In the six years that I have been a mother, my children have gone through many transitions, as I’m sure yours have. From cooing to crawling to potty training, the kids are usually the ones who endure the brunt of the transition most times. These last couple months though have been a whirlwind. I am having a rough time with the transition to “school mom.”
From PTO to carpool lines, making mom friends and dealing with mom cliques, everything is unfamiliar and though exciting, also terrifying. The transition from having no kids in school to a child in Pre-K 4 plus a child in Kindergarten has been more overwhelming than I anticipated. Navigating this new reality of ours is quite challenging. I feel like I say the wrong thing when talking to the faculty and staff at the school. I wonder if I’m being either too friendly or not friendly enough with the other parents, and where’s the line between being grateful to my child’s teacher (because I am SO grateful) and being a kiss up?
I’m still getting used to my life revolving around drop off and pick up, and having to take my kids to school even if I don’t feel like it.
Apparently, even in Kindergarten, kids can’t miss school. We recently took our children out of school for a week for a family vacation. Family time is important, and we could only go when it was possible for my husband to take off work. Instead of missing the opportunity to spend quality time together, our kids missed five days of school. I informed the teachers, administration and got take home work, yet I still returned home to a letter regarding “truancy.” Though everyone involved with the school commended our decision, they had to follow procedure. I completely understand, but it was rather unnerving, especially since I am normally a compulsive rule follower.
Speaking of rules, did you know there are (quite elaborate) rules to carpool? You can’t take a right off this street. That two-way street is now a one-way. You better not accidentally come up the side street and cut everyone. I think the carpool rules were distributed along with the truancy policy in the mountains of paperwork I received but didn’t have a chance to read thoroughly because I was too busy buying uniforms, black socks, lunch kits, oh and getting all these kids to all these places…on time, because if not, truancy!
To the seasoned school mom, I am asking for grace.
Try to remember what it was like when this was all new and foreign to you. If I cut you in the carpool line, or forget snack on snack day (I’ve already done both), please know I’m doing the best that I can to get used to all these new routines and rules.
I’m also asking for advice.
If you see a mom wandering around aimlessly, getting fussed at by the office staff to sign in first, that’s me. And I could use your wisdom. I’m lucky to have a friend who has been a wealth of information, but there is such a learning curve. At least for me. Maybe you have it all together and this transition has been a breeze. If that’s the case, I’m happy for you and not at all jealous.