Starting school: One year on, how family life has changed

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I’ve spent quite a bit of time on Pinterest recently, updating various boards. While doing so, I came across a blog post I wrote last October about the impact on my life of Izzy, our youngest daughter, starting school.

starting school, school, sahd, wahs, working dad, stay at home dad, schooling, secondary school.
The expectation of how life would change once Izzy was at school has turned out to be quite different from the reality

It was, I have to say, a slightly painful experience when Izzy walked into that classroom for the first time. I’d accepted the fact my eldest daughter, who is now in Year 5, was a fully-fledged schoolgirl. With my youngest child now in the school system, the early years were well and truly behind this family and we were now focused on formal education.

I thought, back then, that as both children had started school, I was going to have more time to myself. I could keep the house tidier and cleaner. I would concentrate on freelance work and blogging. Yes, my youngest child wouldn’t be at home as much and I was sad about it, but it also presented various opportunities!

Well, having re-read that blog post, I thought I’d produce a follow up. With both my children having been in the school system for a year, here’s what I expected life would be like versus the reality.

What is my status?

Ah man, the world of parenting labels and acronyms is so confusing. What am I these days? Am I a Stay at Home Dad or Work at Home Dad? Am I a Part Time Stay at Home Dad? Or maybe I’m a Working Stay at Home Dad?

That could make me either a SAHD, WAHD, PTSTAHD, WSAHD. Maybe I’m a R2D2, C3PO or possibly even a, LOL, YOLO or ICYMI?

No matter how I pigeon hole myself or anybody else pigeon holes me, I am based at home. I get the kids ready in the mornings and do the school runs. If the kids fall ill during the day, it’s me that drops everything to look after them.

Oh, yeah and I am a dad. Under the circumstances I’ve given myself my own title and acronym: School Run Dad or SRD for short. Make of that what you will.

I would have more time

Hahahahaha. Yes, very funny. When all of your offspring are at school, you take more and more on thinking you have more time than you do.

Added to this, school kids are not tidy. Yes, you can get them to tidy up and do chores, but the reality is you still end up doing lots of it yourself.

Oh, and then there’s the issue of work. With the kids at school I pack in as much freelance work and blogging as I can. Over the past couple of weeks this has involved getting up at 5am every day, something I used to do, but I rather hoped those days were behind me.

The house would be cleaner and tidier

As I have mentioned, I have discovered that school children can be very untidy. We also now have a cleaner. Go figure.

Remembering all that extra stuff

When I wrote that blog post a year ago, I was struggling to keep on top of the kids’ homework and homework diaries. We’ve settled into a reasonable routine now and this doesn’t cause me the headaches it once did.

A year after Izzy started school, it’s remembering all their various activities and all the requests from school. I managed to keep on top of this with only one child in the school system, but with two it really is quite a challenge.

Is it a uniform day or non-uniform day? Are they meant to take something in for arts and crafts or not? Have I got them after school snacks? Have I got them after-gymnastics snacks? Is it the youngest’s class assembly or the eldest’s? Seriously, there’s so much going on and so much to keep on top of, that I often don’t know if I am coming or going.

Thinking about the future

This should have come as no surprise, but just as we got Izzy settled into school, we had to consider Helen, our eldest daughter and her future. We’re looking at her starting school all over again, albeit this time secondary school. I don’t think I’d appreciated how quickly this would come around or how difficult the choice might be.

She’s in Year 5 now, so next year we need to submit the application. I know it creates more work for the family, but Mrs Adams and I have started looking at schools a year early (we are far from the only mums and dads doing this).

Based on some of the school visits we’ve made, I’m glad we started this process early. The difference between the various schools is phenomenal and the next year will be spent thinking very long and hard about what will be the right move for her.

Life has changed, but not as I expected

In summary, life has changed a lot over the past year, but it hasn’t been revolutionary. I genuinely feel like all of our existences have evolved.

My day is still dictated by the school run, as it has been since Helen started school six years ago. Far from being less busy, every moment of my waking day is accounted for!

How did your life change when all your children started school? If they haven’t started yet, how do you think your life will change? Feel free to comment below or track me down on social media where I can be found on most channels as @dadbloguk.

Oh, and on the subject of social media, please do visit me on Pinterest. As I said at the start of this post, I’ve just revamped the page and added new boards and content so would love you to take a look.


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