Once you have children, the phrase “time flies” takes on a whole new meaning. Enter September, and for mums of children heading off to school for the first time, the feeling is even more magnified.
Some days, it literally feels like in the blink of an eye, your newborn has become a walking, talking person in his or her own right. And then suddenly, your baby is ready to tackle the world on their own, or at least the preschool part of it. They’ll be making friends, doing arts and crafts, learning letters and more, all without you.
While they have things to keep them busy and unfocused on your time away from each other, how will YOU handle your time apart? You’ve had your baby beside you, day in and day out for the past 2 years and 9 months or more. While you may spend your first day or two dancing a jig, enjoying a few hours of freedom from responsibility, the reality is, when it hits home that your baby has began their school journey, your emotions may run stronger than you ever thought.
So now that your baby is off to school, what will you do? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Consider taking up a hobby, hitting the gym or doing something that you’ve wanted to do but never have had the time to do. Set aside time to reinvest in yourself and your physical and mental health.
2. If you have younger children, consider carving out some quality time together. Take a mummy and me class, schedule a weekly play date or plan to visit the park. You may be surprised at how your relationship grows with your younger child when you have more time alone.
3. Hang out with other mums. Preschool can be a social launching pad for mums, as well as their children. Many new and lasting friendships are formed between mums in the drop off and pick up lines. Don’t pass up the opportunity to get to know the mums of children who are sharing your child’s classroom.
4. Catch up with friends. Chances are, even if you have younger children, they’ll still be napping at some point during the day. Set aside one day to forgo catching up on the house chores and instead catch up with friends. Make those much needed phone calls or invite a longtime friend over for tea and a chat.
5. Rediscover yourself. Take time to sit and be still and to think about the things that interest you apart from being a mum. Carve out some time to rediscover your passions, talents and interests. You’ll be glad you did.
Once a child heads off to school, a time of transition begins for all. Your child is beginning their own new journey without you as you are beginning yours without them. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to refill your parenting tank by taking care of yourself.