Izzy, our youngest daughter, has been at school for almost a month now. Her transition from pre-schooler to schoolgirl is complete.
Likewise, I have more time during the day to concentrate on domestic duties and earning money. Predictions that I would don activewear and “do lunch with the girls” have not come to pass, although I’ve noticed some concrete changes to the way we operate as a family. Some have been a total surprise, others were expected.
I’ve picked out a few examples and highlighted them below. I’d be curious to know if you can relate to any of these.
I said at the beginning of the school summer holidays that mums and dads shouldn’t do too much housework during that long, long six-week break. I can assure you I practiced what I preached.
As Izzy was starting in reception class, it was, in fact, a seven-week holiday for this household so there was an extra week of dust and filth build-up. Wow, did it build up.
I simply can’t go into detail about how appalling the state of the house was. It would be too mortifying. Suffice it to say the stairs were grey by the end of the holidays because of the dust. Having been vacuumed several times since, they are once again mushroom brown.
With Izzy at school, I am finding it easier to do housework each day. I won’t deny it though, I intensely dislike the fact I’m doing more housework. There are so many other things I’d rather concentrate on.
Izzy is incredibly tired
I remember when Helen started school, she practically fell out of the classroom each day she was so tired. I thought it might be tougher on Izzy as, unlike her sister, she was still wanting the occasional afternoon nap.
My prediction has turned into reality. Izzy is far more tired than her sister ever was and she can get very grumpy in the evenings. Several times she has fallen asleep long before bed time.
I know as she settles in to school life it won’t be so tiring for her. I think we have a few bumpy months ahead, but probably bumpier than when her Helen started school.
Oh my word, the amount of time I have to spend filling in homework diaries has increased massively. It’s not enough simply to keep a record of what both kids have read, but whether Izzy has done handwriting practice.
I also have to note whether Helen has done literacy, mathematics, spent time using Mathletics and so on. Add in Helen’s piano practice book and I find myself doing a fair bit of admin each evening.
Celebrating achievement: Helen has a rival
This is a trickier issue to handle. We’ve always celebrated both kids’ successes. Until now, however, only Helen has returned from school with team points and headteacher’s certificates etc.
Helen isn’t always very comfortable when Izzy achieves something at school that she hasn’t. I wouldn’t want to overplay the issue, but it’s obvious Helen is going through a period of readjustment now she’s sharing the limelight. That, I guess, is just a part of growing up.
The kids have more in common
When I pick the kids up in the afternoon, I love listening to their conversation. After years of the two of them existing in different worlds, they now have so much in common.
They’ll discuss what they had for school dinner. Big sister will offer advice to little sister about how to handle reception class, the girls will talk about when they’ve seen each other during the school day. It’s a real joy to listen to and great that they can share these experiences.
It’s not an empty nest
Although the children are out of the house for several hours each day, it is far from an empty nest. Mornings, evenings and weekends are as busy as ever.
I am having not trouble whatsoever filling in the extra hours. If I’m not concentrating on domestic issues I am working and earning money and I do have more time for that now.
How have you found things? Have you recently waved your kids off to school this September? If so, are you lounging around in your activewear watching daytime TV or are you filling the time productively?
If you are lounging around, I don’t suppose I could persuade you to fill in my kids’ homework diaries and do a little housework for me? Please? Pretty please?