The Teaching Mum

A light-hearted look at parenting through the eyes of a very busy English Teacher.


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It’s No Big Deal!

I was the first person to hold you when you came screaming into our world.

Birth is not a big deal, I thought, as I passed you to Daddy so he could meet his girl.

The midwife made a big deal when I said I didn’t know how to fasten a nappy,

It made me feel stupid and alone, when really I should have just felt happy.

I found feeding you so difficult at first, but I tried and tried and tried.

Health visitors thought I was being dramatic when the pain came and I cried.

But, I persevered; I fed you myself and in the end it wasn’t a big deal,

The long nights soon started and then the sh*t got real.

Sleep deprivation became a well known form of torture,

Never did you sleep in the lovely cot we bought you.

No big deal.

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About an hour old!

Tomorrow you start school and that’s no big deal,

You’re more than ready and this I know, but what’s this emptiness I feel?

Your uniform is hanging neatly in your darkened room,

And you’re sleeping right now so sweetly with your dreams dancing in full bloom.

“It’s your first day tomorrow! What will you do if Mummy cries?”

“It’s not a big deal, stop saying that!” Then you roll your eyes.

I can tell you’re ready, it’s plain to see because

When I talk about school, you literally beam with glee.

I hope it lives up to your expectations and is everything you want it to be,

I hope you make friends quickly and are not too shy like me.

But, if you find your first day tough, don’t worry, it’s not a big deal,

There’s always another day where you can start a fresh and put up a brand new shield.

Dream big, my girl!


There will be times when I can’t help, there will be issues you’ll have to deal.

And what you feel will one day be felt, because as time passes, you will heal.

Friends may come and friends may go, but please remain kind and true,

Popularity doesn’t matter as just long as you are you.

Mummy is looking forward to listening to your story books,

I won’t make a big deal when you learn new words; I will avoid your embarrassed looks.

It’ll be no big deal when you’re all dressed up, armed and ready to go.

I won’t fuss with your hair, take lots of photos and insist on the girly red bow.

 

As a teacher, I know you are in the best place you can be,

You need to learn from others and not just listen to nagging from me.

Your teachers will know you inside out and will know what it is you like to learn,

It’s not a big deal if you struggle at something; it’s okay to crash and burn.

But, it’s important that you stand back up again and tackle the challenge you face.

Your teachers won’t think it’s a big deal, in fact, they will think you’re ace.

As you go into your new school, I will go into mine too,

And I will greet new pupils who have butterflies in their tummies just like you.

I’ll smile, introduce myself and play down the importance of the day.

“Right!  Who know’s what a homophone is?  Let’s crack on.” is what I’ll say.

It’s alright to feel overwhelmed when you experience something new,

Just smile to yourself because it’s no big deal as friends will always find you.

Go get ’em kidda! (Mummy know it’s a huge deal really!) 

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You rocked Lower Foundation!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Momma’s Got to Werk!

The definition of ‘werk’ from the Urban Dictionary (so it must be true): A congratulatory declaration of support, praise or approval, for an outstanding achievement in any area of life.

Sometimes it feels like I am the only full time working mum in the world.

But, that’s because, for the most part, I am an idiot.

I am, of course, acutely aware that there are millions of us working parents out there who are doing our best to annihilate the guilt that whispers in our ears every morning as we leave our children in various places.  Be sure, when I say ‘various places’, I mean Grandparents and nursery and school – I don’t mean the bread aisle in the local Co-op.  We know deep down that even though our choice to work full time was a difficult one, (or a necessity for me as we stupidly bought a house we couldn’t afford) it is a choice we made with our children at the forefront of our minds.

Grandma picked these two up from the bread aisle in the Co-op…

Then there are teaching mums.

And, of course, there are teaching dads and teaching assistant parents and learning supervisor parents. I could go on, but I always set a limit of 1500 words, otherwise people zone out…I can already see your eyes drifting over to the Amazon advert in the corner…

What I am trying to say without offending anyone is that the parents who work in schools and with young people have it hard.  We have it hard because we work in a job that requires us to care for a large number of children as much as we care for our own – but in a very different way.  We have a sense of duty to them; we keep them safe in a world of uncertainty; we work hard so we can watch them succeed and we are interested to find out what they have achieved in life beyond school and how they have made their mark on the world.

Sometimes we have to pick them over our own children.

Not just because it’s our job, but because it’s a part of who we are.

So, to all of the working parents out there.

I see you.

I am you.

To the mum sitting in her car with her head in her hands as guilt whispers softly in her ears, I see you.  Do you know why?  Because, last week, I was you. I not only missed my daughter’s first ever sports’ day, but I forgot all about it.  In fact, I will go so far as to say that I didn’t know about it because the newsletter that was carefully placed in her bag went unread.  I know.  Bad mum.  In my defence, when I come in from work after picking up my children, the last thing I think of is to check the school bag.  Come September, when my daughter starts full time school, perhaps I should prioritise checking her bag for important documents.  However, after a day of teaching, I want to hug my children and watch ‘Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures’ and silently debate as to whether I think Andy is fit or not.

I still haven’t decided on that one.

I like his hair.

But, his nostrils are pretty flarey. (Is that even a word?  It is now, I am an English Teacher after all…)

Anyway, back to my story.  I dropped my daughter at her nursery (that’s a part of our local school) to be greeted by four year olds wearing trainers, t-shirts and shorts. My daughter, however, had on her red school uniform and black patent shoes.  She looked up at me and I looked down at her.

“Is it Sports’ Day?” I asked.

Everyone nodded.

Bugger.

Fret not, the nursery workers assured me, they had spare kits that my girl could borrow.  Regressing back to almost twenty years ago, I recalled the one time I had to borrow PE kit from the lost and found box at school. Recoiling from the memory of big blue PE knickers that weren’t mine, and the stigma attached, I refused to be beaten.

“Give me ten minutes!” I said to no one in particular and dashed out of the door to race home to retrieve my daughter’s shorts, t-shirt and trainers.

When I returned to nursery, it was noted how quickly I had returned (winner of the three legged race circa 1989 I will have you know…) and helped my girl into her PE kit.

I overheard a mum telling her son not to worry if he dropped the egg and that it was the taking part that was important. And she was right.  All that mattered was that the children had a good day.

In saying that though, I am quite competitive having played netball since I was ten years old.

Leaning into my daughter’s ear I whispered: “Go out there and win.”  We fist bumped because we are cool like that, but then she unintentionally dropped the guilt bomb in my face and it exploded.

“Are you staying to watch?” She asked.

This bomb caused tears to well in my eyes.

“No, baby. Mummy’s got to go to work.”

My heart felt like lead as I left the building.  There was no dashing this time; I dragged my feet because I didn’t want to leave.

But, I had to.  Other children needed me – I had my job to do.

I was the parent sitting with my head in my hands in the car. The clock was ticking; I was close to being late for work.

I called my Mum.

Sports’ Day started at 9am and by this time it was ten past eight.

I woke her and she told me that she had an appointment at the opticians.

She assured me that she would try to pull a few strings and told me to get myself to work.  Thankfully, she was able to do her own sprint finish and make it to sports’ day and in time and just as I was about to teach my first class of the day, she sent me a wonderful photo of my girl jumping along a Hop Scotch grid.

Did you win?

I thanked the Lord for grandparents.

My guilt was still with me though as I dropped the ball.

I missed another big event.

Another first.

Later on in the same week, I attended a presentation evening for our pupils.  I, along with a large number of colleagues, stood and cheered on pupils who were receiving recognition for their hard work and commitment throughout the year. I am certain that not all parents could make it; they too could have been missing a first. So I stood with my colleagues and we applauded their children because that’s what we do. I am in no doubt that there was a teacher standing on a grass verge cheering on my daughter last week perhaps missing a first of her or his own because that’s what we do.

In all honesty, there will be lots of firsts that I will miss and that’s life. There will be seconds and thirds that I get to experience and it’s those moments I will cherish rather than dwell on the ones I have missed.

Tomorrow, we go on holiday for the first time in three years.  That’s one of the many good things about being a teaching mum isn’t it? The holidays. I am looking forward to the many firsts I will experience over the next six weeks. However, the Dude has developed a penchant for climbing, so here’s hoping they’re all positive firsts…

So, to the mum sitting on a sun lounger with her head in her hands feeling guilty because she wants a moment’s peace.

I see you.

I am you.

Fancy grabbing a cocktail?

Me on holiday…

Enjoy your summer, folks!

The plan for the six week holiday Vs the reality

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday