Things I've Learned in My First Year as a School Run Mum

Wow and just like that reception is over. My daughter has just completed her first year of school and I have just made it through to the end of my first year as a school run mum. It been a big learning curve for the both of us. As she is learning about phonics, making new friends every week and exceeding in learning. I have been learning how to remove felt pen from school shirts, figuring out what she needs to take in her book bag and understand the importance of checking that book bag everyday. Not forgetting that labelling is queen. 

Somehow we managed it and survived our first year of school. My daughter loves school, and even though her first year hasn't been the easiest year she has become ever more independent full of sass and is bursting with knowledge. My girl can read, write and teach me a thing or two about the solar system and dinosaurs. I wanted to share some of the things that I have learned in my first year as a school run mum, partly just to share some of the giggles but more importantly to share these for those embarking on their first year of school who may be a little apprehensive.

The School Run. Whether you will love them or hate them they have to be done, five days a week. But ultimately the school runs are a nightmare. It really doesn't matter how prepared you are, or how much you plead and bribe your child to leave you alone for at least five minutes so you can look at least half decent on the school run. Most of the time you are having to deal with meltdowns and have those 'chats' explaining that they need to put their socks and shoes on for school before their teacher rings. That's even before you get out of the door. Pretty much four days a week we would forget something and have to go back. Or I have to go back and checked the house is locked up because I have been telling her to brush her teeth, finish breakfast [insert any excuse imaginable as to why she can't get ready on time]. Leaving the house forgetting something is inevitable.

The Teachers. There is nothing scarier that your child's teacher making a beeline for you in the school playground and asking if they can have a word. Over the course of the year we have been pulled over to the side a few too many times. But I like to think that our daughter's teacher has grown to really like us despite the trouble our daughter gets into. First terms she stole the teachers donuts. Half way through the year she took her drawing mummy and daddy to a whole different level with drawing private parts too, that was an embarrassing parents evening. Then for my husband to tell the teacher who was a beetroot shade already that her drawing was not to scale! I wanted the floor to swallow me up.

The Children. There will be children that you take an instant dislike to and their parents by association because of the things your child tells you. We have a list. However on a serious note at times there will be curve balls thrown at your child and its important for them to try and figure out ways to deal with their emotions and encourage them to talk about it. It is pretty much most certain that your child will ask every child and their families for sleepovers or birthday parties that have never been discussed. You and the other parent then have to come up with some excuse as to why they can't come over for a sleepover. Awks. 

The Parents. I have always struggled to make friends, it is even harder now that I am a mum. At first I found the school playground really daunting, there was so many faces that I recognised but I have no clue why. But I have made some fantastic friends, we have had play dates, organised parties and had a number of picnics in the park. Now we have a summer of adventures to plan. 

The PTA. You can't always always avoid the PTA, no matter how hard you try. We do like to attend the events that the PTA host at the school with the raffles, cinema nights, bingo and races. However its not something that I ever see myself joining due to the sheer fact that I am always so busy, but I do like to help out when I can. When in doubt make a cake. 

The Uniform. No matter how many you buy at the start of term you will never have enough and they can be sooo expensive. Two days into the her first week at school my daughter decided that it was a good idea to crawl around outside and scuff her new shoes. Every morning, every bloody morning she comes up with some reason why she can't get ready. My socks are too itchy, my button is too hard or I don't like trees (she has to wear a school logo of a tree and the name of the school on her jumper).

Non-uniform Days. Whilst we are hear talking about uniforms there seems to be a non uniform day every other and I am pretty sure I can guarantee that you will forget last minute as your child asks you on a Sunday night 'What am I dressing up as for animals day mummy?'. We had to resort to using a mask out of the elephant donuts game and dress in a grey top and grey legging. She was totally the best looking elephant. I am in no way shape or form remotely a pinterest worthy mum for this whole DIY costume malarky!

Snacks. Lunch. School Dinner. Before we get into the food police it should be noted that any parent arriving for the school pick needs bring a snack, no excuses! An after school snack is essential unless you want a meltdown or deal with tears all the way home. Always, always pack a snack. So school dinners haven't really changed since school with  fish fingers, chips, pasta and curries. No turkey twizzlers tho, damn you Jamie Oliver. I just love the fact that they have a mid week roast and fish and chip Fridays. But there is a bit of a lunchbox police who tell your child that their lunchbox should be full of fruit and veggies, but smuggling in a chocolate coin at Christmas can't be too bad. 

The Illnesses. Be prepared, there are so many little germs about. First term and my daughter gets tonsillitis and the week before Christmas she get suspected chicken pox but thankfully they didn't come out until boxing day. But the slightest chance your child has the squits or says they feel sick the school office is calling you to collect your little germ. Nits and threadworm are word no parent wants to hear. Once you find out that some child has nits in your child's class you will find yourself scratching and itching constantly, and you're straight up the pharmacy for a tablets for all the family just in case. 

Their Creations. Also known as the tat! As much as I appreciate my little darling making me so many beautiful creations, she doesn't half bring some crap home with her on a daily basis. I'm talking shoe boxes, milk cartons, scraps of paper with one line on them and princess lolly sticks, something that she made pretty everyday during the last term.

The Nativity. Like or not the nativity is a big deal. For us it was such an emotional event. Sitting there proudly watching your child in their first nativity is like nothing you will probably experience. Our daughter was given the part of Angel Gabriel and she was the only one that had lines, lines that she knows even today. When she was handed the microphone for her big moment it gave us all the feels. Yes we had a tear or two. But those tears turned into laughter as she wouldn't give the teacher the microphone back as she sang or should I say shout her song down the microphone. An unforgettable experience. 

Unauthorised Holidays. You may want to leave for a holiday a day early or stay on a day extra, which may mean that your little one could miss a couple of day of school. What do you do? Be completely honest and be upfront and write a letter to the head master and teacher about taking your child away and plead a little. This would be the right answer. However, the week we planned a long weekend away she was send home from school for being sick so there seemed no point of taking her back on the Friday. We decided to take our daughter away in the hopes that she wouldn't realise that she was supposed to be at school. Completely overlooking the fact that my child is so open and honest to the point that you're being pulled over in the playground getting a bit of a telling off from the teacher in front of all the parents in the first term.  

The Pick Up. It's the best feeling in the world, it really doesn't matter how far they may have pushed you that morning seeing your little ones smile from ear to ear is always so special. Everyday she would scream and run at me and I hope she never stops doing that. And you will never ever know what they did during the day, ever! No matter how much you ask.

So as you can see our first year at school has been a crazy adventure and we have learned so much along the way. My daughter has become independent, creative, fearless, courageous and still as sassy as ever. I adore listening to her brilliant mind. Her end of school report was better than we ever imagined and for the teachers to tell us her that she is exceeding against national standards. However despite all the amazing things about school there have been some hard parts about starting school and at times school began to dull my little sparkle. With support and encouragement our daughter soon  figured out ways to deal with her problems and stand up for her, perhaps a little too much. But even so, reception has been nothing but amazing. Bring on year one.