Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Feelings On The First Day Of School...

I remember the moment I first found out I was going to be a mum.

It feels like a million lifetimes ago and yet as though it was just yesterday all at the same time. I'm not sure how that can be possible, but it is.

I remember feeling terrified at the thought of having a little person in my care that I would be completely responsible for. I remember worrying about whether or not I'd even like having a child around all the time.

I remember panicking about the fact that although I loved it when my nieces came to visit, I also loved it when they went home and I could clear away their mess and have my personal space back again. I wondered about whether it would feel different with my own children or whether I'd be constantly counting down the hours until bedtime, wanting that personal space back.

I worried that I was different from other mums - that I just wasn't interested in the same things they were. That I'd never be able to care about nappy brands, and "good schools" and all of the things that mums worry about.

And yet somehow, 9 months later, my baby boy landed into my world and everything changed. As cheesy as it sounds, it all fell into place...just like everyone said it would. And suddenly those mummy things started to interest me a little more...and suddenly I didn't mind not having my personal space so much anymore. And was all about this new little person.

Don't get me wrong...I'm not the kind of mother who forgets her entire existence when children come along and I've kept a lot of my own interests, I try to make sure I have an evening away every so often and I make sure I keep in touch with friends...but I think most parents feel that their focus shifts when a child comes along.

And now instead of wondering how I'd ever be able to cope with a little person clinging to me all day every day, I started to worry about how I'd ever cope without it again.

The last 4 years of life with my biggest boy have been perfect...don't get me wrong, there are many many times that he's driven me completely mad and many times that the temptation to send him packing to live with his grandparents was strong (not really but you know the feeling if you have a fournado...)...but despite all of the ups and downs, the temper tantrums and everything else...I'd never change a thing.

If anything, I want it to last for longer.

Today that big boy of mine starts school ...well I say "big boy" but he's not at all...he's still just a baby. He can dress himself, and count to 30 and recite his ABCs sure...but he's still so small. And I worry about whether he'll ask for help opening his banana at lunch time, or how he'll respond if the other kids won't let him play.

Deep down though, I know he's ready....ready to learn more about the world, ready to take his first steps into it without me, ready to become his own little person and stand on his own two feet

...but the thing is, I'm not.

I'm not ready to be without my little sidekick for 5 full days out of every week....the one who laughs at my jokes and thinks my rubbish magic tricks are the best thing ever. I'm not ready to become the embarrassing mum, the one who's last on the list of priorities as you make all of your new friends....of course I'll be so happy that you have them but I will always miss these years where I've been the center of your world, as selfish as that may sound.  I'm not ready to hear about the hard times, the friends he falls out with and the struggles he might have. I'm not ready for grazed knees and the broken hearts of childhood....the 0-4 year old days seem so easy and safe in comparison.

I don't understand where the time has gone....from having that tiny baby boy handed over to me in hospital, all my me handing him over to his teacher in the playground this morning and walking away from him for the first time.

I know he'll do brilliantly, I know it's for the best and I know every parent feels this same tug on their heartstrings as they watch their first baby take those first steps to independence as they walk across that playground...

But for now, I just feel sad that those 4 years have gone by so quickly...because despite the sleepless nights, the sibling squabbles and the supermarket meltdowns...they were my favourite years of all.

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