Dear Mummies: Mind your Own Business!

Posted on 13/05/2016 by Antenatal Online | Leave a Comment

My little boy who turns 4 in July appears to be going to school in September and I am not particularly happy about it. Many people look at me pityingly when I say this. I think they believe that I cannot bear to let him go, that I will be sitting here on the first day of term, staring at his abandoned trains and sobbing into his paw patrol T-shirt. People assure me he will be `fineí and itís true. He will. He is confident, bright and sociable. I donít worry he wonít cope. I simply question why he should have to.

Now legally of course he doesnít have to be in education until he turns 5 and his school are happy for us to pitch up part-time should we feel the need. I have decided however to stop telling people that we are considering keeping him home because this too causes some to adopt `the lookí.  

Of course such people believe that the reason I donít want him to go to school is because I have an inability to let go.  I have been reminded that lots of people feel sad as they wave their children off to school but they get over it. I on the other hand am one of `those mothersí Ė you know, the ones who canít bear for their children to grow up.

Full time school would in fact be just peachy for me for several key reasons including:

  • My ears could do with a break. The child never stops talking and most of it is about trains. Yesterday I spent an hour and a half on a station platform with him. Our train wasnít delayed. We werenít going anywhere. We were simply train spotting;
  • I have two other jobs in addition to motherhood. A few extra hours might mean I am able to do other the things I currently donít bother with. Like ironing. And cleaning. And shaving my legs;
  • I havenít really slept for 4 years as he established quite early on that sleep just wasnít really for him. Personally I think itís because he canít chat when he sleeps and that is a missed opportunity; I look forward to having a little kip when he isnít here;
  • While I work, he is looked after by someone who believes that ketchup, Pom Bears and Haribo have a higher nutritional value than they actually have; I will welcome the schoolís commitment to vitamins.

The simple truth is that I donít want him to start school at 4 because, like most parents, I want what is best for him and I donít believe that school is it. I know that if someone feels that I am keeping him out of school `for meí then there will be no persuading them otherwise and I have realised that I wonít be wasting my energy trying.

Itís very easy to judge other parents and find them woefully lacking. I myself spent several years revelling in my abilities as a sleep guru given my firstbornís excellent sleeping skills. Imagine then when my second child decided he wasnít fussed about sleeping through the night. I grudgingly removed my sleep guru crown. While I was still deluded about my abilities however I didnít go round telling people that they were clearly doing something very wrong, or that sleep really was very easy if you knew what you were doing. I kept my judgement about why they werenít a guru of sleep to myself. Judge all you like but as long as you keep it to yourself then thatís fine isnít it? Well, maybe not. I am now realising that I am really not so different to those who look at me pityingly.

Most parents love their children and want only the best for them. Itís just their idea of the best might not be the same as mine but it doesnít mean they are wrong.  I know what my reasons are and they arenít what others may think, just as I canít really know what motivates others. So in future I will be minding my own business and focusing on me. And ignoring those pitying glances. I canít possibly know where they come from.




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