Delight and sadness as my children finally go back to school | Kelly Brown

Joy, nerves and a tinge of sadness filled a mixed bag of emotions in my house this week as my mini-mes finally returned to the classroom.

Back to school  Picture by Shutterstock
Back to school Picture by Shutterstock

The days of multiple Zoom calls, online learning and all living on top of each other are now (fingers crossed) firmly behind us as my children, like many others around the country, returned to school.

And while I’m thrilled a little bit of normality has returned, there is no denying that despite the stress of it all I am going to miss having them under my feet.

Unlike the first lockdown (almost a year ago!) when our children were told to just ‘do what you can’, this time around the expectations were so different and children have had a full day packed with online learning which they were expected to complete.

It has been a bit of a struggle for those with teenagers (who at least can work independently), but a primary school child needs varying degrees of help and support - not least to turn on those ‘listening ears’ - which when you are trying to work and/or support more than one child is more than a small challenge.

But we have succeeded and there has been much excitement as we dig out the uniform, hope there has been no growth spurt and it still fits (luckily it all does thank goodness) and the countdown began to then having actual human contact with their friends began.

Of course there will be a big adjustment for them - not least because playing Roblox is not on the curriculum, being able to go out for a short bike ride at lunch will no longer be possible and the schools do not provide round the clock snacks......

It will also be a huge adjustment for me too. I got used to quietly despairing at how dull parts of the national curriculum are as our fantastic teachers make learning about fronted adverbials ‘exciting’. I have also enjoyed being roped into helping with arts and crafts projects and have also enjoyed not nagging them about cleaning their teeth by 8am.

But most of all I have enjoyed their company.

And as I sit here enjoying the sounds of silence, being able to work without being interrupted or having one of my small people join in on a conference call I can also reflect back at being able to have this small window of time together was, while stressful, an absolute privilege.