born and barely left the house for weeks, I was selfishly keeping her all to myself, and as a sahm I didn’t need to send her to nursery, until, Sep 2016, 1 year before she was due to start school. I did the same with my first ( although I was a working mum then, she would stay with her grandparents while I worked) and I did so at that point because I wanted them both to engage socially with other, larger groups of children, to learn how to behave when I wasn’t there and to make sure they could separate from me/family happily.
As my babe is an Autumn born ( December) I was so lucky to have what felt like an extra year with her before she started school, and as friends waved off their little ones last September, I felt so happy that I had more time ahead for just us. But, in what feels like a heart beat, here we are. September might be over a month away, but it is looming over me like the Sword of Damocles. As we start to gather up all of the countless ‘necessary’ school uniforms, kits and tools, L’s face has been beaming with excitement at all of the ‘big girl’ treasures, and I have realised that even though I feel sad, she does not, in-fact, it’s quite the opposite, she cannot wait.
So I put on my ‘game face’ I tell her of all the amazing things school has to offer, the great times she will have and the friendships she will forge that will last a lifetime. I don’t want her to feel my sadness, I don’t want her to miss me, I want her to have the time of her life.
I don’t know what’s next for me, I haven’t been alone in almost 5yrs. I will go back to work, which after so long kind of terrifies me, so much of my working life between my girls was consumed with trying to conceive, I would make excuses at work as to why I needed time off or have a lot of sick days to deal with countless hospital appointments & treatments or to recover from the emotional trauma of it all ( sounds a bit OTT, but if you suffer with infertility, you’ll get me ), I felt bad lying to my colleagues, and often endured their shitty comments about being a skiver etc, but they didn’t know what I was going through, they just thought I had shirked my responsibilities and didn’t want to work, that couldn’t have been further from the truth, I was all consumed with getting pregnant, while others managed it so easily around me, and I couldn’t bring myself to discuss it with anyone.
Wow I really digressed there didn’t I!
So here we are, up to date, as a Mum I will do my best to suck up every special moment from our last, preschool summer, and when September comes, I will smile, wave goodbye, spend the drive home crying and then pull myself together & pick her up bright-eyed, as we all will.
Being a parent is both torture and bliss in equal measure, but I wouldn’t change it.
Thinking of all the parents who are not ready…