Linda's blog: Back to school

Like many of us with school age children, we have started the autumn term and come back to earth with a bit of a bump. Although we didn't go away this summer we went out on various day trips, saw friends and family and filled our weekends with fun activities. What’s been interesting is that whilst we all had a lovely time, the children have had no problem at all adapting back to “normal” life whilst my husband and I have found it more difficult.

We adults prepared for the start of the new school year with a mixture of trepidation (one child moving nursery to start at her sister’s school nursery) and downright misery that the warmth and sunshine of the summer, albeit nothing like last year’s heatwave, is over and all we have to look forward to is increasingly short, grey, damp autumnal days.  We have found ourselves reluctant to return to work and the daily routine. I cannot speak for him but I know I have wished away my work day and wasted precious minutes either looking at summer holiday photos or dreaming of our next break.

By contrast, our 7 year old is nothing but excited about the new year and new term. For her, it’s all about what lies ahead and the highlights of this year: primarily the fact she can now take in a pencil case and, as a very close second, the prospect of a residential school trip.

Simply planning the contents of the pencil case took her several happy hours and that was before choosing the actual pencil case it would all go in. As for the school trip, no preparation is required: this will be in the summer term next year!  Add to this new shoes and seeing friends she hasn’t seen since July and no wonder she’s been skipping to school. For anyone who’s seen it, the Clarks advertising campaign “back to play time” is spot on.

As I remind myself to enjoy this phase of her life before the hormones kick in and she becomes a sullen teenager, I wonder how I can channel some of her positive energy. I’m sure part of the difference can be explained by the fact she has not returned to the mountain of laundry, household chores and personal admin tasks that, until now, we have blissfully ignored.  But I wonder if maybe by focusing on small pleasures we could benefit from being a bit more like her.

If I took the same approach to my return to work, would it be not just easier, but more enjoyable? Should I reframe my internal messaging and tell myself I am returning to exciting new challenges rather than the daily grind? I wonder if it’s that simple? My feet haven’t grown and I clearly don’t need a new bag or shoes but maybe I’ll give it a try.

Linda is a lawyer who has two children aged 4 and 7. She and her husband work full time and juggle the school run and everything else between them. 

Like many of us with school age children, we have started the autumn term and come back to earth with a bit of a bump. Although we didn't go away this summer we went out on various day trips, saw friends and family and filled our weekends with fun activities. What’s been interesting is that whilst we all had a lovely time, the children have had no problem at all adapting back to “normal” life whilst my husband and I have found it more difficult.

We adults prepared for the start of the new school year with a mixture of trepidation (one child moving nursery to start at her sister’s school nursery) and downright misery that the warmth and sunshine of the summer, albeit nothing like last year’s heatwave, is over and all we have to look forward to is increasingly short, grey, damp autumnal days.  We have found ourselves reluctant to return to work and the daily routine. I cannot speak for him but I know I have wished away my work day and wasted precious minutes either looking at summer holiday photos or dreaming of our next break.

By contrast, our 7 year old is nothing but excited about the new year and new term. For her, it’s all about what lies ahead and the highlights of this year: primarily the fact she can now take in a pencil case and, as a very close second, the prospect of a residential school trip.

Simply planning the contents of the pencil case took her several happy hours and that was before choosing the actual pencil case it would all go in. As for the school trip, no preparation is required: this will be in the summer term next year!  Add to this new shoes and seeing friends she hasn’t seen since July and no wonder she’s been skipping to school. For anyone who’s seen it, the Clarks advertising campaign “back to play time” is spot on.

As I remind myself to enjoy this phase of her life before the hormones kick in and she becomes a sullen teenager, I wonder how I can channel some of her positive energy. I’m sure part of the difference can be explained by the fact she has not returned to the mountain of laundry, household chores and personal admin tasks that, until now, we have blissfully ignored.  But I wonder if maybe by focusing on small pleasures we could benefit from being a bit more like her.

If I took the same approach to my return to work, would it be not just easier, but more enjoyable? Should I reframe my internal messaging and tell myself I am returning to exciting new challenges rather than the daily grind? I wonder if it’s that simple? My feet haven’t grown and I clearly don’t need a new bag or shoes but maybe I’ll give it a try.

Linda is a lawyer who has two children aged 4 and 7. She and her husband work full time and juggle the school run and everything else between them. 

Category: A Citymother's Diary

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