Being the mother of a primary school-aged child is so… involved.
Part of me (only a small part, but still, a part), is vaguely nostalgic for the days of last year, when I had two kids at home full time and I had full discretionary control over where we went, and when, and it never mattered much if we were late. Back when my biggest responsibility outside of directly caring for the kidlets was occasionally bringing a communal morning tea to playgroup.
Six months later, and I’m overwhelmed with all this… stuff. The school runs discos and excursions, cake stalls and Mother’s Day stalls. There’s Harmony Day, Easter hat parades, Book Week, and various fundraisers for various things.
And mufti days. Mufti days may be the absolute bane of my existence. The Chop’s primary school has a particular love for them. The P&C, or whoever makes these decisions, declares ‘Mufti Day!’ gleefully every few weeks sometimes with, quite literally, two days notice.
(Does that sound like the kind of bitterness of a mum who’s forgotten a mufti day, more than once? If you think that… you’re absolutely correct. As we’ve established, I’m not good at this being-a-grown-up thing.)
The reason I’ve missed two mufti days (both successfully saved by living only two minutes away from the school) and a smattering of other school-involved activities is, quite simply, that I just can’t keep up with the constant flow of paperwork that comes, crumpled and ominously threatening, at the bottom of the Chop’s school bag. Every. Damn. Day. Newsletters. Permission slips. Information notes. Home reading cards.
The kid is five years old, and we spend half an hour on homework every night. The Chop doesn’t mind it, so, I tell myself, neither do I. But, really, I’m not even sure how I feel about that.
Six hours of school, five days a week… at the age he is, isn’t that enough?
Anyway. That’s probably topic for another blog post, on another day.
I’ve discovered that- apart from the skills of someone far more organised than me, who uses spreadsheets and calendars and stuff- being a school mum requires two things. One is a purse full of loose change. With constant fundraisers comes the constant need for one and two dollar coins.
That, I can do.
The other requirement seems to be school spirit and a bit of rah-rah-let’s-get-involved–ness; required for events such as weekend fetes, movie nights, information sessions and family maths carnivals (don’t ask me what that is… I didn’t go).
They are all things that I’m not sure I’m very good at. I’m not sure if that matters, or not.
I’m telling myself… probably not.