"When my eldest started school, it didn't turn out the way I planned".

Jo Abi with her son.


When my eldest child started school I was so excited.

Finally I’d get to be just like all the mums I used to see walking their kids to school and picking them up. I’d have to dress him in a cute uniform and buy stationery. I’d be a school mum! And I planned to be the best.

All the boys at my son’s school played soccer and I was desperate to be one of those mums who stood on the sidelines at games with my cute jeans and boots, sipping on my takeaway coffee and cheering as my son – who is displaying David Beckham-style talent at just five years of age – scores his fourth goal. Plus, all the other kids played soccer. That was a good enough reason to sign my kid up, right?

It didn’t quite turn out as I had hoped.

Firstly, the school outdoor soccer season is in the dead of winter and it is so incredibly cold some mornings that drinking my takeaway coffee was the last thing I wanted to do because the full cup warmed my hands so nicely. That is after I dragged my son out of bed and forced him to get dressed in his soccer uniform while he complained and moaned. “It’s too early Mum, it’s too cold!”

Secondly, my son did not like playing soccer at all. I had to drag him to training as well as to games. It got old really fast. I’d trudge behind him, pushing his baby brother across the soccer field in his pram, all of us FREEZING and wishing we were home. He wasn’t a good player either. He’d spend most of the game doing a sad walk across the field while giving me dirty looks. He didn’t even try to play properly.

Just as an FYI, this post is sponsored by Omo Ultimate. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100 per cent authentic and written in their own words.

Mud stains, back with a vengeance.

I ended up pulling him out after one season. To this day my son dislikes team sports. Most of the other boys in his year love them and I feel a bit left out. But I couldn’t force him to do it when he didn’t even like it, just because I thought ‘good’ mums put their kids in team sports.

He ended up liking art so we found a local art class and I enjoyed a short break from the mud stains. His baby brother, however, is a team sports freak and plays everything I let him play. Mud stains, back with a vengeance, but I don’t worry I just enjoy the fact he is having fun and deal with the mess later.

The lesson I learned is – it doesn’t matter what other people think. It doesn’t matter what I think a good parent does. What matters is what makes my kids happy. That’s how I can be a good mum, by completely disregarding what other people think.

In fact, my mummy friends aren’t even judging me. They’re too busy trying to figure out what their kids want to do and then trying to get them to and from their chosen activities each week.

So when I set aside all my silly concerns about what others think of my parenting, I realise all I really want is to find some down time when the kids and I can just hang out together. I’m run off my feet driving them to and from their activities, helping them practise and prepare, doing homework, endless washing and shopping for supplies. I’ve come to treasure those times when we have absolutely nothing on. It’s just me and the kids, with nobody watching us, just hanging out, relaxing and being together.

How did you go when you settled your kids into school? Was it as you expected?

We want to help you focus on the moments that matter, so over the next few months we will be giving three lucky winners a $2000 voucher each, for a time-saving service around the house or quality family time experience!

And that’s not all – another 20 runners up will receive a prize to the value of $100!

To enter, click here and tell us in 25 words or less “What’s the moment that matters most to you in the day?”

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