When big life events turn your world upside down, it’s sometimes hard to focus on the everyday. But you know what? We must! We still have end of year exams, sports day, the school play, leavers’ parties (the list goes on) to plan for.
There is one event coming up that absolutely cannot go by without a mention…one that I’ve been dreaming about for the last 5 years…one that I have dreaded on some days and longed for on others. Yes folks, in just 6 short weeks, my life as a primary school mum will be over.
Primary School and I began our love/hate relationship a little over 10 years ago. It was April 2005 when I handed my first baby over to the British education system and since then, all three of them have learnt to read and write, recite their times tables, make new friends, spend whole days away from their mum and in the care of complete strangers, cope with disappointment, manage difficult teachers, and navigate the (at times) unjust world of primary school life.
What about me? Over the last decade I have taken on the role of ordering school uniform (the first person to ever make a loss), been in charge of the lucky dip (too often), made my debut as a face painter (not to be repeated), written up the PTA newsletters (if you can call them that), cooked burgers at the summer fair (no one died), served up Pimms (whilst sampling of course) and have sweated through approximately 35 school plays (the most memorable being when my youngest daughter’s rendition of the bearded lady received the laughter it deserved).
In addition to the regular roles that come with being a parent of a primary school child, I’ve learnt many other skills over the years, including and not limited to:
- Arriving in the car park at just the right angle to roll child out of car door and into the school gate with 2 minutes to spare.
- Negotiating the lion’s den that is the school playground, without actually making any enemies (as far as I’m aware).
- Creating (buying on Ebay) various unisex outfits including Romans, Greeks, Pirates, Tudor, World Book Day (my least favourite), old people (no idea of the significance), Comic Relief and others I have erased from the memory bank.
- Sneaking in to Sports Day just before break time, looking as though I’ve been fully participating all morning.
- Establishing what time and how to approach the school secretary for maximum results.
- Learning how to blow an egg without so much as a dent in the shell.
- Turning up to school with shop-bought cakes and being perfectly proud that we haven’t had time to make any (this one took me about three years to master).
- Realising that teachers hate the home-made biscuits that you agonise over for months in the early years, preferring a much less stressful voucher any time.
- Getting to speak to an actual teacher before the start of the school day (the mother of all achievements).
- Sitting on my hands when any help is required, enabling ‘keen mum’ to fulfil her potential.
In the last ten years, there has been plenty of moaning (from all of us) but there has been even more good times and fantastic memories made. More recently, with just one child left in primary school education, I’ve had to remind myself that although I have played the role of ‘Primary School Mum’ three times over, The Boy is experiencing all of this stuff for the first time.
The bottom line? All three of my children have been served very well by their primary school and the majority of their teachers. Although right now I will be glad to see the back of the school run, I think there will be a little bit of sadness (cue much wailing) when that primary school gate finally closes for the last time.