N’s now done 2 terms at school (or 1 term in old school language). So far it all seems to be going well for him and he’s made the transition well.
Being a reception mum is different to nursery though. At nursery, although drop offs and pick ups were all at different times, you knew that every parent was working, and you’d see the same faces day in day out, knowing you’d always have a hi and maybe a quick chat.
As a working parent at school it’s very different. I currently flex my hours slightly in that I do earlier starts 3 days a week in order to be able to do the Friday afternoon pick up. N does early morning club 3 days a week when I start work at 8.30, the other 2 days I drop him when the school gate opens at 8.30.
Although there’s 3-4 reception children doing morning club across the week, everyone’s in too much of a rush to chat even if we do overlap. On the days I drop off when the school gate opens, there’s usually my neighbour who has a daughter at the same after school club, but that’s it. We rarely see other parents to talk to.
So it’s Friday afternoons when I really have to try and talk to other reception mums. I’m lucky because I did know quite a few mums at the school across different years, and there’s a few reception mums I’d spoken to over the weeks. But there’s only so much time, people don’t tend to hang around because they’re concentrating on getting the children out with all of their bags and coats.
I was really pleased to hear one of the mums had organised a meal out for the reception mums. How they managed to find a night that most could go to was beyond me, but they did and so the other day, around 17 of us went to a nearby pub, The Castle Edgehill, for a lovely meal. There’s nothing like chatting and catching up while eating out.
We’d ordered in advance from a set menu. I wasn’t too excited about the menu (being a fussy person, plus being on a diet I wanted sauces on the side, no bread and various other requests – all of which the pub dealt with absolutely correctly!). But when the meal arrived it was good.
I had butternut squash soup which was prettily presented, if a little bland and tasteless. Followed by roasted salmon with potato rosti, roasted veg and a tarragon sauce. I’m not really a fan of salmon, but it was really delicious, as were the veg.
I finished up with a salted chocolate mousse pot with plums, honeycomb and ice cream. It was a lot thicker and heavier than I imagined – just right taste wise, and I did eat it all (sod the diet) – although many of the others couldn’t eat all of theirs as it was so rich.
The service was brilliant – working around people who couldn’t remember what they’d ordered (not an issue due to the excel spreadsheet someone pulled together), and the setting is gorgeous if you love historic buildings and history.
But the evening was really all about us getting to know each other. I sat in the middle so was able to join in conversations in both directions, and it was great to really know who the other mums are. There were just a couple who couldn’t be there that I either haven’t had chance to talk to, or don’t know, but now I’d be happy knowing I could approach any of them to chat.
It was lovely to be able to compare notes with one of the mums of a child N was really friendly with at day nursery. It’s interesting to see how they’ve both changed, and how they’re getting on. Plus I was chuffed to hear her say that N seems to love and is good at his writing. It turns out having to write their name each time they have a snack is good encouragement and practice for N, even if it does mean he holds up the 1 pencil because his name is so long!
I also had another mum tell me how N was such a nice boy. I’m not sure where that came from but I’ll take it. So nice when you hear lovely things about your child.
Hopefully in the next few months we’ll have another meet up at some point. It was a great way to meet them with more time in a relaxing environment, rather than the rush of assemblies, picks up or other events.
Do your school year mums or dads get together? How do you find meeting the other parents?