Tuesday 8 March 2016

8 things I've learned since becoming a SCHOOL mum

I ain't afraid of no school!
Around two and a half years ago when my youngest was not long walking, I wrote a post about the surprising things I learned since becoming a mum that no one had ever told me about (check it out here). My eldest has now just started school, and once again I've found my eyes have been opened.

I'm only a month or so in, but here are a few things I've already learned since becoming a SCHOOL mum...

1. School shoes are f#*$ing expensive
I didn't think they should be super cheap (at least not ones from a proper kids' shoe store), but $124.95?? Somebody somewhere is laughing their head off while they count their bags of cash. Plus the magic shoes are already scuffed and looking ratty - which to be fair was to be expected I guess. Next time I'm going Target or Aldi shoes - how different can they really be? They're all black and look the same. Kindergarten kids are certainly not comparing brands with their friends, they don't even know what day of the week it is!  

2. School bells aren't what they're used to be
Forget the boring old bell. Our local school cranks out music to signify the start of the day - and awesome tunes at that! For the first few weeks it was the theme from Ghostbusters (!!) and now it's We are the champions by Queen (both sans lyrics). I think some people were confused though as now they've starting ringing a bell after the music, but seriously how cool is it? Most awesome school ever? Ah yes! I can't wait to hear what the next track is. 
3. Everyone knows you
I knew we would get to know lots of new parents from the school but already it's insane. We live just down the street and now I literally can't walk more than a few metres without seeing another mum,  dad or teacher who knows me. Gone are the days of ducking up to shops in trackies!

4. There is so much to worry about
I'm really trying not to get carried away with this, but it's pretty hard not to worry about how your little one is doing at school - especially when you chat to other parents and realise their child seems more advanced or you have the teacher telling you they're refusing to do tasks in the class and being difficult, so you know they might fall behind. And then there's the worry about whether they're playing with anyone or being bullied. It's nice to be concerned and involved with your child at school, but we need to take away the microscope and let the teachers do their thing I reckon. It's Kindergarten for crying out loud! So I've decided to let this one go a bit until I have serious things to worry about. I only started worrying I think after speaking to other parents.
5. School rules are really strict
You can't play on the play equipment before school, or be in the wrong area of the school grounds. You can't play if you forget your hat. You can't even volunteer to read in your child's class or help out at the tuckshop if you don't have a Working with Children check. The list goes on...I could be wrong, but I don't remember school policies being so strict in my day - especially for primary school. 

6. Food restrictions ahoy
Following on from above - everyone knows you can't let one solitary nut into a school or daycare nowadays, but did you know you can't even bring cupcakes in for your child's class when it's their birthday? That is, unless they happen to be egg-free (and who makes egg-free cupcakes?). Apparently eggs are off limits now. And so is sharing food. And I thought working out what to put in their lunchbox and what they will actually eat for their early morning fruit/vegie break snack was hard enough!

7. School is high tech
Tablets and computers at school were to be expected, as was email for communicating to parents; but there's also a smartphone app where they release newsletters and alerts, plus other stuff like online log-ins for maths homework. In Kindergarten! Even ordering at the canteen has to be done online prior. Well I guess it is the digital age...

8. Weekdays are now soooo short
I had been warned a bit about this, but didn't envisage it to be so true. After drop-off once I've done some house chores, or gone to an appointment, there is barely time to do a bit of work before it's time to go for pick-up. Luckily I can work from home but so many others can't. If it wasn't for before and after school care, there is no way that working parents could function properly. And then of course once you get home, there's homework, dinner and more chores to be done. By the time everyone's in bed you're exhausted, and then before you know it it's morning mayhem once again.

Oh well, only another 19 years to go! (with another one on the way, I just worked out I won't be done with school until 2035). Imagine what craziness will go on between now and then?

What things have you discovered since becoming a school parent?
Image credit: CaN Trust


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