When the kids are all at school I will have more time to read.
When the kids are all at school I won’t have to rush around so much.
When the kids are all at school I will get more sleep.
When the kids are all at school I will work on those projects that have been on my to do list for years.
And this list could go on and on and on. For the last few years, saying when the kids are all at school was a pretty common phrase to be uttered by me. It was not that I wished the time away so they would all be in school, far from it.
The first week of term one this year was a roller coaster of emotions for me. I knew it would be an emotional week, but I was surprised at how sad I was. Three new firsts, big changes, in consecutive days had me at times a little overwhelmed.
This was the first day of school for our last child. He is a divine character and I have always enjoyed his company at home, so missing him was definitely going to be part of the equation.
On his first day he went confidently but quietly into the classroom, found his seat the table and started colouring in. His dad left, I stayed and took a few more photos, but realised I was going to cry so kissed him good bye before the tears started and left.
Out of view I cried some more, not really knowing why other than I felt incredibly sad. A few lovely mums chatted to me, but I really just wanted to go home.
At home I cried some more before it was time to take my daughter to a play date in a park for her new school. I was very quiet on the drive and my daughter looked a little worried. I explained that I was just sad and that was making me quiet, but everything was ok.
The park was a good distraction for me. I knew no one, so had to do lots getting to know people style talk. Before I knew it it was time to go back to school and pick up the preppie. He strolled happily out of the classroom. I just wanted to pick him up and squeeze him to pieces, but resisted the urge.
He told me small stories from his day as he ate his lunch. He somehow seemed to have grown older in a few hours!
This was the first day of school for our second son. He is quite organised, despises being late and a little bit if a worrier. He had himself all sorted with bag packed, clothes out and alarm set before he went to bed.
He was so organised and just bursting to get on with it and get out the door. I walked him out the front and to the end of our driveway and waved him off as he set off up the street to the train station. I cried as I waved, happy that he was confident in himself, sad as now travelling further to school I would see him much less each day.
This was the first day at a new school for our daughter. To get to school she will now also travel via public transport on her own. We did many,many practices during the school holidays and tried out different routes. But for the first day we made the trip together.
I walked with her into her classroom, met her teacher, watched her organise her locker and find her desk. She looked nervously happy and I felt the tears forming in my eyes so I knew it was time for me to go.
The school were putting on a morning tea, but I needed to take some time to compose myself before I could join in. I thought about skipping it but was glad I didn’t as I met some lovely mums.
After the morning tea, I made my way back home on public transport. Sitting on the train, it occurred to me I was going home to an empty house. This made me sad and I cried a little again. I knew everyone was well settled and prepared for there challenges of this year, but the change was so dramatic for me.
Arriving home, I had to put on loud music as I couldn’t stand the quiet. I had so many things I could have possibly done in the 1.5 hours before the preppie finished – washing, cleaning,work, but I had the urge to bake so did that.
After picking up the little one up at lunch time, we had lunch together and chatted about his day. I felt exhausted and he looked tired too so I asked him if he felt like an afternoon nap. I read him a story and we had a nap in my bed together for about 45 minutes. I know there will not be many more of those left.
Monday and beyond
I had gone from walking four children to school each day and having one walk back with me, even if it was just to kinder, to only having two walk to school with me and no one walk home with me. Well I have the dog and we run home together, but it is still very different.
The older three children have all left the house by 7.40am and are not home before 4pm at the earliest, so they are away from me for much longer. This has taken some getting used to.
In fact term one was just one big period of adjustment for me. All this extra time I thought I would have with all of the kids at school, didn’t quite pan out the way I thought it would for most of term one.
The last week of term one and now a couple of weeks into term two and I starting to find some rhythm to my days. Often I still feel a bit all over the place and a bit lost at times, but writing down my week recently has really helped me get a handle on how I can now effectively use the hours when the kids are all at school, so I can be with them more when they are home.
Have I ticked off the list, those things I was going to do when the kids are all at school? Not quite yet, but I can see it will start to happen more this term. Chatting with other mums who have all their kids at school, they all tell me a very similar thing. It take at least one if not two terms to find your feet with your new circumstances.
And that is the reason why I have called this post When the kids are all at school…..part 1. I will share again at the start of term three how I am finding my daily life now that the kids are all at school. Hopefully once I am used to the kids all being at school, I will find the time to tick off some items from my list.
Did you have your last child start school this year? I would love to hear how it going for you.