When is The Right Age to Have a Baby?

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This week new figures released from the Office for National Statistics show that for the first time, there are more women giving birth over the age of 35 than aged under 25.  59% of all births are still within the 25-34 year age group, but the increase in the over 35s is noticeable.

No sooner had the statistics been released, then the inevitable outcry from the medical professionals as well as self-important reporters and general busy bodies solemnly reminded us that fertility declines from the mid- thirties onwards and that there’s a greater risk of miscarriage and problems in childbirth.

Nothing New

I wasn’t at all shocked at all by the statistics.  In fact, I’m surprised that this trend hasn’t happened sooner. Most of the people with kids I know have had their children in their 30s with the majority being over 35. I also know of more people who have had children in their 40s than in their 20s.

Similarly, the outcry is nothing new. We’ve heard all of the tales of doom and gloom before. Yes, there are risks to be aware of about having children later in life, but as I’ve witnessed from several friends, there can be risks during pregnancy and with childbirth at any age.

The point is that the experts and scare mongers are all assuming that women have a choice about when they have their children.  Yes, many women are delaying becoming a mum because of work or for financial reasons, but sometimes there just isn’t a choice. What happens if you haven’t met the right man in your 20s or 30s? If a couple get together in their 40s shouldn’t they be entitled to have a child?

Is there a “right” age for having a baby? I don’t think so. My mum was 25 when she had me, the eldest of 3. I was 36 when I had my first daughter and 2 weeks away from being 38 with my youngest. As I’ve often discussed with my mum, there are advantages and disadvantages of both.

Here are My 5 Positives on Being Classed as an “Older” Mum:

  1. I’ve done a lot before having kids. From travelling the world to establishing a career to staying out partying and getting drunk a lot.
  2. A lot of these life experiences including all the highs and lows will hopefully help in my parenting skills in the future. (Not the getting drunk stuff).
  3. I’ve gained a lot more confidence with age. My outlook has changed as I’ve got older, I still worry about things but not nearly as much as I did when I was younger.
  4. More financially stable – we are not rich, but we have a home and can support ourselves and our family much more than we ever could have done 10 years ago let alone 15 or 20 years ago.
  5. More emotionally mature. What can I say, I’m a late developer, I can’t contemplate having a child at the age my mum did. I was just too immature.

Is 40 a better age to have a baby than 20?  There’s simply no right or wrong answer. Yes, I believe that this trend of older mothers will continue to rise as women carry on delaying motherhood either through personal choice or purely because there is no choice.

Whatever the age of the parents, having a baby is a gift. It’s the most exhausting, exciting, hopeful, excruciating and magical thing ever.

The Highs and Lows of Bunk Beds

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With our youngest daughter getting too big for her cot and due to move into a “big bed” we made the decision recently to get the girls bunk beds. We got ours from John Lewis as they looked lovely and were on offer in the sale. My husband spent a “tricky” Saturday morning putting them together.

There was great excitement as both girls finally got to try out their new beds. The eldest obviously gets the top bunk but there were squeals of delight as they both tried clambering up and down the ladder as well as hiding under their new bedding. Since that time we have seen definite advantages as well as some disadvantages with the bunks:

The Highs

  • I love the fact that our daughters are now company for each other at night time. It’s so endearing to hear them chatting in bed before they go to sleep. I’ve fond memories of sharing a bedroom with my sister, I think it does give siblings a close bond when they share a room.
  •  There’s no denying the saving on space that bunk beds have given us rather than having two single beds in the one room.
  •  With the girls now sharing, it means that our third bedroom is promoted to The Spare Room. OK so right now it’s a bit of a dumping ground but if anyone comes to stay I’m sure we can make better use of it 
  • The novelty of playing on the beds (as pirate ships and countless other things) hasn’t as yet worn off.

 

 The Lows

  • The biggest downside to bunk beds or sharing a bedroom is THE FEAR of one child waking the other up. Our eldest daughter has recently started primary school and has had some trouble settling in, to the point that she has been waking up in the night upset about going to school. Thankfully the youngest seems to sleep through the commotion, except for one evening where we were all up and awake at 3am. The youngest has also developed an annoying new habit of waking up between 5.30 and 6am. She yells for attention and I have to get up or risk her waking the eldest who desperately needs more sleep.
  • The youngest is still too little to climb down the ladder herself. (Going up doesn’t seem to be a problem!) This means she has to be watched carefully or given strict instructions to call out if she wants to get down. Hopefully this downside shouldn’t last too long.
  • Climbing up the ladder and gregariously lifting up the corners of the surprisingly heavy mattresses whilst trying to change the sheets on the top bunk is like performing some kind of weird comedy dance routine. It is not easy and has put me off changing the bedding frequently.

On balance I think the highs outweigh the lows. I know sharing a bedroom can’t last forever. At some point our daughters will become older, moodier and want their own room; they won’t want a sister in their space. Until then, I’m happy with the space saving bunk beds and to continue listening to those lovely little night time sister chats.

Super Busy MUm

 

You Baby Me Mummy
And then the fun began...

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Wine With Your School Run?

Wine on The School Run?

A recent article in The Daily Telegraph talked about how mums on the school run are now so stressed that they are turning to a glass of wine rather than a cup of tea to calm down. I read this with some amusement, whilst I’ve not (yet) cracked open a bottle at 9.30am, I can completely relate to the level of stress that the school run causes.

I’m a mere novice, I’ve only been on the school run for 7 weeks since my eldest daughter started school in September. However during that time I’ve often felt like I was going to burst a blood vessel. Here’s 5 reasons why I dread the school run:

1) The Battle – My daughter hasn’t exactly taken to school like a duck to water. She reminds me every morning that she’d rather stay at home. When it’s almost time to leave the house, she tries every trick in the book to avoid going. She runs upstairs and hides, she takes her shoes and clothes off, she refuses to get off the toilet, she cries and she throws a strop. And all the time the clock is ticking…..

2)  Late – No matter how early I get up or how early we start the routine, the daily battle and drama in getting to school    means we are always running late. If I’m out the door and in the car at 8.20am I’m winning. If it’s just 10 minutes later we’ve had it.

3)  Heart Break – Every morning on the school run my heart breaks a little more as my daughter sobs her way into the class room. The “How Could You” look she gives me as I turn to leave just kills me and the emotional upset stays with me long into the afternoon.

4) The Toddler – In addition to the battle with my 4 year old, I have to drag my feisty 2 year old in and out of the car 4 times a day. To be fair, she’s normally very good at getting ready on time, but at the school end she refuses to get in the buggy. So I often find myself trying to stop her running out into the road whilst coaxing and cajoling my eldest daughter to “keep walking.” The afternoon pick up can be fine if the toddler has had a sleep. If she hasn’t, it soon becomes a tired, argumentative, emotional mess.

5) Parking – Just to be clear, I never envisaged or wanted to use the car on the school run. Our local school is less than a 10 minute walk away and we were shocked not to get a place there (but that’s another story). So whilst I don’t like it, I’m getting on with the driving, but I still find parking an issue, especially if we are late. In 7 weeks I’ve only had 1 nasty note left on my car about parking but after the emotional trauma of the morning, it was enough to tip me over the edge.

It’s easy to see how parents are more stressed on the school run, the emotional, organisational and logistical trauma is enough to get the blood pressure rising all before 9am. I’m hoping things will get easier for us as the weeks go on, in the meantime, give me a cuppa and a biscuit to calm down, I’ll save the wine for when the kids are in bed and I can enjoy a glass or three in peace!

Do you suffer from school run stress? Have you resorted to or thought about wine in the morning? I’d love to hear how everyone else is getting on.

 

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The List

Guilt and our Demanding Lives

 

Feeling Guilty
Feeling Guilty? You’re Not Alone

I’ve spoken to lots of friends recently who are all suffering with the same type of disease: guilt. It seems that the everyday demands seems to be a constant worry and source of guilt for many women in today’s world.

What are we Feeling Guilty About?

Everything and anything judging by the conversations I’ve been having. From not spending enough time with the extended family to not eating healthily or doing enough exercise. Becoming a parent makes the guilt sky-rocket. I quite often feel guilty about the effects of what I’m doing is having on my kids. Am I being too strict? Not strict enough? Not giving them enough attention? I’ve spoken to working mums who are feeling guilty about not spending enough time with their children and full-time mums that are worrying about not giving their children enough stimulation. I’ve even had conversations with some women who are feeling guilty about not spending enough time on the chores or work around the house.

My Personal Guilt List

At the moment my guilty worry list consists of the following:

  • Losing my patience with my eldest daughter on a daily basis in the battle to get her to go to school.
  • Juggling working from home with every spare scrap of time that I have, and worrying about the impact on my children.
  • Not seeing enough of all my friends.
  • Not visiting my nan enough.

Why?

So why are so many of us feeling guilty for so much of the time? I’m no expert but I think a lot of the problem is down to how busy we all are and how demanding our lives have become. It seems that everything is competing for our time and attention and we are being pulled apart by the strains. We are constantly trying to juggle work, children, relationships as well as the mundane chores and feel a huge sense of guilt if we can’t meet all of these things or give them all the dedicated time they deserve. Technology may well help ease some of the problems in our lives, but can ironically add to the guilt too. I often find that a “quick” check of my email on my phone whilst spending time with the kids sucks me into a whole host of nonsense on Facebook and it can be some time before I’m snapped back into reality and then immediately feel guilty about it.

How to Lose The Guilt

I read an article the other day that said we all need to treat ourselves more kindly and stop being so hard on ourselves; we are all doing the best that we can to get by. If we could only talk to ourselves like we would a friend who was asking for help we would be better off.  We need to acknowledge that we are not perfect and we can’t always give our all to everyone all of the time. We need to give ourselves a break, it’s a tough enough trying to get on in this world without dragging ourselves down!

Do you agree? I’d love to hear what you think about guilt.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

The List

9 Sayings that Confirm You’re Turning Into Your Parents

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Have you found yourself saying things that your mum or dad used to say to you? The type of comments that used to make your eyes roll? When did this happen? This sudden ability to spout stuff that is pointless, meaningless or plain ridiculous? Here are some of the things I’ve found myself saying which I never thought would:

1) “Because I said so.” – I used to hate this phrase with a passion when my mum used to say this to me. But inexplicably I have found myself saying it a lot lately. Maybe it’s because my eldest won’t take no for an answer or maybe it’s because my youngest’s favourite phrase at the moment is “WHY?”

2) “It will all end in tears.” – I’m mum to two young girls. They’re at an age where they’re suddenly fighting a whole lot more and I find myself playing referee and trying to separate them. But do they really care at that exact moment that the other one has their favourite colour spoon for breakfast that it might “all end in tears”?

3) “We’ll see.” – Another frustrating and irritating response I used to get from my mum. But I get it now. It’s the one to use when you really don’t want to go to little Johnny’s party on Saturday afternoon but can’t really think of a valid reason why.

4) “Eat that dinner, there’s children starving in this world.” – I honestly can’t believe I said this to my eldest daughter recently. Why is it that so many parents have battle times with their children at dinner time? Why won’t they just eat their tea? I’ve tried cajoling, pleading, bargaining and then this line out of sheer exasperation. Of course it was met with a completely blank look. At the age of 4, children of course have little concept about other countries let alone the possibility of being starving hungry.

5) “Eat your carrots, they’ll help you see in the dark.” – Another phrase used in the hope of getting children to eat. But unlike the comment above, did provoke some interest (in visionary powers, but sadly not the carrots).

6) “Move away from the TV your eyes will turn square.” – Asking them to move away from the TV fair enough, but saying their eyes will turn square is just plain ridiculous. They’re never going to believe it are they?

7) “How many times do I have to tell you?” – A fairly meaningless phrase. Is anyone keeping count?

8) “Don’t make me turn this car around!” – As if we are ever going to turn the car around! My parents never did and I won’t too.

9) “What part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?” – I’ve still not figured out exactly how many parts of no there are but I still seem to come out with this little gem on several occasions.

Have you used any of these phrases on your kids? Are there any others that I’ve missed? I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Cuddle Fairy
Super Busy MUm

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Mums' Days

Down On The Farm

Down On The Farm

After a week of everyone in our household being ill, a few days away over the half term break is just what we all needed. We went to stay with my husband’s aunt and uncle on a farm in south Wales. There was no phone signal as we drove through the village and I wondered how we would cope over the next few days with no contact with the outside world.

Food

We arrived at lunch time and Frances was busy making lunch. Not sandwiches or a salad, but a full on pie dinner followed by ice cream. We soon realised that food dominates heavily and over the course of the following days we were constantly being fed from cooked breakfasts in the morning, huge 3 course dinners for lunch, freshly baked cakes mid- afternoon then later on supper of pizza or cheese and biscuits. Cooking is more than just a way of being the perfect hostess, food is fuel and the work on farm is physical. At 73, Ken is still getting up at 6am and going straight out to do work on the farm. I can’t see him ever retiring, farming is simply a way of life.

Nostalgic

After our first heavy lunch, we set out to walk off our food. The kids were delighted that Meg, the 3 legged dog would be joining us. We walked through fields of cows and sheep down to the river. The beautiful views seemed to stretch on and on, Frances told us that they own almost 200 acres and it was breath-taking to look out over the valleys and fields and think about how little this place had changed over the last few hundred years.

My husband got quite nostalgic as he remembered long summer days playing with his cousins out in the woods and fields all days, only ever coming back to the farm to be fed. We did a huge circular walk which little legs Eva coped well with, and ended up by a lovely looking old house where my mother-in-law was born and grew up. It felt weird looking at this house to think that this is where the family all hailed from. The kids couldn’t quite believe that this was where Grandma lived when she was a little girl.

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The house where Grandma lived.

Male-Dominated

The next day the kids got a ride on the tractor and quad bike with Uncle Ken which they absolutely loved. Ken was going to the cattle market in the nearby village and we decided that we’d go with him. It was fascinating to watch the auctioneers sell the livestock even if we had no idea what was being said. I noticed there was hardly any women at the market and it brought it home to me that there is a really strong culture in the farming world in which men still dominate. Other than technology, not much has changed over the years. It seems to me to be a very lonely and insular way of life, you eat, sleep and work all in the same place and may not see much of other people. But one other hand, as I saw at the cattle market, there is a huge sense of community. The farmers all know and look out for each other and they have known each other for years; there was plenty of stories going around about the fun and antics they got up to whilst growing up.

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Stepping Back in Time

We only stayed on the farm for 2 nights but it really felt like a proper break. No texts or constant checking of the mobile phone felt like we were stepping back in time. It meant we only had to concentrate on the conversation, views and farm way of life and I loved it.

In Sickness and In Sickness……

In Sickness and In Sickness

We are all in recovery. This past week every member of our household has fallen ill. It started with Alice, she picked up one of the hundreds of germs doing the rounds at school and it rapidly turned into Tonsillitis. Our plans last Saturday for a much needed catch up with friends in Ealing was cancelled and the next day I woke up barely able to swallow. The doctor confirmed that I also had tonsillitis despite the fact that my tonsils had been removed 20 years ago. My youngest daughter came down with a virus and upset stomach and my husband had the worst of it all….a cold.

I always know when I’m ill when I can’t drink my beloved cups of tea or read a book. The days have blurred into one with most waking moments spent in front of children’s TV. It will never be too soon before I have to watch another episode of Mickey Mouse Club House or the ridiculous Grandpa in My Pocket. And because we have all been stuck indoors with severe cabin fever, quarantined from seeing any friends or visitors, the arguments and bickering started to escalate. Not just the kids but between the husband and I too.

Depressed

That’s the horrible thing about feeling ill, you start to get really down with it as well. Everything feels like a huge effort and you think that it will last forever. This past week I’ve been thinking constantly about all the things I should be doing whether it be working on my freelance business, writing a blog post or simply doing chores around the house, but I just didn’t have the energy to face any of it.

The lack of fresh air, different surroundings and interaction with other people all made me feel incredibly low. Annoyingly, this together with the constant lying around on the sofa only amplifies the little voice that you normally quash when you’re feeling stronger and more confident. You know those self-depreciating little questions like “What am I doing with my life?” “Should I even bother trying to continue freelancing?” and “I really should be trying to do something fun or educational with the kids rather than just watching another episode of Grandpa in My Pocket.” ETC. ETC.

I was annoyed to have to cancel a girls’ night out and miss out on some meetings at Alice’s school. But mostly this week I was sad to miss out on her first ever parents’ evening. I’d really been looking forward to this not only to find out how Alice is progressing, but also to satisfy my constant curiosity to find out just what goes on at school every day!

 The Simple Pleasures

Just when I thought Alice would never gain any colour in her face or that I would ever feel like eating food again, the antibiotics suddenly started to kick in and little by little I began to feel human and I noticed some slight improvements with everyone else too. Yesterday was our first time out of the house in 8 days. We went to the park, fed the ducks and stopped at a café for tea. It’s funny how something so basic can seem so significant. I felt strange and a little wobbly at first to be outside again, but the simple pleasures of being in the fresh air on a mild autumn day watching the kids play and seeing the beautiful colours of the leaves on the trees all made me smile and think of the positives in life. Illnesses and negative thoughts are now banished. I’m on the mend and on the up!

Hope you keep well and avoid the germs out there!

When Hero-Worship Turns Sinister

Hero-Worship
Can hero-worship ever be healthy?

We all have people in the public eye that we admire and damn it, perhaps even want to BE. Over the years the objects of my admiration have ranged from Wonder Woman to Kate Bush to more recently authors Maggie O’Farrell and Kate Atkinson. But what happens when the object of our admiration turns into something a bit darker? Something verging on obsession?

Other Freelancers

As a freelance copywriter, I turned to Twitter about a year ago to find some other like-minded people. It has been good to find so many women in similar situations that are mums like me trying to juggle parenting with work. I was immediately entranced by one of these ladies. She had a range of high profile clients, an inspiring and well-written blog and in short seemed to be successful at everything she turned her hand to. I started following her on all forms of social media and got a unique insight into her life. I thought about her a lot. I was happy for her success and ever so slightly envious. I wanted what she had and, yes, I suppose at times, I even wanted to be her.

I asked her some questions about her business and was delighted when she replied. It wasn’t quite like receiving a reply from Kate Bush, but it wasn’t too far from it. When I found myself commenting on a post that she’d shared about her lunch, I realised that things had gone a bit too far. I was turning into a stalker and I needed to get my own life back. I unfollowed her on a few social media streams and took a step back.

I still keep an eye on her and what she’s up to (a new book deal beckons!) but my hero-worship is more in check now.

Not So Bad Being Me

I’ve learnt that no matter what you do in terms of work or personal life, there will always be people who are better. Whilst it’s healthy to have ambition and aspire to them, it’s important to not lose focus on who you are and what you are doing. We are all unique and we need to do whatever it is we do in our own individual style.

Whilst I know it’s natural to assume that the grass is always greener, I have to keep reminding myself that I’m doing a job I love that fits in very well around my family life and it’s growing. Maybe one day I’ll get to the giddy heights of similar successes to my girl crush, but in the meantime, it’s not so bad being me. Any success I have now will be all the sweeter for doing it my way.

I’d love to know if you admire or hero-worship anybody and if it’s a healthy admiration or bordering on obsession?

My Name Is………

My Name Is.....

Over the years I’ve acquired many nicknames. Some of you will know me as Chez, others Meryl, Beryl, Cherry and weirdly Flo. This week however, I’ve been given a new name by my youngest daughter, Eva. That name is….Carmella.

Since starting pre-school 3 weeks ago, Eva has not only fallen in love with the place, but with her keyworker, the wonderful Carmella. Eva is obsessed with her. Every time I pick her up she talks about what Carmella did and what Carmella said and when she can see Carmella again. This clearly isn’t enough, because 4 days ago, Eva told me “You be Carmella” and “I be Eva.” I chuckled to myself and happily went along with this new role play. What I didn’t realise is that it would last all day and indeed all week. Over the past few days, whenever I’ve made the mistake of saying something like “Mummy needs to put the washing on,” she looks at me as if I’m stupid and says “You’re not mummy, you’re Carmella.”

Advantages of Being Someone Else

The upside of all this extensive role playing is that as Carmella I can get Eva’s attention more than when I’m being the real me. At the age of 2 we are going through a quite demanding phase. I have noticed this week that when she’s stamping her foot and screaming for chocolate buttons, I can get her to stop or listen to me by saying something like “Carmella doesn’t like that.”

A Bit Weird

Let’s face it, the disadvantages are that it’s just plain weird isn’t it? I find it weird that I’m having to pretend to be someone else all week, if anyone overhears me talking as Carmella or being called Carmella then that would be weird. And if Carmella ever found out how detailed this little crush has become I’m sure she would find it ever so slightly strange. I dropped Eva off at pre-school this morning and could barely look Carmella in the eye thinking how bizarre it is that I’ve been pretending to BE HER all week.

I hear about plenty of other children who have had pretend imaginary friends, but I’ve never heard of a child who has insisted on calling their mum after another real person ALL WEEK. Whilst I’m pleased that she’s settled into pre-school so well, I can’t help feeling a tiny bit freaked out by how obsessed Eva has become with this other woman.

It Can’t Last Forever

Surely this phase won’t last forever. We finally had a break through last night when Eva tiredly murmured to me “You be Mummy now.” I’m hoping that will be the end of it. As much as I have nothing against the real Carmella, I’d quite like to go back to being me again. But who knows what will happen later when I go and pick her up today. If Eva’s had another enjoyable day, I may end up being Carmella for a while longer yet.

I’d love to know if anyone else been given an unusual name by their child or is it just me?

6 Things You Don’t Expect When Your Child Starts Primary School

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Two weeks ago my eldest daughter started primary school. It’s been a fairly fraught summer, we didn’t get into any of our 4 choice of primary schools and we lost our appeal. On top of that Alice’s birthday is at the end of August so she had only just turned 4 when we waved her off Big School. Despite these initial concerns, she seems to be settling in well. There are some things however that we did not expect from her starting school:

1) Tiredness – I was prepared for tiredness, especially being a summer born baby, but I was unprepared for just how much. Almost daily we have a complete melt down about 6.15pm. What starts with a bit of whinging, quickly escalates to full on tantrum followed by face down on the carpet howling and screaming. I have been putting her into bed earlier as she obviously needs and has even been asking for it. Someone advised me that the trick is to move everything including dinner and bed earlier. So I seem to now start dinner as soon as we get home especially if I dare attempt to get her in the bath!

2) Reality Dawns – The first few days of starting school were a definite novelty. They were short days, there was lots of new and exciting things to do and see. Now reality has hit that school is happening EVERY DAY! I get asked the same questions every morning “Do I have to go AGAIN?” “When is it the weekend?” and the incessant “But I don’t want to go.” Despite the protests she does thankfully seem to enjoy it once she’s there.

3) Missing Her! – It is only been 2 weeks, but I really miss having Alice around. My youngest daughter also regularly asks where she is. Alice used to go to pre-school but somehow this seems to be a leap up from that. I was used to having her around for a couple of days with me, so it’s bizarre and a little sad now. I’m sure we will get used to it, but at the moment, it feels strange and I find myself constantly wondering what she’s up to.

4) New Routine – All of us have had to adapt to a new routine and this is still something we are getting used to. We need to leave the house earlier and this results in a regimental routine with me shouting “Breakfast!” “Get Dressed!” “Teeth!” “Toilet!” and finally “Shoes!” and “Car!” at varying intervals between 7am and 8am. I feel like a sergeant major, but with little room for error in the morning, it can, and has already gone horribly wrong for example when Alice one day refused to put her shoes on or our youngest daughter wouldn’t get off the potty. Mornings suddenly feel a lot more stressful!

5) Odd Behaviour – Along with many other new mums, we are seeing some “challenging” behaviour when Alice gets home from school as she seems to suddenly transform into a stroppy teenager. Shouting and door slamming are becoming the norm especially when I ask her to do something. Another mum said she thinks this is because they are having to be “good” all day that they let rip when they get home! I was also amazed to discover that Alice had wet herself at school which hasn’t happened since she was 2!

6) You Have No Idea What They Get Up To – Despite asking on a regular basis “What did you do at school today?” I always seem to get a similar response “Not sure” or “Can’t Remember.” Little bits of information gradually drip through to me but they might involve the most random things like the process at dinner time or what colour coat another girl was wearing. It’s infuriating as I long to be a fly on the wall and know what on earth is going on, but all you can do is be patient and wait for them to open up. I’ve also found that more general questions provoke a response like “What did you enjoy doing?” or “What did your teacher say today?”

Starting primary school is a huge event for any child. There’s a big change to the daily routine as well as being in a new environment every day and meeting new people. It’s bound to be overwhelming and this is bound to translate into odd behaviour. It can be a bit of a shock to the system for the parents as well as the kids! I suppose the key is to keep going, give them some time and (hopefully) things will soon settle into a new routine for everyone.

Has your child recently started at primary school? How are they getting on? Please let me know if you’re experiencing any of the same behaviour, or do you have any other points to add to my list? I’d love to hear your comments!