I have talked about feeling the empty nest syndrome when my youngest started school. How I almost felt like I was grieving. Well guess what? That period of grief is almost over people. I am now revelling in the freedom. I can go to the toilet in peace. I don’t have to hide behind the fridge door when I want to eat the last Jaffa Cake. If I wanted to I could even watch a horror movie during the day. I wouldn’t because I can’t work with background noise and for the record, horror movies scare the bejesus out of me! Mr C tried to make me watch The Walking Dead. After waking him up three nights on the trot screaming,
“there is a zombie in the corner of the room”,
he admitted defeat and realised that me and anything vaguely scary is not a good combination. There is much to be embraced about the fact I am now entering the “next stage”. Not the menopause. Good grief I hope that is a while off yet! I’m talking about becoming a mum who now has both children in school. How can you tell these mums from the others in the playground and on the street?
Signs That A Mum Now Has Both Children At School
On The Way To School In The Morning
During the morning school run this mum will look harassed. You won’t be able to see her as she has been swallowed up by her children’s mountain of school bags, lunch boxes, PE kits, letters and general clutter that a child insists they have to take to school. She looks like she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. We also don’t want to point this out but the mum probably hasn’t had a chance to put her make-up on and if she has managed a shower in between packing epic lunch boxes and throwing breakfast at her little darlings, then her hair will be wet. Sopping wet.
On The Way Back From School In The Morning
The mum is a new woman. She looks carefree. Her wet hair is now blowing in the wind as she skips across the school car park and back to car. She has no one pulling on her hands. She has all the time in the world (well ten minutes before she has to dash home and work, but ten minutes people). There maybe a slight period of adjustment during this time. You may see a carefree mum skipping about suddenly gripped by panic as she checks her hands for where her children’s should be. But then she will remember again -THEY ARE IN SCHOOL. Cue whoop of joy. Carefree mum will also have time to chat to other mums. If only she could remember how to make conversation.
What Happens At Home
The mum arrives home and something doesn’t feel quite right. Hang-on a minute – the house is tidy and quiet. Well this is weird. Carefree mum doesn’t like it and contemplates treading cereal into the floor or putting the television on full-blast. But the carefree mum embraces the quiet and gets on with her work. She whizzes through her work as she is not having to work, entertain and wipe bottoms at the same time. Carefree mum is able to take coffee breaks and drink her coffee while it is still hot. She is also able to watch something on the television that isn’t Paw Patrol. This is a revelation. Carefree mum raids the cupboards and eats all of the children’s biscuits just because she can. Carefree mum also goes to the toilet and shuts the door and enjoys having a wee in peace.
The Afternoon School Run
Carefree mum finds that she is arriving at school ridiculously early. This is not because she has missed the little darlings, noooo (well maybe a little), it’s because leaving the house without children is so easy. You don’t have to spend an hour wrestling the children downstairs and asking them to put their shoes on “PLEASE”. The sound of your voice getting higher and higher so that by the 50th time you have asked, only dogs can hear you. Nope, you put your shoes on and picked up your keys and left. Just like that. You also smell lovely and have make-up on because you had time! Fancy that.
Waiting For The Children
However, as you wait for the children that left eye starts twitching. Are they going to be exhausted and therefore in a hyperactive spiral of doom, or will they come out all happiness and smiles? Money is on the first one – at least until Christmas. They come out grumpy and moody. Tiredness etched on their face. They throw their mountain of bags and books at you. You trudge (not skip) back to the car. You ask them “how was your day?” They reply with “hmpfh”. You spend the whole journey back home shouting at Youngest,
“Do not fall asleep!”
When back home you dunk Youngest in the bath like a sheep dip. You open all of the windows and blast fresh air at her. Anything to keep them awake. Both children argue over everything and anything. Is the sun yellow? Do we live on Jersey? You name it and they argue about it as tiredness reaches its peak. They are also overtaken by an insatiable hunger. You try and stave of the hangry monsters and throw healthy snacks in their direction, as they ask what happened to the packet of Jaffa Cakes you bought yesterday. Whoops.
Then dinner is eaten. Children are now falling asleep if they sit still for longer than 5 seconds. You pack them off to bed. There is no asking to stay up for longer, they are just happy to see their bed. They fall asleep as soon as their head hits the pillow and you are able to retreat downstairs to watch Doctor Foster.
Yep, it’s awful having them both in school 😉