To my fellow new school mums,
I was going to write a letter to my baby girl as she embarks on her journey to big school, but I know she will be just fine, as will your precious little people. The class of 2031 (yes, that will be their graduating year) are going to change the world.
As I sat at my keyboard to write to my daughter, my mind turned to you, my fellow mums who are preparing to buckle their seatbelts on the big school rollercoaster. The highs of school awards and new friendships paired with the lows of missing out and feeling not good enough. Not to mention packing lunch boxes and making sure they have a clean uniform to wear every day…
To tell you the truth I am SCARED in a way that I have never been before. Terrified even. I’m scared of lots of things but mostly that I will no longer be able to protect my baby in the same way that I have in the past. I’m hoping that’s where you come in.
Just a couple of weeks ago I joined my mum for lunch with two other women who she met when I started school. That could be us in 30+ years, getting together for dinner a few times a year, swapping photos of our grandchildren and chatting as though no time has passed.
So while we probably won’t be forming bonds as we make sandwiches in the school canteen, we need those bonds, for ourselves as much as we do for our children.
While one of us is working, another is helping out with reading, not just there for her own child but for the whole class. When one can’t make it to a school assembly, the others will cheer just as loudly for her child as they do for their own. Do you see where I’m going here?
Let’s teach and show our children that kindness and tolerance is the only way. Let’s take bullying and kick it to the kerb. Let’s teach our children that difference is to be celebrated and not feared. Let’s understand both sides of the story before we charge in to right a wrong.
When our kids start school let’s not judge other parents for how much they work or what they wear to school pick up. You don’t know their situation. Let’s look beyond our own child to the collective class, because together they can achieve a whole lot more than they can on their own.
It might sound all very utopian, but where do we start if not in our own homes and with our own attitudes and actions. I’m far from perfect (just ask my family!) but I can promise that if you need an ear to listen or someone to take a photo of your kid crossing the finish line, I’ll be there, no questions asked, just as you will be for me.
So as we fill these last days of life before big school with lots of cuddles and laughs, one of the things I am most looking forward to is seeing the friendships our kids make and getting to know you, even if we never do more than a quick nod at the school gate.
Good luck for the first day of school. I’ll be the one with the dark sunglasses and the big box of tissues sobbing by the school gate. Let our journey together begin.
P.S. If anyone works out why they need so many bloody glue sticks can you please let me know!
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