A New Year… And A Whole New Ball Game

It’s been a month since I posted here. I’ve mentally written about 18 blog posts in my head, but they have not made it to paper/screen and thus fly directly out of my head.

This is partly due to the fact that I’m back at work after 3 years of being a full time parent. And, my God, it’s a whole new set of rules, a whole new way of life and a whole new heap of guilt.

I’d been thinking about returning to teaching for a while. I felt like I could enjoy my children more if I wasn’t actually with them all the time (a thought that, of course, made me feel like a terrible mother).

Also, I had children very soon after completing my NQT year at a truly inspiring South London primary. I wanted to use the skills I’d learnt and get my head into something other than the complete works of Julia Donaldson (love you Julia, but I can recite pretty much everything you’ve ever written off by heart). I’d had my fill of playgroups and Rhyme Time; my bobbin was well and truly wound up.

A part time teaching post came up in my town and I got the job. I was to start in January – what better time? New year! New start! In all the excitement, I approached NYE accordingly. Children were holed up with mum and dad and we set off to our friends’ house in London. My lovely, fresh New Year began with the mother of all hangovers and me unable to move, apart from legging it to the bathroom to throw up. I spent the ride home clutching a bacon sandwich in one hand and a freezer bag in the other, given to me by my friend in case of emergency.

I’m a class act.

And here I am, two weeks in. It’s been a baptism of fire. Toddler is used to Tuesdays and Thursdays at nursery and is battling against three days in a row – “What do you mean, I have to go again? I WENT THERE YESTERDAY! WAHHHHHHHHHHHH! NO NO NO NO!” The baby (now eighteen months, so not really a baby anymore) developed a complete aversion to being anywhere other than attached to me about a week before she started nursery. She screams when I drop her off and screams when I pick her up. Allegedly, she is happy in between.

On my third day at school, I raced across town to pick them up by 6pm – the latest I can collect them. They were the only ones left. OH, THE GUILT.

And let’s not forget that we now have to actually get moving in the mornings. Getting them dressed and their teeth brushed has become a stress of near nuclear proportions. Previously, if we didn’t make the start of playgroup, it was no big deal. Now, I really don’t have the time for any dicking around. So bribery has crept in a bit more. “Come on, put your socks on and brush your teeth then you can watch the weird Snow White adaptation you seem to like on my phone.”

So. It’s only been 4 working days in the classroom but it’s going to be a huge readjustment. One of the reasons for going back to work was to occupy my mind with something else. That “something else” is currently taking up about 98% of my waking thoughts (and a fair few of my sleeping ones).

I’m sure it’ll all balance out a bit more as I go along. Until then, my friends Bribery and Coercion look like permanent fixtures in our household.



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