We’ve reached the end of our first official school summer holidays, and my five year old son will soon be starting in Year One.
I’m very glad to not be in the same situation as this time last year, when I was full of nerves about him moving from nursery to school. I had all the uniform bought and labelled, and we’d had lots of conversations about what to expect.
I thought I knew how I was going to feel too. I had visions of being the perfect mum at the school gates, full of enthusiasm about picking up my little cherub and then whisking him off for healthy snacks and educational activities.
The reality was somewhat different – as with most things in parent-land.
So it was with huge apprehension that we approached the summer holidays. Again I had my ideals of what it was going to be like, with plenty of calm crafts and postcard memories. It hasn’t worked out like that, but it hasn’t been half bad.
We’ve had some unexpected trips out, like when I took him to his first cricket match and we ended up on Sky Sports. Or the behind the scenes tour of a theatre and a Thai lunch.
We’ve also had a huge amount of jumping, running and general sports related activities. Because that’s what my two kids like to do. I won’t force them into doing stuff they don’t want to do just so I can put a picture onto Instagram. We’re not like that as a family, and it’s been an important lesson to learn over the last six weeks.
I’m trying hard to be honest with myself and stop trying to be someone that I’m not. I love spending time with my kids, but not allll the time. I need space away from them to re-focus, and then really appreciate the quality moments I have with them. The best memories I’m taking away from the summer holidays are the tiny ones, that would seem insignificant to anyone else but mean the world to me.
That being said, I’ve pretty much reached breaking point (as has my wallet) and I long for some stability back in our lives. I enjoy the structure of school as much as my son does.