My youngest starts school tomorrow. He is ready. I think I am. The questions from well meaning friends and acquaintances started at the beginning of the year.
What will you do with all your free time?
Will you go back to teaching?
Will you be going to work?
I have mainly laughed it off by saying I am planning a TV fest of Jeremy Kyle, Good Morning and Loose Women. (I'm not going to lie, I may well do this one day in the first week!)
I'm not sure why, but being a stay at home Mum when the kids are at school just doesn't seem an acceptable answer. Obviously not all of them know that I have been self employed for a few years and those that do still don't really see blogging as work. They don't really understand the amount of work involved. But blogging aside, why on earth should I be looking for a job the moment my children are at school? We receive no benefits. I have given up my career so that my husband can follow his. I find this an extremely hard thing to accept a lot of the time, but it was and still is the right decision for our family. I have no support network to rely on for childcare. The hours involved in going back to teaching and the costs involved in childcare do not make it an attractive option. Whilst some may still think teachers have it easy and finish at 3 everyday, I can tell you that is not the case.
I have spent the last 9 years putting an increasing number of people before myself. Making sure they are happy. Cooking and cleaning for them. Do you know how much mess 3 boys can make in the space of 10 minutes? To be honest I could quite easily spend the hours from 9 to 3 just cleaning the house from the previous evening.
So what should you say to a Mum whose youngest is starting school?
Well I am pleased to say that this was said to me. Chatting outside the classroom after a school meeting a Mum turned to me and said "What are you going to do...." I took a deep breath and readied myself to start talking about crap daytime TV (not Phil and Holly obviously.) Then she finished her sentence. "for yourself."
Now that is one Mum that understands, and it is certainly what you should say to a Mum whose youngest is starting school. Sometimes us Mum's need to remember to put ourselves first. Do something that isn't for someone else.
Is your little one starting school this year? Have you had these questions? What are you going to do for yourself?