Confessions of a newbie school mum

My sister warned me that once you have kids at school, life becomes busier than you can imagine.

She wasn’t wrong. We are Week Four of Prep, and shit is getting real.

Reminders and information notices are coming at me left, right and centre.

There are hard copy newsletters and notices, electronic newsletters in PDF or online form, the parent portal, the student portal, several daily alerts via the school app, and last but not least, Facebook.

Monday is prayer, Tuesday is music, Wednesday is library and Japanese, Thursday is sports uniform day and Friday is Hot Dog Friday. Word to the wise – Hot Dog Friday is THE most important event of the week to remember. If you fail to enclose $4 in an envelope with your child’s name on it, said child will act as though her life, as we know it, is over.

Sounding full on? This is just the tip of the iceberg, my friends.

There seems to be a procedure, and a basket, for everything at school.

On arrival, bags must be hung on the wall hooks under your child’s name. Hats are to go in one basket, homework in another, Munch and Crunch is in yet another basket and the precious hot dog money is in, you guessed it, another basket.

As a newbie school mum, and perfectionist, I’m doing my best to keep on top of everything. I’ve been highlighting key info in the newsletters, writing notes on my hand and marking important dates on my calendar AND in my diary. I’m determined to not forget anything, like I did with the school uniform, and start our school journey on the right foot.

Thank goodness the Prep teachers at Miss Five’s school are absolutely amazing. They have everything running like a well-oiled machine. They have trained the kids beautifully and I think us parents are getting the hang of it too.

Surprisingly, homework started in week one and already Miss Five is complaining about it. I don’t blame her, I’ve had my fair share of homework already too.

Last week we were asked to complete a questionnaire about our child. I took forever and a day trying to think of ‘three to five words to describe your child’.

I really wanted to ace the questionnaire, you know. I wanted to show the Prep teachers just how creative I am with words and know how special Miss Five is. I wanted the Prep teachers to read a spectacularly written descriptor of my child and think ‘Oh my, this little girl simply must be the greatest angel-face to walk the land’.

After about half an hour staring at a blank page, I regretfully cut my losses and settled on– happy, playful, kind-hearted, imaginative and inquisitive. I’ve since made a note to myself that parents aren’t assessed on homework and I need to chill out a wee bit.

Seriously though, school life may be as busy as hell and there may be an incredible amount of information to remember, but I am loving my new role as school mum. Bring on the next 13 or so years of schooling, I say.

*Coughs*.

How’s the school year going for you so far? Are you suffering from information overload too?

Linking up today with Essentially Jess for IBOT.

69 comments on Confessions of a newbie school mum

  1. Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit
    February 16, 2016 at 5:39 am (2 years ago)

    Oh Renee. I remember these days well! In fact, I am in them again with both my kids in new schools. I still haven’t managed to work out the school app and as for the homework load (year 11 and year 7) I’m getting a bit overwhelmed!
    But you’re right: “I’ve since made a note to myself that parents aren’t assessed on homework and I need to chill out a wee bit.” These words have come at just the right time for me 🙂
    Good luck!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:46 pm (2 years ago)

      Lol. I’m glad it was helpful. I can only imagine the homework for year 11 and year 7. Hang in there and good luck to you too!

      Reply
  2. Ingrid
    February 16, 2016 at 5:57 am (2 years ago)

    I just read Leanne’s comment and mine was about to be identical! I have my son in a new school in year 7 and my twins are in year 11 at a different school. I’ve already been swamped with two different sets of info about two different camps, let alone new band info, and sport info for my youngest! I’d love to say it gets easier for parents but it’s still full on for me when all my kids are in high school!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:47 pm (2 years ago)

      Wow, how funny you and Leanne have kids around the same age. I can just imagine how busy it must be with kids in high school particularly with the extra curricular activities. Good luck!

      Reply
  3. Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
    February 16, 2016 at 6:01 am (2 years ago)

    This is great. I now have 4 kids at 4 different schools and the information that comes in kills me. I need to write things down the old fashioned way or I am guaranteed to miss something (actually I always do but I never said I was a great mum).

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:48 pm (2 years ago)

      Four kids at four different schools! Okay you win. That must be incredibly full on.

      Reply
  4. Jody at Six Little Hearts
    February 16, 2016 at 6:04 am (2 years ago)

    Argh! School is like a thorny bush in my life! After this many years of it and many more to come, the lure of homeschooling appeals more each and every day. Don’t even get me started on kinder!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:49 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh I bet, Jody. How many years left until your done with school? Too many to count I suppose. The school must know you well 🙂

      Reply
  5. Courtney
    February 16, 2016 at 6:10 am (2 years ago)

    Hectic times indeed! The fact that I need to be at school by 7:30am makes mornings mayhem in our household. One crazy juggling act. But that’s why mothers rock! Lazy Saturday and Sunday mornings are relished by all!! Enjoy the ride. Don’t blink – the craziness has a way of screwing with time. Long days, mad rushes and racing against the clock seem to rob you of precious years. So enjoy holding that little Preppie hand on the way through the school gates each morning and savour the madness.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:53 pm (2 years ago)

      That’s madness, Courtney. I bet you and the kids have the routine down pat though. Despite all of the paperwork, homework and things to remember we’re loving our school journey so far.

      Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:53 pm (2 years ago)

      That’s madness, Courtney. I bet you and the kids have the routine down pat though. Despite all of the paperwork, homework and things to remember we’re loving our school journey so far.

      Reply
  6. Lydia C. lee
    February 16, 2016 at 6:12 am (2 years ago)

    I had 3 kids at 3 different schools and 2 pick ups for my youngests first year at school – that was deranged. I’m now down to 2 schools and 1 pick up, so I feel I’m coasting – I’m actually getting to know the school mums at school number 3. Until this year, I was always the mum that had to be somewhere else – so I’d never get to talk to anyone….at least they didn’t hold it against me.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:54 pm (2 years ago)

      Three kids at three different schools is full on. I don’t know how you coped. Two schools and 1 pick up sounds so much more manageable.

      Reply
  7. Bec
    February 16, 2016 at 6:29 am (2 years ago)

    Oh YES! I have a confession – I was so overwhelmed last week that I actually came home and burst into tears after the Parent Info Evening on Wed night! We’re slowly getting into a new routine. Mon and Tues are icy pole days so 50c has to go in a named envelope on both days. The perfectionist in me cries daily because I haven’t had a chance to buy actual envelopes yet so I’ve been using sticky tape and a piece of paper! #TeamIBOT

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:55 pm (2 years ago)

      Ahh Bec. That’s funny about the sticky tape and paper. I hear you about the parent teacher info night. Ours went for just under three hours. So much to remember.

      Reply
  8. Bec Senyard
    February 16, 2016 at 6:41 am (2 years ago)

    It’s crazy isn’t it? I had to pick Esther up yesterday because she was sick at school. She’s home today, but I worry what she will miss learning. They get stuck into work don’t they? And the homework… I have challenges for Esther to get her to do hers. I’ve missed a few info sessions, but now that I’ve got the app, I check it daily to see what’s going on. It’s only going to get busier when our younger kids go to school eventually too. I love it though. Love the challenge and memory making of it all.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:56 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, it’s such an exciting time of our lives. We’re really loving this new adventure. I hope Esther has picked up a little and is back to her cheery self.

      Reply
  9. Lauren @ Create Bake Make
    February 16, 2016 at 6:59 am (2 years ago)

    Oh gosh Renee, I’m scared already! I’m sure you are doing a fab job x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:57 pm (2 years ago)

      I think we’re getting there 🙂 x

      Reply
  10. Amy @ HandbagMafia
    February 16, 2016 at 7:41 am (2 years ago)

    I found it so nerve wracking and stressful at first. My eldest is in high school and I’m only just getting a handle on things!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:58 pm (2 years ago)

      Wow. I expect things crank up a notch in high school too especially when they need to choose subjects and worry about post-school study.

      Reply
  11. Nicole@ The Builders Wife
    February 16, 2016 at 7:49 am (2 years ago)

    Homework in prep, what that???? Wow, that’s full on. I remember the prep days fondly, though the busyness is full on. With 4 in high school now, I am struggling to keep my head above water. I will miss it once it’s done though, so trying to breath and enjoy xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:59 pm (2 years ago)

      Four in high school must be intense, Nicole. So many things to keep on top of. I’m sure you’re doing at stellar job x

      Reply
  12. Mumma McD
    February 16, 2016 at 8:04 am (2 years ago)

    OMG it sounds terrifying! Haha! I must get in training – my eldest starts next year!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 12:59 pm (2 years ago)

      Prepare for communication overload!! 😉

      Reply
  13. Claire @ Life on Wallace
    February 16, 2016 at 8:32 am (2 years ago)

    My eldest started Kindy this year. Despite the new routine, I am LOVING IT! Because, one less kid in the house each day. No complaints from me.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes that is a bonus 🙂

      Reply
  14. Vanessa
    February 16, 2016 at 8:38 am (2 years ago)

    Schools have apps? What for? I swear I don’t feel that far from when I finished school (2002) but it all sounds entirely foreign now.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:00 pm (2 years ago)

      Yep, I think most schools have apps now. It’s just another way for getting information notices and alerts out.

      Reply
  15. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    February 16, 2016 at 8:46 am (2 years ago)

    As an ex teacher, it’s so interesting to see things from the other side of the fence! We didnt’ have apps, portals or Facebook pages back in the day, probably just as well, as I’m sure I’d never keep up. We never had Hot Dog Friday either and I can’t help but feel a bit sad about that! If you girl is happy, enjoying school and you make sure she gets there each day, you’re doing a bang up job! Starting school is a massive learning curve for everyone, no matter what your age!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:08 pm (2 years ago)

      It sure is, Sammie. I feel like we’re really getting into the swing of things. I’m looking forward to doing some volunteer reading at the school soon x

      Reply
  16. JF Gibson
    February 16, 2016 at 9:04 am (2 years ago)

    Oh Renee, it’s the tip of the iceberg indeed. With two in high school and two in primary, the paperwork and keeping up to date with newletters, forms, apps and portals is almost a full time job! lol But don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of it 😉

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:09 pm (2 years ago)

      Yeah it sure feels like a full time job. I’m sure it will calm down soon or I’ll just get better at managing it 🙂

      Reply
  17. Emily
    February 16, 2016 at 9:05 am (2 years ago)

    SO. MUCH. STUFF! I hear you! I’m loving it, though. A has been ready for school for years. Just born in the wrong month. She’s where she’s meant to be. x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:10 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes mine was born in the wrong month too 🙂 Glad to hear A is doing so well. I bet she’s thriving x

      Reply
  18. Emily M Morgan
    February 16, 2016 at 10:50 am (2 years ago)

    Funny! I have all that to look forward to next year. But seriously, homework in prep?? That’s a bit much, in my opinion. Still, well done you for being organised and long may it last!

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:11 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Emily. The homework is only very minor. It must be to get them used to it 🙂

      Reply
  19. Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me
    February 16, 2016 at 11:21 am (2 years ago)

    It’s crazy alright and gets more chaotic the more kids you have there! Over time you’ll get used to it! x

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:11 pm (2 years ago)

      I bet it’s chaotic with three!!! x

      Reply
  20. Erika @ Ever-changing Life of a Mum
    February 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh I hear you! My older girls are in Grade 3 and Grade 1 but I always find the start of the school year overwhelming. Add in new timetables for after school activities and dragging Baby along for the many, many drop off and pick ups and it’s pretty exhausting! I do remember the first year of being a school mum that those notes would come home with next to no time to action them! I hope things settle down soon 🙂

    Reply
      • mummywifeme
        mummywifeme
        February 18, 2016 at 1:12 pm (2 years ago)

        Lol Erika. You’re exactly right. There’s a very short turnaround on homework and questionnaires etc. We’ll get there. You’re doing amazingly bringing bub along for the ride too x

        Reply
  21. Toni @ Finding Myself Young
    February 16, 2016 at 1:09 pm (2 years ago)

    All I can say is thank god I don’t need to do this for another 3 years. T has this notion that I’m going to go back to work full time when she’s in school, but seriously how can you do that and keep up with all the school things? Oh and did munch and crunch just come in during the last few years? It seems to be a thing everywhere, but I swear we only have morning tea and big lunch at primary school.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:14 pm (2 years ago)

      Yes, it must be new as I’d never heard of it either. It’s like a snack of fruit and veg like a morning tea but not a morning tea. Miss Five loves it. She’s never been so excited about fruit before !

      Reply
  22. EssentiallyJess
    February 16, 2016 at 1:20 pm (2 years ago)

    Oh don’t you love those questionnaires? What are your child’s strengths? What area do they need improvement in? It’s enough to do your head in!
    There is a stupid amount to remember with kids at school. You are doing well Renee. 🙂

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:15 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Jess. Back at ya!! Totally smashing it with four kids.

      Reply
  23. Haidee@Maybe Baby Brothers
    February 16, 2016 at 5:10 pm (2 years ago)

    Homework at age 5?! I hope they don’t do homework at age 5 in NZ! I’m not ready to do school homework again just yet! :p

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:16 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh they probably do Haidee. Eek! Sorry 😉

      Reply
  24. Kathy
    February 16, 2016 at 6:54 pm (2 years ago)

    It is a shock to the system isn’t it! And even after you’ve had the first one and with a gap like ours the Prep info can be a killer. I have to say I’m totally refreshed by the lack of overload as Little Yang repeats Prep. And we’ve had no homework yet whereas we had readers straight away last year. I’m really enjoying the easing into the year under the new teacher. (PS don’t be too hard on yourself newbie school mum).

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:16 pm (2 years ago)

      Wow. Starting readers straight away sounds pretty full on. I’m glad things seem a bit slower and easier this year.

      Reply
  25. Jo @ You had us at hello
    February 16, 2016 at 6:56 pm (2 years ago)

    Trying to keep on top of things with 2 now at school & kindy BUT!!! I’ve already dropped the ball twice getting pickup times muddled up. Yesterday I felt like the worst Mum. I forgot to remind Farmer it was early pickup from the bus stop (still learning this rule myself) – he was busy a few paddocks away, Nanna – who lives next door to us – was in Melbourne and I was having a long boozy lunch by the sea with my best friend in Perth!! Whoooooooops! Luckily Farmer came 10 minutes later. Phew! I have a file for all the notes and sign and date them once it’s marked on the calendar and diary 😉

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:17 pm (2 years ago)

      Lol. Oh no!!! I bet you nearly died. Thank God Farmer could get there quickly x

      Reply
  26. Tegan
    February 16, 2016 at 8:18 pm (2 years ago)

    Mr 6’s school is pretty laid back and now that we’re in our second year I feel like an old hat. We had a couple of notes in the first week but other than that we haven’t had a lot to deal with.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:18 pm (2 years ago)

      That’s awesome, Tegan. I’m hoping by the end of the year I’ll be an old hat at it too.

      Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:22 pm (2 years ago)

      I don’t blame you 🙂

      Reply
  27. Vicki @ Knocked Upand Abroad
    February 16, 2016 at 9:44 pm (2 years ago)

    I hear ya! And I thought having a school kid was just dropping them off at the gate. Ha! SO MUCH to do, to remember, to prepare… I’m adjusting. It’s hardly all about the kid! Blimey! My head is reeling too.

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:23 pm (2 years ago)

      We’ll get there, Vicki. Surely it will settle down soon :/

      Reply
  28. Lara at This Charming Mum
    February 17, 2016 at 5:03 am (2 years ago)

    Oh Renee, I remember those days when my first started Prep! In fact, I still go through that feeling of overwhelm at the start of each school year. It will settle down and the routine will start to become second nature. Though Hot Dog Friday will NEVER lose it’s significance, lol. Here’s a tragic story: we have sausage sizzle Friday and my new Preppie took his money along in a brown bag as required, but somehow they missed his order so everyone else got one but him! Week 2 of his school life! He’ll be telling it to his therapist one day…

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:24 pm (2 years ago)

      Lol. Oh no!!!! That is a tragic story indeed.

      Reply
  29. Robyna | the Mummy and the Minx
    February 17, 2016 at 5:45 am (2 years ago)

    Sounds like our first year as well! It does get easier though – or you just drink more wine. One of those two.

    Reply
  30. Zanni
    February 17, 2016 at 5:54 am (2 years ago)

    Oh hun! It sounds full on! I guess we are doing things a little bit differently…with schooling here there and everywhere, and definitely no opportunity for perfection!! But I do read of Elka’s weekly emails from the Australian school she is enrolled in every week. And we are behind in all her distance ed school projects. But hey! Hope the weeks get easier as you become more of a pro school mum xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:25 pm (2 years ago)

      Elka is experiencing all of those wonderful things you can’t learn in school. What stories she’ll have to tell when she returns xx

      Reply
  31. shannon @my2morrows
    February 17, 2016 at 7:41 am (2 years ago)

    Sounds like you’re a great candidate for class parent Renee! Haha. Its quite overwhelming isn’t it trying to keep on top of it all. I have to write everything down! And oh my god the homework!! Xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:26 pm (2 years ago)

      Haha! Class president. I like it! x

      Reply
  32. Ashlea @ Glamour Coastal Living
    February 17, 2016 at 9:14 am (2 years ago)

    What a laugh! Sounds incredibly overwhelming – not to mention the tired little Preppie that comes home each day. Bet your looking forward to school holidays 😛 xx

    Reply
    • mummywifeme
      mummywifeme
      February 18, 2016 at 1:07 pm (2 years ago)

      Oh yeah!!! The tiredness is a killer. For all of us 🙂 x

      Reply
  33. Andrea
    February 23, 2017 at 1:31 pm (8 months ago)

    I’m just trying to keep up with my preppie wanting to do his revision as soon as he gets in the door- it’s on the iPad so it trumps snacks and tv. I have to deal with notices as soon as I read them or I forget, just like I did with school photo day…

    Reply

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