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Farewell, Primary School Mother.

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I feel redundant. Past my use-by date. Superfluous and unnecessary.

Last week at Parent Information Night, the Community Liaison Officer warned us this would happen.

Apparently it is a common phenomenon. As boys grow into older teenagers, they tend to need their mothers less and less.

My son’s new school is so concerned for the impact this might have on us mothers, they have organised a “mother and son” evening, so we can learn all about this future occurrence.

Forewarned is forearmed and all that.

Yet I cannot help but feel the future has already arrived, at least in our house.

Only two weeks ago I was one of the about forty other mothers standing in the quadrant, furtively wiping tears from my eyes as I waved my baby up the stairs to his new classroom.

My little man has started in year 7. He has been coming home every day beaming with excitement and eager to tell us all about his day, as he navigates his way around his new school.

Meanwhile I am struggling to find my place in this brave new world, post primary school days.

Once upon a time (ok, up until a month or so ago) I knew who I was in the mother scheme of things. Where I fitted in. I was one of the mum’s working part-time, leaving a couple of days free each week to allow me to attend to all the household affairs.

And on those non-working days, I could be present in the school playground. Drop off in the mornings, check out what all their mates were doing, and then rush off for coffee/ exercise/ chores.

In the afternoons things were a little more leisurely, as I would hang around chatting to some other mums, and then standing in the class listening to the last 5 minutes of the day. Often there was a chat to the teacher after the 3.30 bell, to find out how the kids were really faring.

Primary school days

Primary school days

Over the years I managed to attend innumerous school assemblies, helped with reading in class, and even went on at least one excursion per year.

I was as involved as I could be, and as much as I felt the children wanted or needed me to be.

My non-working days were bookended by the school drop off and pick up times.

But since my son, as the youngest of my two offspring, started high school there has been no need for me to bookend my day.

The kids catch the train with their dad to school, and make their own way home.

A few times their bus or train has been delayed, and I have found myself pacing up and down the driveway, waiting for them to materialize on the horizon.

I don’t even need to get up at a set time in the mornings to help them get ready for school.

I know it is ridiculous, but I am feeling rudderless and disconnected.

I thought I would be celebrating this newfound freedom. Instead I find myself talking incessantly to the dog and bombarding The Husband with emails about domestic details.

Last week I offered to attend the school House Swimming Carnival, as it neatly coincided with one of my non-working days. The Community Liaison Officer had made a special point of inviting parents to attend.

My son held up his palm at me as the words were barely out of my mouth to tell me “No. Please don’t come. I will be embarrassed in front of my friends”.

So easily embarassed these days....

So easily embarassed these days….

Apparently as well as being superfluous, I am no longer cool either.

Time keeps rolling on by, and it is inevitable my babies keep on growing up and away from me.

I can only hope they continue to need me in other, less physically tangible ways, for a while yet.

And at least our dog is still a puppy.

Cheers till next time,

Ali.

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