Today I had this thought: Does anyone I personally know even blog anymore…about their personal lives? I remember the days where I used to read all my friend's personal blogs. I myself started blogging around the time of college (goodness I can't even exactly when now). It was the good 'ol days of writing whatever comes to your mind. Posts about my day. Poems. Cryptic teenage emo posts about things you want to blog about but don't really want anyone to know what it's about. It was the days where we were young, uninhibited, and immune to criticism…because social media hardly existed then and there weren't as many random people who blasted you on the internet as there is now.
Fast forward over a decade and I'm now married and a mum of two little girls. I have severely neglected this blog. I hardly have time to shower, let alone write. At the end of the day, I am physically and mentally exhausted and just want to eat and sleep…before my toddler wakes up screaming for me. But somehow in the midst of my absolutely crazy day today, an idea to challenge myself to blog my daily life sprung to me. See, I really enjoy reading honest and candid posts about motherhood on blogs and Instagram. It makes me feel a lot less alone and crazy. I think we should all talk about the real stuff more, so others know life isn't all just a lovely Instagram perfect picture. So I thought: Can I challenge myself to be more honest and upfront about my own life?
My life is chaotic now and I have no idea why I'm taking this idea onboard, but I've learned to listen to the little voice inside of me. Maybe it's a good thing to challenge myself. To learn not to procrastinate. To be more organised. To learn not to filter myself because there really isn't any time for me to do it if I'm going to be blogging daily. Maybe I will learn a lot about myself. Maybe I will appreciate having these memories of my daily life recorded. Maybe some days I will literally only write "Too tired". Maybe some days I will end up failing to keep up…but I know I will try my best for sure.
So what happened today in this journey called parenthood? Miss 4.5 had her orientation for prep. Prep is the foundation year of primary school in Australia. The cut off for the school year's intake is at the end of April, so being born in February she is one of younger ones in her class, starting prep a couple weeks shy of her 5th birthday. Some people choose to hold their kids back a year if they're born between January and April, but we decided not to as it would be good for her to have the social support of her friends from kindergarten/daycare who are all starting next year.
Sadly though, none of her friends from kindergarten/daycare have ended up in the same class as her. We have tried to get the school to change classes to put her with one of her best friends, but after initially saying it could easily be done, they have now decided to do a backflip on us and say they won't do it just yet until they see how she settles in next year. The reason for this is that she appeared to do well during orientation.
Now, Miss 4.5 is quite introverted and reserved…she will always do what the rules say and what the teacher orders her to do…so it can appear like she is "settling in well" when she is in fact just really shutting off emotionally. It's the whole reason why we wanted her to have at least one friend with her (not talking about a whole class)- so that she will be a bit more open to this new environment earlier on. She appeared to do well during orientation but afterwards with me she refused to talk about it and was very unhappy with the idea of continuing in this same class.
So I'm stuck at this point of- am I being an irrational, overbearing parent? Should I teach my child you have to stand up and assert yourself for things you want…or learn that life sometimes puts you in situations like these and you just have to adapt? Now, of course I know all kids can have some difficulty settling into a new school initially and they all eventually adapt. Of course I know my kid will eventually make new friends and be fine. But I guess just having her in her current class makes that journey a bit longer and more difficult for all of us. And then there is also the issue of having the school backflip on us. I think if they had said an outright no, we would've accepted that and been fine. But instead they had actually happily agreed to make the changes when we spoke to them on the phone (so we told Miss 4.5 about this)…and then come this orientation, she is still stuck in the same class and now they say they are reluctant to change her.
I really am in two minds about where to go from here. This almost feels like when I was giving birth to Miss 4.5 and the midwives were all "this is your first child, it will still be a while…it doesn't sound like you're very far…are you sure you want to come into hospital?" Someone with their years of experience was telling me in their experience what my experience was going to be…and it made me doubt my own body and my own instincts. Instinctively I knew I was at the end of labour…but no one was believing me (partly because I was not screaming- I should have just screamed a bit for effect) and that was the most frustrating feeling ever. Of course the outcome of that was that I had to insist on being admitted and nearly gave birth on the way to hospital.
This school situation feels similar because the principal/teachers are telling me in their years of experience, most kids eventually settle into their class. Yes I know that's true but I have to think- is my kid just like all those other kids or does she really need a little extra help? Do I fight because I know who she is and that she will thrive with a familiar face or will it be good for her to learn to stand up for herself and fight her own battles? Will she feel like I've let her down if I don't fight for her? Unlike daycare days, she's old enough to remember this moment so I want to think carefully about what we're going to do.
Moral of the story: Parenting is tough. Sometimes there is no right or wrong, and we just have to learn to listen to our instincts. I guess we'll be mulling over this for the rest of the year…and think about what we'll do come 2018.
Oh…and did I mention Miss 4.5 is sick today and both her and her sister are horribly grumpy. My husband is a paramedic and has a super long shift today (13 hours and counting) and both kids have had so much screen time today just to get us all through the day it's not funny…Goodness, I must be crazy to start this challenge. I hope I can keep this up and don't regret posting this! Hello if you're joining me on this crazy ride!