Why I Wasn’t Crying at the School Gate

When Heidi Lewis dropped her baby to school for the first time this week she didn’t shed a tear. She freaking loved every second!

Think what you will but she couldn’t kiss him and get out of there quick enough…

Don’t get me wrong I love my little blue eyed, blonde angel-faced devil-in-disguise with all my heart. The morning snuggles and the big innocent eyed ‘I love you’ and ‘mummy you’re so beautiful’ lines that tug at your heartstrings…

However, when I delivered my beloved 5-year-old to school this week I was not one of the mummies putting on a brave face and then having a quiet cry once I was out of sight. Oh, I totally get why some mums do. Especially when it’s your first baby going out into the big scary world. I’m not by any means bagging the emotional mum. It’s just that I’ve been there. Done that. Bought the darn recipe book/raffle tickets/tea towel.

Nope today I totally kissed his chubby cheeks and ran for the hills when he told me I didn’t need to stay! No tears for me, in fact I celebrated with a very much-deserved massage.

The last week (ok I’ll be honest- most of!) the school holidays have been just short of torture. My beautifully planned out family bonding activities were met with eye rolls, door slamming and cries of ‘can we just play our iPads?’

This year the holidays just felt far too long, truth be told – the kids need way more than me. Something that we learn to do as mothers, from the moment they are born and with every first… is to learn to gradually let them go. They need to get back into that school routine and even master five was more than ready to fly the coop.

This is my last baby of four. For years I’ve enjoyed playgroup, handing out stickers for pooping on the potty and having tea parties with teddy bears. I loved this part of my life, but I haven’t had a chance to be ME for almost thirteen years. Ok, I’m a realist. I know that this ‘me’ time is only going to last between the hours of 8:30 am until 3:30pm (at best) and that I’m still going to have to do all of the other mummy duties. But this is seven whole hours (I’m so damn tired I did just have to add that up on my fingers). Seven whole hours of no one ‘muuuuuuumming’ me. No ‘I’m hungry, can I please have a cheese sandwich?’ Followed by tantrums because it’s the wrong cheese, or the wrong bread and he doesn’t want a sandwich. He wants a crumpet. Sorry to break it to you son, but your teacher won’t be running a café.

The thing is (hold on to your wine, this might sound a bit crazy) I’m actually looking forward to the opportunity to start working again and hopefully maybe even pay some bills. I know, right? But I’ve missed speaking to other grown-ups about grown up things. As a single mum with very little support it’s been really hard juggling the kinder run, mum duties, running a household and trying to fit in the time to work. This is a whole new phase in my life and I’m actually excited about it. Heck I may even go back and study! The opportunities are opening up before me and it’s ok to not be grieving my old life.

So, I walked away from my baby today with my head held high, shoulders back and a cheeky grin on my face. Firstly, because I know that today somebody else gets to deal with that super strong little personality I’ve raised so far. Secondly, because I’m super excited to start this new chapter of me. But mostly because I have absolute faith that I’ve raised a strong, smart and curious boy who will learn and grow under the guidance of his lovely teacher.

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Heidi is a teacher and single mum of four who goes to gym in order to indulge her love of cheesecake. Raising kids with ADHD and Aspergers is fast, chaotic and often hilarious, but she wouldn't change a thing. Heidi recovers with good chick lit, writing and Netflix after bedtime.

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