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The “Teacher Mum”

This is such a new concept to me, like many first time school mums, it is a minefield. The expectations, the waiting at the school gates, the meeting of new parents and children, meeting the teacher and the reading and homework. It’s a whole new ball game. 

I’ve adjusted to life a school mum quite well, I only do it once a week as I work but I love drop off and collection, preparing his school lunches, reading and finding out about Jenson’s day. I love every part of it and treasure it. We had parents evening next week and I couldn’t wait to hear about his progress. He did amazing, I loved seeing his classroom work, the wall displays ans hear how he was getting on, superbly infact. I felt happy with his progress so far as we also have access to Tapestry, an online learning journey. This is amazing. I get live updates when they upload an observation and I can also upload things we do, it is so lovely to see what he has done. 

It was so bizarre being on the ‘other side’ of the table, I am so use to just talking about the child and filling the silence, making sure there isn’t any gaps and avoiding questions at all costs! As a rule that you learn, you always ask the parents perspective and feelings at the beginning, then you can run with the rest of the appointment on your terms and that way you avoid over running. Jenson’s teacher knew all of the tricks of the trade, something you learn with experience. 

The sharing of career, however, has meant we have an understanding. I know that it isn’t always possible to hear children read, that teachers are human and forget things and that his teachers works her arse off. Especially when she is adding tapestry observations at 9pm on a Friday or 3pm on a Sunday. I relate to that life. 

As a teacher mum, I also know the importance and value of supportive parents. I understand that he needs to read at home every night, know his sounds, count and recognise numbers and calculations. I’ve given him the best possible chance by teaching him how he should be taught, lower case letters, numbers, correct formation of letters and numbers, letter sounds etc. It has meant that he is off to to the best start and will therefore shine and thrive above his peers, not because he is a genius (which he obviously is), but because he has had lots of opportunities. I also find myself over excelling with his homework, I really enjoy the opportunities it gives us to be together, we have been on a nature walk, number hunt, shape searching and we are taking his bear on a trip. We have had good feedback so far! 

I also understand her pressures, the fact that there are 29 other children in the class, with a variety of needs, some more complex than others. I know that the parents are different, some more complicated and some so laid back they forget to dress their child. I get that she doesn’t have eyes in the back of her head and some things do go unnoticed but it is my child in her class, I want him to be the centre of her world. Her main focus. I want her to adore and love him, challenge and push him, which she does but I hate that I do not have that involvement. 

The hardest bit has been separating myself from him. Spending maternity leave and all summer with Jenson to then nothing, someone else seeing him more and teaching him things when thay was my job. The logistics are perfect for a teacher Mum, but it’s in my heart that I struggle to deal with someone else doing my job as both a Mummy and a teacher. I imagine it will just get harder.  

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School Eve

It is starting school eve, Jenson is starting primary school tomorrow. I have been prepared for this day coming as it approached and I have been reasonably calm about it. Having spent the last God knows how many months worrying about me returning to work, that is now out the way, so my mind has nothing else to distract itself with. 

On Friday, I was on playground duty. A new reception starter came to me crying as she missed her Mummy, my heart broke, I cuddled her and even got her a cheeky packet of raisins. A second child came crying to me because she needed the toilet and didn’t know where they were, a year six pupil took her off. It was then that I realised this is how my boy will be feeling. My heart sank and that anxious tummy feeling appeared. 

For weeks, Jenson has been asking “how long”. This week in particular, we have been working in sleeps. The excitement and anticipation as it arrived has been so lovely to see. 

Today, has been a big day. We have been talking about Jenson’s “big day” and he knows tomorrow is so special. We chose his uniform and laid it out ready for the morning, we packed his PE bag and book bag, Jenson chose his school dinners and then we made his snack. His school shoes are by the front door along with his box which has his favourite things and things that are all about him, it’s full of tractors, photos of his family, days out, gadgets and Jenson’s best memories. 

I have been in the worst mood today, very emotional and worried about him. I’ve tried to explain his day to him the best way I can, knowing exactly about a school day and comparing it to my own school but his reply of:

“I know Mummy, nursery told me.” 

That fills me with such confidence, he is ready. He feels ready and he feels safe and in the knowledge that he knows what to do. I am panicking though, what about when he goes for dinner? Will he like it? Will he eat it? Will they cut his dinner? What if he knocks something over? It’s all so little and I know I adore the children at my school help each and every one where possible but Jenson is my baby. What if he can’t find the toilet? What if he just wants a cuddle? What if he is tired? So much is going through my head. 

I can’t wait to see his classroom, the new furniture and how it is set up. I want to see his peg and tray label and appreciate the time and effort his class teacher went to during her holidays to make it extra special for my boy. Jenson is a dream child to me, he is my son and I adore him more than life itself. He is also the type of a child a teacher loves, so enthusiastic and keen, cheeky and loving, chatty, thoughtful and hardworking. 

I can’t wait to walk with him, hand in hand to his new adventure. He has chosen shorts and a fleece for tomorrow and then school dinners so the excitement of a packed lunch and other uniform on different days is too exciting. 

Good luck my gorgeous boy, you are going to smash it.

Reach for the moon little one, even if you miss, you’ll be amongst the stars. 

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Everyday she does something different 

It goes so fast” – the line you hear throughout your parenting life and the line you say over and over constantly.  Whether it be when you’re watching them do something new or cradling them in your arms. It’s so true. There is nothing faster than looking back at the years, months or days of your child. 

Looking at Jenson, I am astounded at how old he is, how clever he is and what he can do. I remember the moment he was born and we cuddled for the first time. I was so mesmerised and completely overwhelmed. I had no idea what to do or how to feel. Then we had weaning, teeth, crawling, walking, running, talking, counting, reading, riding a bike, scooter, eating his own dinner… it’s endless. 

Amazingly, I am surprised each day by Emeline’s accomplishments. Every day she does something new. The beauty of the baby years. They change in a snap shot. Emeline is 7 months but I still look at her and see the tiny, warm, slippery baby that I delivered in the water 7 months and 4 days ago. 

The growth spurts and learning come hand in hand. She has two little teeth and she can say ‘mama’, ‘dada’ and ‘na na na’ as well as other sounds, she is learning to wave and she dances to familiar music, Emeline signs for milk and recognises familiar people. We have also experienced the attachment phase. Crying when she is put down or I leave the room. My ultimate favourite thing she does at the moment is drop things and cry, or cry when things are taken off her or she can’t reach something. The cause and effect stage. It is so frustrating for her and utterly traumatic but it makes me smile, it shows her ever developing little personality which I can’t wait to learn more about. 

There is definitely a difference between the first and second child when it comes to their accomplishments. I remember cherishing every moment Jenson did something, being utterly proud and mega excited for the an extra achievement. This time, I am still so excited but I want Emeline to slow down. The excitement and pride rushes over me and then the sense of disbelief that my 5 minute old baby can dance and clap! It makes me realise how quick it is going. I couldn’t wait for Jenson to have tummy time and get crawling, with Emeline, we avoid tummy time at all costs!! 

I try so hard to treasure every moment. To live for every minute and capture a snapshot and memory together but I also love every stage. I don’t want to wish their lives away but I have high hopes for them and their future. I don’t care what they do as long as they make themselves proud. I will always be proud of them.

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Nothing stronger than a sibling bond!

I have adored watching Jenson and Emeline’s relationship develop over the last year, although she is 5 months, the moment he had his own scan picture next to his bed was when he fell in love with her.

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He wished and wanted for a little sister and he was convinved the baby was a girl, we began to question if we should find out incase he had a brother but we decided to keep it a surprise as he would be smitten regardless! Isn’t that the truth!

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The final countdown

The end of the Easter holidays is here, I have that sad teacher feeling. Not because I have work tomorrow but because there is one term left. One term left of maternity leave, one term left of preschool for Jenson and one term left before he starts school. I feel that it just illustrates how quick time is going and life is just laughing at me. 

 

We haven’t done anything adventurous this holiday, we’ve played at home as Emeline has been poorly but according to Jenson, that has been a huge highlight for him. It has been so lovely not to rush him out and spend time with him, I absolutely love having him at home. I realise that there isn’t much ‘time’ left before it is time for me to get back to work and I want to spend my maternity leave with both Jenson and Emeline, days out and family time. 

 

The idea of Jenson starting school terrifies me, we find out his school place next week and that I am fine with. I am happy with our local schools, I know he will do well and feel safe in the knowledge that the staff will love him and look after him the best they can. I know this because I am a teacher and I feel that way about my pupils. It’s a nice safety blanket. I put Jenson to bed earlier and saw his cute, round face with a gappy toothed smile just like it was when he was an eighteen month old, then all of a sudden I am back with my four year old. It has gone amazingly fast and I need it to slow down. 
I need to prepare myself for this summer term, a lot is happening and changing. I also need to be realistic and think about my return to work. It makes me feel sick to my stomach. I love my job but I am so worried about returning and leaving Emie.  

  

Plenty of wine and quality time together this term to help me manage all the changes! 

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Wishing time would slow down…

With Jenson, I was so utterly excited by each ‘first’ he achieved, so proud and desperate to move on to the next thing for a new memory and a picture in his memory book. This time, it’s heartbreaking. I realise how time is flying by and how quick everything is going. Emeline is 12 weeks old and she can do so much already but I want it to stop. I want her tiny little self to be curled up in a ball in my arms like the moment she was delivered. 

 Jenson wasn’t in his own room particularly early, he was breastfed so the longer he stayed with me the better, he constantly woke up in the night too so it made my life so much easier. The idea of Emeline moving to her own room makes me so anxious, I need her with me. I am so scared to let go to watch her grow up and change. Emie is starting to thrash about in the crib, it’s beautiful her crib, but she is wriggling and moving and attempting to sleep sideways – madam! She still has length in there so I am going to keep her in there but it’s a reminder that soon, something else will change and she will meet another ‘first’. 

Emie has lost that foetal snuggly position and now uses her head like a mole to nose around and see what is going on, she is happiest baby so she is always smiling but I wish that warmth of my little baby ball stayed forever. The arms are up over my shoulder and her extra long legs hang down. She looks around to explore and buried her head to flirt when she is shy!  

Jenson rolled at 11 weeks, I actually missed it as my mackerel was on fire on the grill in the kitchen! Emeline is almost there, using her legs to turn over and flick. She has such good head control and loves tummy time. Once that starts though, it’s all downhill! Rolling her back to stop her whinging, moving her away from Jenson’s small toys or the corner of furniture, waiting for the next stage where she rolls over and over. I just don’t want that to happen. I want time to stand still. 

 I totally took Jenson’s baby year for granted, my first baby, I was in awe of everything he could do and did but this time I want it to stop and for her to slow down. I was so excited for him to learn and equally I want Emeline to be a bright little button but I was this day to stay forever, so none of us get older! 

I can’t deal with the idea of never having another baby in the house, never having another ‘first’. Not breastfeeding or snuggling a little dot, or even having a baby again, I have enjoyed both my labors. But for now, she is the only baby and who knows what will happen some days I want more, some days I think we are perfect as we are.

 These little people are life changing and I don’t want to lose this amazing baby feeling, slow down missy, Mummy misses it all already!