The next chapter

September is coming, and it’s a bittersweet time for parents across the world as they send the most important people in their life off to the big unknown, all wrapped up in freshly-washed school uniform.  Liz absolutely nails the guilt, the pride, the sadness and the hope.  Good luck, darling Tessa.  What an adventure awaits:   


Less than two weeks until the start of school. Two weeks until my little one can no longer be classed as a pre-schooler. I hadn’t anticipated the over-whelming raft of emotions this would bring. Starting school is such a perfectly normal event, everyone does it. Yet this time it’s not just anyone, it’s my baby and that is bloody momentous and I’ve not quite come to terms with it.

All the anticipation and excitement  (because there definitely is excitement) is also tinged with the fact that this new milestone is forcing me down memory lane to revisit all the milestones which have come before.

How on earth did nearly five years pass? When did my baby become my little girl? Why didn’t I know that five years is such a short length of time? Why didn’t I spend more time enjoying this time?

She started at nursery when she was eleven months old. A tiny baby unable to walk or talk. I put all my trust in strangers to look after her, care for her, love her whilst I went to work. In the four years since then she has absolutely thrived. Lost all that “baby”ness and transformed into a beautiful, articulate, strong-willed little girl.

Nursery has definitely contributed to this. Yet now I lie in bed at night thinking of all the time that I didn’t spend with her, did I do the right thing? I had the mum guilt when she started nursery, and there have been many times since then (the morning I had to wash her hair twice so that it didn’t smell of the previous nights vomit as I had a meeting I just couldn’t miss – a particular low point). However, that guilt was looking forward to all the times I would miss in the future, ultimately it was in my gift to change things if they weren’t working for us. This new brand of reflective guilt is brutal, it’s thinking of all the things I could have done differently and I have absolutely no way to change it.

I have to rely on the fact that actually she’s become this little person I so love precisely because of the decisions we have made, and I would have a different daughter today if any of it were done differently.

The thought of collecting her from nursery on her last day makes me well up everytime. Saying goodbye to all her little friends, the staff. They’ve been our life for four years. I’m going to need some phenomenal waterproof mascara.

We are ready though, she is ready. She is desperate to make sense of all those letters and numbers she has been slowly deciphering. There’s a whole new world of learning and adventure ahead and she wants to jump right in. As we walked to school for her settling in session she told me that it was more exciting than Christmas.

We are going to be excited together, with big smiles on our faces when we head to school on that first morning. But for just a little while longer I’m going to be sitting here reminiscing. The next chapter is bittersweet.

Categories: Becoming a Mother, Family, Friends and Relationships, Life Experience
1 interesting thought on this

One Comment

  1. Fee
    Posted August 25, 2017 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

    This is lovely. We’re a year away from this but already I imagine it will be a time of many many feelings!
    Wishing you both lots of luck for this new adventure xxx

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Hello! We're Clare, Aisling and Anna and welcome to a corner of the world where smart, flawed, real women talk about the bigger picture; about their experiences, stories and opinions on all aspects of being a woman today, from marriage to feminism to pretty, too.

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