Although I knew school would be a big change in my girl's life, I didn't really think about the fact that school would add yet another dimension and yet another role to my life. I'm now a school mum. I wash and iron her uniforms, I ball up little white socks and I have to think about packing food that will be still be edible in the QLD heat, after sitting in her bag.
The mother guilt has already set in. For the first couple of days, I was able to stay and chat with other parents in the morning and afternoons. Now I take my girl to school, stay with her until the bell rings and then I race back to the car and head to work. While she's little and just beginning this journey, I need to stay with her until class starts. This means that I'm now starting work half an hour later, which results in returning home from work half an hour later.
I'm not able to really connect with other parents or her teacher, I'm not able to volunteer my time and to become involved. My girl is picked up four afternoons a week by after school care, which is her old daycare (and is still where O is cared for), so it is all familiar. But still, someone else is driving my girl, picking her up, asking her how school was. I have thought of her every day at 3pm this week, hoping she is OK.
She loves it and I think she really gets in to the independence. She's embracing it. On Wednesday she was not so keen to go to school and it broke my heart, but off she went and she was smiling by the time she walked through the door.
It's such a journey of emotions and feelings, this growing up, this watching her grow in to her own being. I love that she smiles at kids and chats to them before class, it warms my heart that she is making friends. She didn't know anyone at all when she started. So I'm proud and emotional. And guilty. But this is what needs to happen for us, and it's working OK right now.
I read this great Open Letter to School Mums by Sunny Mummy the other day. A really great read. Point #5 was particularly poignant.
So, I'm now a school mum. Bring it on.