What I’ve learnt in my first year of school (parenting). It’s been an education!

So, school. We’re whooshing up to the end of term and in between all the end of term drinks, (seriously, I think I’m going out more this fortnight then I have done for the rest of the year!), collections for teacher’s gifts, cake baking for the summer fair, (which I didn’t actually get round to, we weren’t even here that weekend but I still got told off by my darling daughter as she’s been instructed to tell me to ‘put a cake on the plate’.), and over tired melt down management, I thought I would reflect on what I’ve learnt so far in our first year.

So excited and looking super cute but just looking at this makes me well up!

How the heck this is a year ago I’ll never know!!!

Maybe you are coming up to your baby starting school, (do you feel the same as I did about it?), or maybe you are in the same boat and can nod along sagely. Either way, I hope you can enjoy my thoughts on parenting a school child.

Number 1. You will buy all the school kit through their official supplier. The jumpers will be monogrammed, the socks and hairbands will match the summer dress, you may even go to the lengths I did and buy the school logo emblazoned rucksack that is far too big to actually be of any use for the next few years at least. And by the time they do have the need for it, I’m pretty sure they shall want to choose their own, as it is, quite frankly, a bit hideous!

Number 2. About half way through the school year, (if that!!), you will become aware that your child has taken up a new hobby of ‘growing faster then ever’. You will switch to buying their uniform from a supermarket of your choice because a) everyone else does and b) the low prices mean that you won’t want to cry every time you realise that your daughter’s skirt is shorter then anything that you’d ever let her wear as a teen or that your son’s jumper has become a fetching knitted crop top.

Number 3. They will get through a lot of shoes. Seriously! We started with the whole ‘shoe shop experience’ all dead proud and glowy at the sight of our precious angel modelling her smart black, ‘toy in the heel’, (seriously, wtf? Firstly they are not allowed toys in school and secondly, they will loose a part of it within a week.), mary janes, feeling reassured that her feet will be well supported during her day of….sitting at a desk and only slightly wincing at the cost. 6 weeks later will see you grabbing a pair from the cheapest place you can find. Seriously! How do feet grow that flipping fast?!

Number 4. By the end of the year, somewhere in your house, you will have a ‘gallery of rubbish’. I’m not being mean to my wonderful daughter’s artistic abilities, (which are brilliant by the way, I shall have to dig out her hilarious drawing of ‘Daddy re-imagined as a ballerina’!), I literally mean rubbish. The children are given the contents of someone’s recycling bin, and a roll of masking tape and allowed to create as wildly as their imaginations will let them. The sympathetic glances from all the other parents will do nothing to stem the horror of the sight of your child leaving the doors with a winged aeroplane, almost bigger then themselves, complete with hanger and runway. Equally, you shall feel relieved and bestow the sympathetic glance upon the fellow parent when it’s their turn. Unless it is your friend’s child. In which case, you will most likely brightly compliment their child on their amazing tv/race car/tower of sweet tubs while shooting large smiles at their mum. Who will mutter at you to eff off under their breath before smiling and admiring the amazing construction that somehow needs to make it home. And can’t be thrown away. Ever.

Number 5. You will start out checking the lunch menu religiously and making the choice for the day with your child. This will very quickly wear off until the only time you know what they had for lunch is when they ask what dinner is and then tell you they had the very same thing for lunch.

How I imagined it. Pretty accurate as it happens!!

How I imagined it. Pretty accurate as it happens!!

Number 6. Your calm and organised mornings will be so rare that you will be able to remember them all. More often then not you will be the harridan screeching at your kids to get their teeth brushed and dragging a brush through their hair whilst attempting to listen to them read, threatening them with your tears before dashing out the door and trying to look calm and composed as you filter into the flow of other parents heading in. You will spot your fellow stressed Mamas within this flow, tugging at ponytails and dragging reluctant toddlers and share a look of solidarity.

Number 7. Sometimes the head will be on the gate. This adds an extra layer of pressure to not come in shrieking.

Number 8. You will have all school meetings/chats/visits sitting on tiny chairs. You will feel a little like Alice when she drinks the growth potion and attempt to hover slightly to prevent the abject humiliation of having the chair collapse under your, (slightly larger then a 5 year old’s!), bottom.

Number 9. You will realise near the end of the year that you had forgotten about the wellies you’d sent in at the start. A pang of guilt will strike you when you work out that these are now nearly 3 sizes too small. You may also only realise the games kit is too small when you see your child compete in sport’s day and their trousers reveal a good few inches of ankle!

Number 10. You will begin the year reading every email you are sent and carefully checking every piece of paper that comes home in the book bag, (all hail the hallowed book bag, keeper of all and slightly grubby after a year of daily use!), until you cotton on to the fact that it is a pretty relentless stream and not very much of it applies to you and resort to relying on the parental facebook group’s more organised members to tell you what is going on on what day. (Where were you on the day I only realised it was non uniform day as we joined the flow and noticed no one was in uniform, when I dropped a, (mouthed!), F-bomb and raced back in, shoving her into clothes that, as it happened, were too small huh guys?!) 😉

Number 11. You will know that certain things are on certain days. This will not stop you from having to search ‘show and tell topics’ on your email every week as you are walking out of the door. Or worse, in the school queue, prompting a desperate search in your pockets for something that could do.

Number 12. You will be exhausted. Seriously. How can it be so tiring?! A culmination of very late nights spent creating costumes that you only remembered about the day before, cramming a term’s worth of  ‘special moments’ into the weekends and holidays because you can’t do anything during the week anymore and shouting yourself hoarse every morning, results in some serious tiredness. Plus dealing with your child who will be beyond exhausted by this point and more then likely fighting constantly with their sibling.

 

 

66 Comments

  1. lol you bought the oversized rucksack too… book bags are far easier.

  2. Pingback: 4 Things That Have Changed in Our First Year at Primary School (And 4 Things That Haven’t) | Tea or Wine

  3. This post really made me chuckle. My kids are still too young for school but After reading this I have a good idea of what it will be like! Being a primary school teacher (now sahm) I particularly liked number 7 and 8. I always felt the exact same way rushing into work with the head there at the door – an instinctive ‘reflex’ causes a sudden change in composure, every time! The tiny school chairs, haha rest assured even the teacher is feeling uncomfortable! #bigpinklink

  4. Ha ha! Loved this, particularly the junk modelling! We have had so many “creations” this year! I have now learnt to leave it in full view for 2-3 days then put it in with the recycling!!! x

  5. LOL! The ‘gallery of rubbish’ paragraph made me really laugh! Kx

  6. Such a funny way to present it. You are not selling it to me hahaha. I love number 8. We forgot what it is like to be a little person #bigpinklink

  7. This is such a lovely post – it shows how hectic and fun the whole going to school thing is. Josh isn’t even one yet but I do think about when I will be walking him to the gates and taking him to buy some shoes! I’ve got some lovely mummy friends who’s little ones will be in the same school year I can’t wait to share all the adventures xx #bigpinklink

  8. so so true! oh i do not miss the mornings of trying to get little children to school – I still have to get my three out but most of the time they’ve got themselves sorted – it does get better! Oh and the Head at the gate – so funny – remember it well – always felt that I was being judged – not the children! Very entertaining post – roll on holidays so you can kick back for a bit – even if it’s for the less nights out!! #BigPinkLink

  9. The sitting on tiny chairs made me laugh! I have this all to come in September. I’ve already brought the stupidly expensive uniform and book bag but no way am I buying her the school bag too! #bigpinklink

  10. Oh my word! I’m still a year away from school territory, but I can already identify with ‘gallery of rubbish’ I seriously need a bigger fridge and an industrial set of magnets to home all the toot / masterpieces that keep getting brought home from nursery, and that’s just 15 hours a week for now? Now that you’ve told me that the Head might be waiting at the gate I feel much calmer and less anxious about the school drop offs though once they commence. *sobs* Thanks for that! 😉 … ooh and thank you for hosting lovely xx #bigpinklink

  11. The Popple is a few years away from being in school, but it’s good to know what to watch out for. I’ll definitely be opting for the supermarket uniform knowing how fast they grow – she’s already growing out of clothes that we bought her a month ago! And if the school run is anything like the nursery run, it’ll be a mad dash out the door without even looking in the mirror first. #bigpinklink

  12. I have all this to look forward to next year! Cannot believe how big my boy is getting. The tiny chairs gave me a giggle! #bigpinklink

  13. Ha, yes. All so true! I’ve written a very similar post for new year 7 parents. Your comments about the school shoes made me grin, as that is exactly what happened to me x 4. Tescos shoes all the way once I learnt my lesson! Very funny 🙂 Alison x #bigpinklink

  14. Argh! All so true! The school emails I delete without reading now – whoops! I have come unstuck a few times. The school shoes!! The expense. We have to have white trainers and black school shoes. We have gone through three pairs , of each colour, this year! I could have gone on a mini break for that 😉 #Bigpinklink

  15. Ha ha, great insight to my not too distant future! Although I have to say, I’m so glad my other half is the creative, artistic type as I can’t see me having the patience making costumes of an evening! I’m not the Art Attack sort of person! #bigpinklink

  16. We’re a little way off school yet but definitely have a collection of handmade tat which gets sent home from nursery! Also we seem to race through shoes at a rate of knots! Blasted kids!
    #bigpinklink

  17. My youngest (I only have 2) started school this past year. Thankfully I’d done it all already (and our school doesn’t do uniforms – I think they will in secondary school!) but its exactly as you described. The worst part for me is that the bus comes at 7:45! Well, that’s the worst, and best, part because then I often can have a few quiet minutes to get myself together before I have to go to work. Anyhow, I loved this post – so accurate!
    ~Jess
    #bigpinklink

  18. Oh, the joys! I have all this to come. To be honest, I’m a bit worried that I’ll be dropping Piglet at school 2 hours early as I start work at 8am, and as for the costumes, I really can’t see that happening! #bigpinklink

  19. I can’t believe my youngest has finished his first year and a half of school! How did that happen! My oldest is in high school next year, she will be a teenager next May!!! I’m freaking out HERE!!!!! #bigpinklink

  20. Loved this post!, A will officially start school next year, I’m slightly horrified at the thought, & even more horrified at how much all the kit etc will cost!

    #bigpinklink

  21. This is hilarious but has frightened me slightly! My mum works at a school and I’m always terrified when I see the headteacher!! I did laugh at the non uniform day and the games kit not fitting, bless! I’ll definitely be trying to find a Facebook group of organised mums to help me out, too..good tip! #bigpinklink

  22. Oh it sounds exhausting!! Funny though, I love the bit about meetings on tiny chairs haha. I have a few years to go yet (mine isn’t even born yet!) but can imagine how this will all play out for us! #BigPinkLink

  23. Loved reading this post. It describes so well what the first year of school is like! Does anyone ever need a rucksack that size? Trying to get everyone in the car takes ages in our house! Thanks for sharing. #bigpinklink

  24. Crumbs – we have all of this to come next year and I’m expecting it to be a more expensive, more intense version of nursery in terms of all the kit, things you’re supposed to be doing, prepping, sending in etc. Thanks for sharing and for hosting #bigpinklink xx

  25. Oh how glad I am we are a good few years away from this! #bigpinklink

  26. Haha yes , I nodded all the way through this. Although on number 3 I think you missed the bit about them horribly scuffing beyond repair the the toes of their shoes on day 3 of ownership.

    We do the dreaded ‘night before’ staying up late sticking stuff in a ridiculous scrap book thing too. Not quite costume making but definitely similar!

  27. Sorry, I do this every time… #bigpinklink

  28. Shes so adorbs. Your list is fabulous. Thats amazing you get to make lunch choices. #bigpinklink

  29. OMG YES..this is me…we have three days left of reception…the boy is so tired and miserable! The teacher sent me home yesterday with wellies that no longer fit and two massive files of work that I will mostly be putting in the recycle bin. I did starting school tips from what I learnt..totally buy supermarket uniform and shares in Clarks..I’m pretty sure Leo picks cheese pizza for lunch everyday…My arse broke 1 of those chairs..#bigpinklink

  30. Oh dear! They definitely grow way too quick in their first models. Is it bad that after a couple of days their creations end up in the bin #bigpinklink

  31. I see the future. And it is hectic. More hectic. But at least I feel prepared haha! #BigPinkLink

  32. Oh no! I thought school would make it easier – having them out of the house for a set among of time every day. You mean it actually requires more work?! #bigpinklink

  33. All of this!!! Totally brilliant and spot on from a parent and a teachers perspective. I must admit I love it when the parents have to navigate the tiny chairs #BigPinkLink

  34. My children are at the end of year 1 & 4 so I’ve done it all I’m already dreading the school shoe shop. The boy has just come home with a pile of art it will secretly end up in the bin soon. #bigpinklink Lifeinthemumslane

  35. I’m tired just thinking about it now! Glad I have a few years to go! #bigpinklink

  36. My son’s just finished reception too and we managed to get through 3 pairs of shoes. To be honest his last pair were pretty much falling apart and I should have replaced them but it gets so expensive. There really is no pint in spending loads on shoes that they’ll wreck in a month x #bigpinklink

  37. You’ve put it in a nutshell here. I only have one at school at the moment, with twins starting nursery in September. The book bag really is your saviour. Don’t even get me started about shoes though grrr…#bigpinklink

  38. Ah this is lovely. You have described that first year of madness so well. It’s nice for me to read as I am at the other end with my eldest leaving primary school in 4 days so it’s nice to remember those early days!

    Time flies, enjoy it all, even those mad mornings trying to get out of the house!

    #bigpinklink

  39. Wow some great tips here that I must remember! Ha, we do the sitting on tiny chairs thing at preschool as well, why is that!? Surely they must have a stash of grown up chairs somewhere! Ahh I’m sort of looking forward to it all and sort of dreading it. The preschool paperwork was bad enough and the ‘artwork’… I tried to leave without checking the other day and another helpful parent reminded me to pick up the ‘splodged’ (my son’s word) bit of cardboard …hmm thanks. #bigpinklink

  40. My first son has finished school and I home educate my younger one. Some days are exhaustingly busy but reading this makes me appreciate the joys of not doing that school run!

  41. Back again for #BigPinkLInk You know I love this…. It inspired me to write my own version! Only one more week left ever in Reception class – how did THAT happen?!! Bring on the summer hols! x

  42. With my first son having finished school and the younger one being home educated now I forgot just how exhausting getting them to school can be. #bigpinklink

    Sorry if previously tried comments came through. My PC keeps crashing every time I try.

  43. Aww it sounds stressful! My boy starts next September, I am not looking forward to it all, we are always in our pjs until atleast 10 every day. xx #bigpinklink

  44. Honey starts pre-school in September and I now feel like I’ve seen into the future! lol! xoxo

  45. We have a gallery of rubbish and I’m not even at School yet!! – There is no hope! #bigpinklink

  46. What a fab post, love it. The junk modelling is great. I tend to sneak it into reclycling once they go to bed. xx #bigpinklink

  47. A great post and exactly what we have found this year. You’d think, being a teacher in a former life, that I would have had a good idea about what the kids would/wouldn’t need etc – but turns out that being a parent is way harder than I had thought – and schools have some very odd rules!! Really made me laugh – thanks for sharing!

  48. A great post and exactly what we have found this year. You’d think, being a teacher in a former life, that I would have had a good idea about what the kids would/wouldn’t need etc – but turns out that being a parent is way harder than I had thought – and schools have some very odd rules!! Really made me laugh – thanks for sharing! #bigpinklink

  49. So funny! The gallery of rubbish, we are already there! They come home from nursery with THE biggest pile of crap – cereal boxes, egg cartons, a whole load of rubbish that I’m expected to treasure forever?! As for the shoes, I am dreading that part, my eldest goes through one pair after another, god help me when I’ve got all four in school!! #bigpinklink

  50. Ha this is fab and all so true! My son is going up to year 2 and daughter starting reception in September xx #bigpinklink

  51. Brilliant post we have all this to look forward to next year two times over twins start school full-time and omg we had some rubbish brought home from nursery can’t wait for more next year thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  52. This is absolutely spot on from my experience. Apart from one thing – Ava’s shoes fitted her for about eight months! I think the person had mis-measured at the start of the year. They were an absolute disgrace looks-wise though, so we were actually very relieved when she FINALLY grew out of them! xx #bigpinklink

  53. Very informative and great to hear a personal insight, my boy starts school in September so this has helped me get prepared X #bigpinklink

  54. Ha I was in fact going to link my exhausted mother post this week but had to link something else before the topic went too cold. The bit about the skirt and the jumper being a little crop top. Ha haaaa! As for reading every email at the start of term…ooh what can I say…nope…I chose to be as useless at the start as I was at the end. The number of things I’ve missed is shocking. At least I’m consistent! #BigPinkLink

  55. Ha ha the junk bit made me laugh out loud. As a reception teacher, last week I got a kite as an end of year present. The ‘lite’ was a coat hanger with a piece of crepe paper taped to it But I absolutely loved it because that child cared enough to make it for me at home instead of watching to or playing on his iPad (his favourite activity!) Not that I actually brought it home though Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  56. Haha! This is a great list. I have already experienced some of it as both mine are in nursery (I think E’s current wellies there are 7s and he is a 9?!) and have sat on those tiny chairs lots. I always worry I will break them or fall off in some kind of Miranda sketch take-off. This time next year we’ll be preparing for school and with Biggest’s autism I am pretty sure it will be one of the most stressful times of my life… Your post made me smile 🙂 #bigpinklink

  57. Yes all of that times 3!! My youngest will graduate to year one in September! Luckily the middle child is relatively self-sufficient and reminds me of particular days- non-uniform days etc. The other two are subject to my ‘lack of space in my brain for everything’!! #bigpinklink

  58. Lol! My children are still too young for school but my son goes to a nursery that requires uniform. Problem is Supermarkets don’t sell uniforms in Portugal!!! I know that that’s because most places don’t require one but still. The gallery of crap (or should I say beautiful drawings and paintings) i can totally empathise with as it’s already a feature in my house. #bgpinklink

  59. Haha! I distinctly remember lying to my mum that my shoes were too tight so she’d (hopefully) buy me those Clarks ones with the key in the sole. She never did, and needless to say was wise to my tricks. Thanks for hosting #bigpinklink

  60. Wow you did learn a lot. I’m dreading the school days, apart from the not having to worry about how to occupy my children all day every day part. Goodness I remember the stress that was shoe shopping, I used to be two stroppy when my oversized feet wouldn’t fit in the pretty clarks ones. I’m sure karma is going to make me pay by the bucket load when my kids are at school. #bigpinklink xx

  61. Yes, yes and yes to all the great points! I always start out with such high expectations (and hopes) for myself to be on board but I am usually drowning by the third week. I have to put all the school events in my calendar if not I will not remember anything. Lovely post. Thanks for being a fab co-hostess #bigpinklink

  62. We are a year away from school, so this has given me an insight into what to look forward to 🙂 I have to say I am dreading the start of school, I think I am going to have to get my act together as we are always late for nursery! #bigpinklink

  63. Oh I am so looking forward to Monkey going to school!! He starts Sept and we have done the school uniform thing and booked in for our fitting appointment for shoes?! I must admit it’s going to bring a whole new level to the juggling act of motherhood! Thanks for hosting #Bigpinklink

  64. Haha – not reached school age yet here! My mum was a teacher before retirement though & I have spent so much time with the tiny chairs over the years helping out! School uniforms for primary children (& secondary actually, but especially little ones) annoy me so much, even before I have to pay for them! #bigpinklink

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