And they are BACK! Mine went back to school today (as you can see, one genuinely excited and one… yeah, notsomuch)…
For me, the kids starting back is at school is even better than January for a good old Mum Refresh. I’ve been boring the kids senseless with advice on how to get on in this new school year. But it occurred to me this morning that I’m thoroughly crap at following that same advice myself. Here’s some stuff I tell them to do that maybe all mums should apply to themselves too…
- Make lots of new friends
New mums at the school gates, mums you’ve admired from a distance but been too shy to talk to, or maybe ladies you think are fab but never get round to meeting for that wine or coffee. Get off your arse and make that arrangement. Chances are they really could do with a chinwag and a few drinks with a fellow mum, too. Let’s face it, husbands might pull interested expressions when you are describing that incident at the school gates between Marie and Wendy, or pondering whether Brad and Angie will actually get back together… but they would rather be watching Game of Thrones in their pants.
- …but also nurture old ones
Yes, make the new mum friends. But look back on the past year. Which mates really made your life easier and more enjoyable? Which ones were there to drink wine at 5.15pm on a Friday and slag off your mutual partners with? The ones who raise you up, who support you and have your back? They are the ones to look after.
- Ignore people who aren’t very nice
Stop wasting time being nice to people who simply aren’t interested in you (for whatever reason). You don’t know what their reasons are. But do you know what? Don’t fucking worry about it; it’s just not your problem. Politely move on.
- If you need a wee, go for one.
How many times have I got annoyed when the kids are dancing around trying to finish a level on Skylanders or when playing and they clearly need to pee? A lot. Bea had several accidents last year and I know that she will put off having a wee till the last minute. Then I catch myself typing ‘just one more sentence’ before I will allow myself to get to the loo. Cue several minor accidents due to my severely impaired pelvic floor. FFS woman just go to the bog already! Geez.
- Eat vegetables and drink water
Even if my son is currently only eating sweetcorn and cucumber with his school lunch, it’s fresh, vitamin-rich food that his body actually needs and I regularly remind him. Likewise with water. I drill its importance into my daughter who barely drinks a thing. Then I eat rubbish (sometimes) and don’t get a drink for hours! Treat your own body with the same concern you do your kids’.
- Try your best
That’s all I ask of my kids. If you’re shit at something, don’t sweat it because you’re awesome at loads of other stuff. Just make sure you are really doing that bit of work that you are struggling with to the best of your ability. Even if it is just the Take a Break crossword.
- Don’t compare
Kids are terrible for comparing their abilities or situation with others’. But adults are too! You know that annoying advert with the mustachioed man singing about insurance comparison? Well, change the word ‘Go’ with ‘Don’t’ – and every time you catch yourself comparing you or your kids… JUST FUCKING STOP IT. Whether it’s accidentally noticing that your kid’s classmate is reading Tolkien whilst yours struggles with Biff and Chipper, or the fact that Becky at school is a size 8 and has a 9 month old and you’re still struggling with ‘post baby weight’ despite having your last child 6 years ago… just quit it already. As Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘Comparison is the thief of joy’.
- Relish new responsibilities
I told both of them this morning that new starters would be in their class and I want them to treat each new kid with respect and care: it’s their actual JOB as ones that have been there for a while. If anyone is crying I want you to look after them, I barked. (At this point, their eyes had glazed over). As each year progresses, the kids get more responsibility at school; whether that’s counting numbers for lunch or simply looking after the little ones. Same goes for us, too. Turns out, this adulting stuff is really hard. Who knew you had to renew your driving license every time you sodding move?! But sometimes you do just have to sit down and get that shit done.
- Get rid of some energy
Kids have break time; we have lunch hours, or if you are a SAHM or self-employed then it’s dog or go to the shop walks – same thing. I intend, after six weeks’ worth of a diet made up primarily of sandwiches and crisps whilst day tripping with the kids, to have longer dog walks and generally just get out more to move around. Kids need it – they literally have to get rid of some energy. But we need to move too. So get off your arse and MOVE girl!
In the spirit of the new school year, new me, I shall also be cutting my chin length hair into a short crop and buying a few Autumn essentials. Y’know, maybe some boots and a coat. They get to be shiny and new – I want some of that as well! After six weeks of childcare I bloody deserve it!
What will you be resolving to do more or less of this new school year? Let me know!