This morning I dropped my kindergarten kid off at school – late again.
The bell had chimed 10 minutes earlier so I knew we could get away with shoving his bag in the cloakroom and sneaking him in, without having to get a late note from the office.
As I trudged home clutching my four-year-old’s hand and unwinding from the stress that is the morning school rush (So. Much. Nagging), I suddenly remembered it was library day, and his bag of books was still sitting on the couch.
Then when I got home I saw the blue whale picture he had drawn for his ‘news day’ on the kitchen bench.
“Oh, shit. News, that’s today” I muttered to myself.
You see, I think I suck at being a school mum.
There are too many things to remember. Too many ‘days’ – like mufti day or harmony day where they have to wear orange. Too many events (book week – sigh) and fundraisers (“don’t forget a gold coin donation!”) etc. It also doesn’t help that I might be a scatty mum. I forget stuff. Organisation and being on top of things is not my strength.
If any of this sounds relatable, then you might also be thinking you aren’t cut out for being a school mum. You might also feel like you are fudging your way through the year (which is almost done – yippee!). That everyone else is SO much better at this crap than you are.
Well, we are in this together. You are NOT alone. And this is what I want you, dear fellow scatty school mum, to know.
They are going to be just fine!
The more I drop the ball on school stuff – like forgetting to plonk a hat on his head of a morning, the more he’s learning to be responsible for himself.
One day of sitting on the bench because of the ‘no hat no play’ rule has made him remember it for himself of a morning.
My kid now knows he needs to remind ME about special days and to give me the permission slip to sign, and then remind me to actually pack it in his bag.
Sure, he has a scatty mum who can’t rely on her brain, or an online calendar, or the school app to remind her of stuff, but he’s becoming more independent and self-sufficient.
My shortcomings are actually helping him to grow!
So he, and your little one, are going to be JUST FINE, despite having us as their mums!
You and I are good at other things
We may not be the class parent, who is a school mum on steroids (seriously, how does she stay on top of all this stuff, and also, thank you universe for this person who has my back!), but we have other talents.
We are great mums. And there are all types of mums. We just aren’t the type that heads up the P&C. And you know what? That is more than OK.
We have other talents. And you know what these are.
For me, I know I am great at connecting with my boy. Trying to help him navigate school by understanding his feelings and thoughts about it. I’m in tune with him and so I’m in tune with how he’s going in every sense at school.
I may not be in tune with the school calendar and what’s on, though, but I know I am a good school mum in the things that really matter.
We have so much support
So if you are like me, I want you to know, we don’t have to do this alone.
Make friends with that all-knowing school parent. She will remind you to catch those balls before they drop.
Fess up your forgetful nature to other school mums, so they’ll tap you on the shoulder before you forget another ‘day’.
Sure, there’s also the school newsletter, app, the emails from the school parent, the What’s App parent group and school year Facebook group you might be in, but nothing beats a having a circle of school parents around you who will say, “don’t forget … blah blah!”. And if you’re like me, you might find all that other stuff is just information overload and only serves to confuse your tired brain more, anyway.
So fellow scatty school mum, you do not suck at this. You are just like me and I’m starting to think there’s a lot of us out there. And while we may not feel cut out for this school mum crap, we are doing it! Even if we drop the balls, sometimes.
But our kids are going to be just fine. More than fine. And we need to remember this.