sometimes mums make mistakes
As a mum I have to make decisions for my kids on a daily basis, especially as they’re not old enough yet to make a lot of them for themselves.  I don’t always get it right and suffer the mummy guilt consequences for a while before we all get over it and move on.  However, there was one decision I made that I haven’t stopped regretting.

I decided, two years ago, that Hollie, at age 4.5, was ready for school.  Her Kindy teachers told me that she was ready and I honestly thought she was too.  She’d been in and out of the school almost every day with me for the previous two years, picking up and dropping off her big brother.  She seemed more comfortable with the place.  She was also starting to get bored at home with me, and as we didn’t have our permanent residency visa’s yet, sending her to pre-school any more than her current days was just going to be too expensive for us without the rebate.  The fact that she was little on the young side just never occurred to me because everyone in England goes to school at 4.5 and that’s all I knew.

It wasn’t until she started school that it became apparent just how much younger she was to the other children in her year group.  There were some gaps of almost 18 months (which I personally think is crazy).  She settled in well enough though, and her teacher said she was doing just fine, so I soothed my guilt and told myself that it was going to be ok.

She is now in Year 1 and that niggling feeling in my gut that something isn’t right just keeps on resurfacing.  She hasn’t been able to join in on any of the sports teams with her year group peers because she was born in wrong year and  it’s only just occurred to me now (for some reason), that she will not be much past her 17th birthday when she finishes year 12. That’s going to put her at a major disadvantage to her peers in terms of social activities and lets face, it IS going to affect her.  It just seems so blatantly obvious to me now that she is too young for her year and I feel so guilty for sending her early.  It was my choice to send her and now she’s going to struggle because of it.  Not every child is the same and not every parent feels the same, but for me, the bottom line is that I really really regret sending her to school the year I did.  I wish I had kept her home just one more year.  when mums make mistakes

My parents have also told me that mistakes are ok just as long as you learn from them.  I’ve had that going over and over in my head for weeks now.  Yes, I have learnt that I will now send Lexi to school at 5.5 instead of 4.5, however that just makes me feel even worse.  One of my girls is going to start school on the right foot and the other is going to be on the back foot for the next 10 years.  God, parenting is tough some times!  I wish there was someone who could just tell me what I should do so I can get a decent nights sleep again.  Sadly I do realise that no one can make the decision except me (and Mr D), which kinda sucks.

So I decided to put my big girl, grown up pants on and not only learn from my mistake but fix it too.

After doing a little bit of research I discovered that repeating Year 1 is one of the best years to repeat so we have decided to do just that with Hollie.  So she doesn’t feel like she is going backwards we are going to move her to another primary school (which incidentally is just around the corner from our house).  Once I had made the decision I felt like a tonne of bricks had been lifted off my shoulders and I knew in my gut that it was the right thing for her to do. I would rather spend 1 year worrying that she might be a little bit bored, than the next 10 years worrying that she is struggling to catch up.

All that was left to do was tell Hollie, and the news went down really well.  Actually a little too well. The next day she was due to present her ‘news’ to her class about what she wanted to be when she grew up (which is an air hostess in case you were wondering).  We had rehearsed it all week and she had her palm cards and photos ready.  However, unbeknown to me, she decided when she got to school that telling her whole class and her teacher that she was ‘packing up and going to a new school’ was a much better ‘news’ topic than being an air hostess!  Well, I’m sure you can image the reaction I got when I went to pick her up from school later that day!

So after all that worrying and stressing I couldn’t be happier with my decision.  Mr D fully supports it and Hollie is totally excited that she will be going to a new school with her best friend (who lives next door to us).  She’s not even phased about repeating, so I couldn’t have asked for a better result.

My next dilema is whether or not I move Josh, so that they’re both in the school??  Oh isn’t it fun being a parent??

Have you ever made a parenting decision that you really regret?  Please tell me I’m not alone.

*Just because this is the way I feel, does not mean that I am judging any other parents decision on the same topic.*

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19 comments on “Sometimes mums make mistakes”

  1. I was your daughter many many years ago…I started school too early. I was smart. I did will with learning. But I was always behind on the social side. You are making the right decision. Bravo for making it.

  2. Oh Robyn you are an amazing Mum for realising that something wasn’t quite right and doing something about it! This is an issue that I’m already thinking about with our youngest little man, he was born in May but if he had of behaved himself he would have arrived at the end of July meaning he would have started school a year later. We’re already thinning of starting him a year later so he will be one of the oldest vs the youngest as I was the youngest throughout my school years (I turned 18 half way through my first year of uni) and while academically I was fine and did well, it was a little hard socially – especially in high school. Hollie sounds like an amazing little girl and she along with your other kids are very lucky to have such a loving and special mum x

    • Lauren you are such a sweetie – thank you so much for saying that. I think you are a pretty special mum too. It’s really great to hear your feedback about personally being younger as at once stage I was so focused on the academic side of it that I thought I was silly putting her through all this change just for the social side. I’m so glad I’m doing it now as hopefully she will thank me for it later xxxx

  3. Bravo! A good idea to make the change in a new school as there’s not such a noticeable difference friendship group wise. As for your son, hoe settled is he? I’d recommend a move if it helped for convenience sake but if he is already part of sports & other groups it may be something he’d prefer to stay & remain. That said, always so much easier if kids are in same school!

    • Oh I was hoping you would comment on this post Denyse as you have so much experience in this field. I am 100% certain I’m doing the right thing with Hollie and then this afternoon Josh came home from school and told me was ok with moving too. I nearly fell off my chair in shock as I wasn’t expecting that answer, but it has totally made my day xx

  4. Oh good on you for following your gut, mum really does know best. I think the system here is quite different to the UK system where age gaps while they can be big or less noticeable. As for Josh, I’m with Denyse, it depends how long he has left and how happy and settled he is. Good on you, these decisions aren’t always easy to make, but they’re always for the best! And the best things about mistakes? There’s always something we can learn from them xx

    • Thanks Sammie, and you’re so right on the mistakes thing. I’m also going with the ‘everything happens for a reason’ train of thought right now too.

  5. Luckily we didn’t have to go through this decision making process (whether to hold back or not), but I know plenty of people who have struggled with the decision. My daughter’s best friend from school last year actually left and repeated the year at another school for similar reasons, and I think it has worked out well for her. It sounds like you are doing the right thing and I think it is very brave to admit you made a mistake and take steps to rectify it.

    I have made a mistake of an entirely different sort which I shall never be able to rectify and I try not to think about as there is nothing I can do about it. When we moved into our house we had asbestos panelling removed from the garage – even though it was my plan to be out of the house before the workmen started, we weren’t and in my panic I hauled the kids out through the front door and carport through the dust. Only afterwards did I realise I could have gone out through the side of the house and avoid it the dust completely…. so now I fear my kids may have a fibre of asbestos in their lungs which may cause a deadly disease later in life. But as I said, I try not to think about it….

    • Oh Sara you poor thing. Try not to beat yourself up about it as I’m sure it’s really not as bad you feel it is. Us mums always worry and over analyse things way more than we actually should. You’re a great mum and I sure Jack and Lucy are going to be perfectly fine, fit and healthy. Good luck with the rest so the building work and stay safe xx

  6. My son will be 4 years and 9 months starting Prep and I am really concerned about that. It was great to hear your situation and I am so glad your resolution looks to be a great idea. I always like to hear different families stories and decisions so I can reflect on my own. Parenthood, there is always something isn’t there!

  7. Gosh you are so right, I’ve made SO many bad decisions as a parent and it’s only with my third that I’m able to right some of them!! Food is one I duffed up. So glad you’re happy with this decision and in a few years you’ll be loving yourself for it. My daughter was young too – but she seemed okay with it – although there’s still a gap in regards to social stuff and attitude but I’m okay with her staying young for a bit longer – hugs xx

  8. Hi Robyn. I have just joined you and wanted to say how much I am enjoying your blog. I have recently started on my ‘stay at home mum journey’ after pressing pause on my career as special counsel in a private practice law firm. I had toyed with the idea for some time but after losing my third child at 23 weeks I advanced my thinking quick smart!

    I have two beautiful children (boy- 6 and girl 3). My daughter will be in the same boat as your Holly so I really appreciate you sharing your experience because I too have the same thinking you had so it is good to remind me to be mindful that this may change and to listen to my instincts. Best of luck with it all.

    • Hi Jessica,
      It’s awesome to have you onboard and thank you so much for getting in touch, it really does make my day. Thanks for saying such lovely things about my blog too. Hollie is now in week 2 of her new school and she is doing Term 4 back in Kindergarden before repeating Year 1 next year. Already I can see her confidence soaring and I am more than 100% sure now that I did the right thing. Mothers instincts are definitely worth listening too that’s for sure. Good luck with your little girl. xxx

  9. Oh Robyn! Motherhood…ain’t it grand.
    So happy you went with your gut and that you can now get some sleep. Rest assured most mothers suffer the guilts (even the ones who look like they are doing everything perfectly). I made the same mistake when my sons were younger. But made it twice. I sent one son too early (he was kept back in prep, so the system rectified that one). Thinking I could make things right, I sent the next son too late! What can I say…
    Motherhood is such a learn-as-you-go experience.
    In my book, just the fact that we worry so much about every little decision shows we are doing it right.
    Congrats on following your gut and how wonderfully your little girl took the news and couldn’t wait to share it.

    • Julie, you are so right – lear as you go (or make it up as you, lol). I’m interested in why you think you send your younger son too late?? I think I am in the same boat as you….my youngest is June baby and I’ve decided to hold her back so I don’t make the same mistake twice. Being the third, she is such a confident little thing, that I can’t help having a niggling feeling that she would be ready early, unlike her sister!! Oh the joys!!!! Have a great day and thanks for popping by :))

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