I feel lost. What am I supposed to do now? Primary school beckons my baby and I feel my role shifting and changing. There’s an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach and a tightness in my chest as I prepare myself emotionally for her to start school full time. A rising panic and thoughts of but what about me? If I don’t look after you during the day, what do I do? Obviously, there’s plenty of things to do and things I should do but those things were always in place to fit around her. Work always came second to my children.
Sometimes Motherhood can be cruel. The stages change too quickly, time passes too easily. Change is a hard thing to process, it takes time. It takes time to embrace the change but then just as you start to, change occurs again.
I have three older children who are at school and are rapidly moving up through the year groups. I know how quickly the terms melt by and the years tick on.
I know I am not alone with these thoughts and feelings. I recently reached out to a group of mums who described feelings of upset, feeling lost, overwhelm and uncertainty about their direction due to the changes that September brings.
I have realised the process of becoming a mum of school aged children is not something that is ever discussed. Where’s the support group? When you are pregnant there are antenatal and pregnancy support groups. When your little ones start preschool, you go to the park or grab a coffee at a playcentre with mums in the same boat but when the youngest goes to school…where do the mums go? Is there the belief that it’s back to work time? My husband has even joked that the house will be cleaner because of the extra time I have now. Cleaning the house is not something that I am keen to do to pass the time!
There have been times when I have been so desperate for peace and calm. I have wanted and yearned for them all to be at school (particularly during lockdowns) but now that my littlest is off to school, I feel as if I have reached the end of an era. I find myself in a new club of mums. What’s the expectation of me now?
I’m making a promise to myself not to leap ahead too much in my mind and take on board some of the things that I would tell my mindset clients. I am going to write down my thoughts and feelings in my journal and acknowledge my feelings rather than pushing them away and suppressing them. I am going to face the change head on rather than trying to busy myself by filling my diary as a distraction. If I was talking to a client I would say, ‘go easy on yourself, nothing stays the same’ and I would try to get them to unravel the triggers.
For me, I think my thoughts and feelings are tied up with motherhood being my main purpose. School takes up such a large chunk of their little lives and then before you know it, they are less dependant on you. I feel like I’m starting to grieve this idea subconsciously. I am going to sit with the emotions, share them and with time I know they will clear as I embrace my new routines and challenges. Deep down I know that I am potentially being a little dramatic and a phone call from the school yesterday to pick up son number 1 was a swift reminder of the fact that as mums we are always needed just in different ways.
To any mums out there reading this, just know that you are not alone. Emotion is part of our human experience. Deep breaths. New adventure awaits. We are riding the change together one school drop off at a time.
About the authors
Emily Mills is a mum of four, clinical Hypnotherapist and mindset mentor to mums. She supports fellow mums to overcome overwhelm and create calm, clarity and confidence.
You can find Emily at: