It’s three months into Flea’s secondary school journey. Is it too soon to confess that I’m exhausted?
Completely and utterly.
It’s hard to imagine before you’re here, how much life changes when a child goes into secondary school.
In some ways, it’s a good thing – at Flea’s old school, she wasn’t given much of a chance to get involved with sports and activities, and it’s one of the reasons we chose her new school.
But wow – Flea’s schedule makes my head spin.
On a Monday there’s hockey club after school. On Tuesday, Flea goes to Scouts. Then on Wednesday, it’s more hockey with a local women’s club. Thursday is STEM club (all I know about this is they’re building a robot).
Friday is cross country at lunchtime, then drama lessons. Her week finishes off with after-school hockey training with a goalkeeping coach.
The weekends are just as hectic.
On a Saturday, more often than not, there’s a hockey match.
Our Sundays currently alternate between karate club and skateboarding lessons – although after Christmas, this is going to have to give way to more hockey matches, because Flea’s been asked to play in goal for the under 13s team for the local club.
So far, Flea is loving it. Her confidence is booming, and she’s having fun. Her fitness is improving, and she’s making friends. What’s not to love?
Flea will happily spend her free lunchtimes (when she’s not doing climbing club, guitar practice or drama lessons) in the library, doing her homework, so she can relax when she does get home. And she’s beyond thrilled that for the next match at school, she’s in the starting line-up for the A-team, for the first time.
I’m delighted for her – I am. It’s everything we hoped for when she started secondary school, and more. Quite a lot more.
If I’m completely honest, I’m missing that down time we used to have when Flea finished school at 3.30 and was done for the day. When weekends might include a couple of hours of karate, while I had a swim.
Now there’s an activity after school every day of the week, and more activities on the weekends. While Flea’s busy on the pitch, I’m responsible for transport, mobile catering, laundry of kit, and sewing of scout badges.
Mums and Dads of two, three, four kids – HOW THE HELL DO YOU MANAGE THIS? I’ve got one child, and I’m basically broken before the end of term one.
I’m not sure what the solution is.
I don’t want to squash any of Flea’s enthusiasm. I love that she’s become so passionate about hockey.
All these activities are providing a great platform for her to make friends with the other girls in her year (Although I’m trying not to think too hard about the fact that her goalkeeping coach is my old form teacher from 5th year of senior school, when my attendance was sporadic*cough* and my conduct not exactly stellar).
I just need a magical way to squeeze ten days into seven OR create new energy from nowhere.