Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Mixed Aged School Aged...

I've had a dilemma all through my childrens school lives.

I was always felt out of sync with other families, other mothers.

When my eldest was starting school I was so much younger than the other mums, without a partner, and working and getting a degree. A lot of the mums, being mid 20 or older were seeing their last little babies start school.

When my two boys were starting school, the other kids in their class were the eldest in their families, where as my boys were the middle children. Lyssa at this stage was at school with kids who were the babies of their families; her friends did not understand having younger siblings to deal with.  The other children in the boys classes were the top dogs in their own household. 

When my next eldest girl started school it was similar again. Her classmates were either the babies of their family or the eldest. Moo Moo was neither; she was poor forgotten middle child lol. Not really but yeah, she had the bigger brothers and the younger sisters. There was only one other friend in her class like her.

And now I have sent Miss 5 off to Year one she is exactly the same. Not the eldest. Not the baby.

Why does this matter? Well its more about me than the kids. If the kids in grade 1 are the eldest or only child in their family, most likely they will be welcoming a baby soon or have a baby at home. If the child in grade 1 is the youngest, mum is usually moving off to full-time work or study if she hasn't already.   

Not that I'm against work or study but I did all of those things in my teens and early 20's. 

I have nothing in common with other mums. I still have another one at home, but hubby and I have called time on the baby making. I'm a good ten years younger than the other mums who have put an end to their child rearing years. It makes it hard to connect with the mums that my children go to school with.

Parents of teens who are the baby of the family don't understand the drama of juggling youth group drop off and pick up around toddlers bedtimes on a Friday night.  Parents with children whose eldest has just started school don't understand this either. Throw in a hubby who works away and its like trying to coordinate a 3 ringed circus!

And this is going to come as a shock to the mum who still has all her babies at home or has sent her first to Kinder with others soon to follow. It gets harder.  

Yes you read that right. The further they get through school, the more of your time they take. Not less. Especially if there's more than one. If you are guiding one child through late primary school or high school and working, you'll start to see the time juggling act.  You think the stay at home mum has it easier? Think again. Yes you have time during the day to do a few things, meet for a coffee maybe, dabble in craft although mostly we seem to just wash, vacuum, and put away that washing, not to mention dishes etc. But when your child gets home from school, they dont have 100% of your attention as they need. There are younger children who all need reading listened to, spelling help, assignments to look up on Google, all the while make sure someone inappropriate does not contact them. All this while trying to cook another gourmet, or at least acceptable meal.  Add to that trying to determine if that iPad is lodged so firmly to your sons face because he's actually doing homework or he's trying to hide the fact he's playing a video game or watching a YouTube video.....

Throw in a Uni aged child. My goodness. That girl has had me in tears. I've had to push her and push her to chase her (supposedly) own dreams....

I've got four, yes FOUR that I currently have to monitor voraciously from finish of school until 1am nearly every morning. And I haven't even mention hormones...... Do you feel scared? :-D

It doesn't get better. It gets more intense. And it gets different. And THEN it gets better.

 I'll see you on the other side when I'm bouncing my first Grandie on my lap ;-)

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