Honest Motherhood: After school activities: My Second Job

A recent column, written for The Wokingham Paper:
 
It’s that time again. P.E kit packed, uniform named, book bag located. Lazy afternoons on the beach are a distant memory now that school is back and our babies are starting in their new years. 
Maia had her first day in year 1 on Wednesday and from what I gather, absolutely loved it. Though she doesn’t give away much. A theme continued from last year is her refusal to share much or any of her day with me. I’m lucky if she tells me what she had for lunch. Any curiosity on my part is met with a “Mummy I don’t want to talk about it!!”. At first I wondered if it was because something had upset her that she really didn’t want to talk about. But no, it became clear she was merely understandably knackered, and did not wish to relay her day to me. Not even the highlights. Fair enough. 
Well if she’s tired on week one, things aren’t going to get any less tiring for the poor child. Her over indulgent mother only went and signed her up for every club under the sun. French, Spanish, music and gardening, because every child should appreciate the joy of a well-kept garden. And languages should be on the curriculum anyway. 
She was adamant she wanted to keep going with Ballet, so that’s still on the table, and swimming lessons just seem like a necessary safety precaution, incase it floods or she gets pushed in a river. Some clubs take care of themselves, once you’ve booked and paid, and it’s all at school anyway, so happy Mummy. Ballet and swimming are another story. There is some taxiing involved, and some of the necessary accessories present their own challenges. After work on a Monday evening, I lack the energy to go into battle with a swimming cap. Is there a technique? Of course there is. I know this because I quite literally stood and watched another Mother swiftly glide her daughter’s cap onto her head. It was seamless; beautifully done. She was obviously well practiced. I checked with her that Maia’s was even on the right way round and we made our way to the pool. Her new ballet shoes will also require some unexpected love and attention. I spent hours sewing the elastics on last year. None of my needles seemed quite sharp enough to get through the thick elastic, so every stitch felt like a struggle. I nearly asked my own Mummy for help. But then that would be cheating wouldn’t it. 
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