Sunday, 18 September 2016


I knew the shift from nursery to school would be a bit more complicated. I understood that when Ava made the transition to national curriculum there would be more stuff to do, more things I needed to remember, extra effort made to ensure she made the move in the easiest way possible. But in all honesty, I had no idea the utter stress fest that Ava starting school would turn out to be.

It's not like I completely had my shit together anyway. I've never been the crocs and baby led weaning type of mother. I've tried to indulge in various types of arts and crafts in the past but I have zero patience & the resulting mess would frankly bring me out in a rash. I'm the mum who would rather pay a small fortune on petrol, entry fees & nice lunches than be shut in on a rainy afternoon 'making things'. If something needs sewn, it gets chucked in the bin and a suitable replacement promptly purchased. I'm the mum you see scrambling about the Sainsbury's clothes department the night before the nursery Halloween party, desperately trying to source a costume that fits. The mum who buys in the brownies for the school bake sale & who doesn't think twice about pouring herself a gin and tonic while the chicken nuggets are cooking. 

But even taking all these facts into account, I still felt like we pretty much had it together. As a single mum, I've become pretty decent at juggling. Juggling I can do. Juggling I was getting pretty bloody good at. Until August.

Managing the new and exciting world of primary school has been a political, economical and social minefield for me but one massive big fun fest for Ava (thankfully). There's knowing where to drop her for breakfast club (we spent 20 minutes one morning trying to find the entrance). Then there's ensuring every single piece of attire she owns is appropriately labelled (I haven't seen the labels in weeks but I think they might be down the back of the fridge). There's making sure she does the right page in her homework jotter and that it goes in the (appropriately labelled) large plastic carrier thing they are assigned for their school books (because god forbid we put that stuff in her actual school bag). Then there's getting the right gym kit. Do primary ones need plimsolls or trainers?  Do you see the stress I'm under? Then all of a sudden she wants school dinners. How does that work? Does she need money? Apparently not because they are free up until primary three. How am I meant to know that? Because I got the email. Apparently.

The list goes on...

Then there's the mornings. Mornings used to be a super organised affair in our household & I used to get up half an hour early just so I could make Ava fresh pancakes for breakfast and paint my nails before work. Nowadays the am slot in our flat is like a scene from Saving Private Ryan. We're talking tears, tantrums, various clothes changes and basic chaos just trying to get out of the front door. And don't even get me started on Ava. There's meltdowns because I ironed the wrong pinafore, neighbours banging on the door to inform me my bathroom is leaking & almighty tantrums when I get caught sneaking a bagel into her lunch box instead of the wrap she had requested the night before. Recently we accidentally threw the car keys into the downstairs recycling bin and had to spend twenty minutes trawling through an entire weeks worth of empty plastic bottles and empty soup tins trying to get them back in time to make it to school for 9am. Only the other day I almost caused a 5 car pile up because I was too busy trying to scrub Ava's face with a wet wipe than pay attention to the road. Two weeks into school I got pulled up at the gates for not sending Ava into school in the appropriate type of jacket (should have been waterproof), while Ava proudly announced to her pals and the cluster of yummy mummies who were still gathered at the entrance that 'Mummy drove through a red light just to get me here on time'. 

 I could go on...

But I have no excuse. Because I only have one kid and she's at her Dad's on a Monday & Tuesday. Meaning I only have three days a week to completely balls up. The beginning of the week leaves me school stress free & able to adult to my hearts content by doing things like finally starting the book I've been saying I was gonna write for the past three years and working on that hot yoga body (both of which are a work in progress).

And so I find myself at home on another Sunday evening, thinking about the school uniforms I could be ironing, emails I should be reading and packed lunch prep I could be planning. And telling myself how this time next year I will be one of those mums you see at the school gates at 8.40am sharp every single morning. The ones with the soya lattes, hot yoga bodies, perfectly painted nails and the children wearing the correct pinafores.

1 comment:

Frazzled knackered mum said...

Oh wow. I thought my life was chaos with 6 children to get ready in the morning for the school run. No dig intended. Things will settle down but you need to make changes.
The key to your morning routine is organisation and communication, between the both of you. 1st Get a list each of things that there is no compromise on, they are a must. Then a list of things that are flexible and won't matter if they don't get done. 2nd encourage each other to complete your list and organise it in to priorities first. Talk about what needs to happen and listen to each other. By agreeing to what needs to happen it should cut back the tantrums and chaos.
Throw rubbish out at night, raking through the trash for a list or keys is no fun. I know, I know, lists are boring but they only exist till you get organised and dont need them. I don't mean to appear smug or patronising, I really don't. I'll never be a yummy mummy, gave up trying, now just trying to help a fellow frazzled mum :)