I miss my children already, but I'm so glad they're back at school

Ruth's mum homeschooling her son Jimmy during lockdown

Ruth's mum homeschooling her son Jimmy during lockdown - Credit: Ruth Davies

I’ve never been the mum who wills over school holidays and looks forward to the kids returning to get out from under my feet.

I’m the mum who counts down morosely trying to work out why the breaks happen at speed and before I know it summers are over, Easters go in a flash and all the half terms have been blink and I nearly missed them!

I love having my children home and even after lockdown number one I felt sad that our bubble of family life was to be punctured in favour of school. I missed them greatly after that first return.

Six months at home had become our normal and I almost wished for the time back despite knowing school was best for them.

Not only had we had a wonderful summer holiday, albeit mainly at home, but the months before had been wonderfully filled with family fun as we made the best of the situation.

We went on daily bike rides or walks and as we whizzed through the countryside or skipped through fields, we felt light.

We knew we were the lucky ones and though home school was hard going at times we didn’t feel the need to put too much effort into making it work because surely it wasn’t going to go on much longer?

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Only it did… Then as the Eat Out to Help Outs disappeared with the sun the happy faces who had tasted a bit of freedom were taken over by a grimmer reality.

Back into proper lockdown, no ordinary Christmas, darker mornings and earlier evenings, cold, wet, snowy, grey… School at home no longer a novelty but something quite serious and looking like the best part of a year at home.

Family tome and fun in the sunshine of our garden became a distant memory as with a new year came a whole different type of lockdown.

I think everyone suffered more this time.

Read More: Ruth Davies - keep the kids of school this summer and give teachers a break

Instead of banana bread and memes about toilet roll we were forced into making this a real-life situation and not just a special moment we could make the best of.

With school now being something we had to do and do it well the mood dipped for children and parents considerably.

I can honestly say I don’t know a parent who hasn’t found this hard at best and at worst, insufferable!

Some of my chums, ordinarily bright, positive people with a zest for life and a sunny outlook just stopped talking. Stopped being themselves.

We all went a bit insular and with our hoods up and minds set to keep our heads down and get on with it, we have been doing our best to do just that and make it through the days hoping there would be an out the other side.

It wasn’t about the children being home, not at all.

If we hadn’t been having to digest such information about the numbers, darkly accept the catastrophic mistakes made by the powers that be and come to terms with the fact life was looking not just less hopeful but downright bleak then we could have coped. Found more enjoyment.

Even in the grey of a wintry back drop that wouldn’t have been difficult.

But the mood was all changed from the first time with death tolls rising, hospital admissions soaring and worries about our own loved ones – just wanting everyone to be safe and wondering if they ever could truly be so.

Instead of lovely moments being the resounding noise a notion of “couped up together” took over. More arguments, more shouting, more unhappiness. Less smiles, not enough joviality, irritatingly awful moods… Not just our own but everyone around us too.

So today I am celebrating not because my children aren’t at home and I don’t miss them but because we are one step closer out of this situation, one step further along the road to finding summer again.

The children going back to school is cause for rejoicing and hallelujah singing because it means we have one foot back on the normal pathway of life!

I love my children, I love being with them, I probably won’t ever celebrate them going back to school ever again and will resume my usual disposition of loving holidays and wishing education wouldn’t steal them from me!

As soon as Easter hits and we can have some springtime fun I envisage my regular mum feelings of holiday cheer will break out of me because I can feel it coming.

I can feel it coming because they are back now and that feels good. But that which went on before, that there time behind us… It was awful wasn’t it?!

So yes, today, day two of back to school and I feel more positive that we can come out of this and though we will not be unscathed or unscarred with the experience, we can carry our battle wounds into a new world where they won’t define us.

The journey has begun on this phased return to normality and I already feel lighter.

I also can’t wait to get my babies from school and nursery this afternoon and go to the sweet shop on the way home for a treat.

Their time with me is about love, not schoolwork, R numbers or social distancing and I’ll be glad to have them home... at the end of the day!

Ruth Davies has a parenting blog at www.rocknrollerbaby.co.uk