Schoolmin

I don’t know if there is a word for school-related admin so I’m going with Schoolmin.

At this moment, I have one child at Primary school across town, who will be starting a new Secondary school in September, and another child about to start at a different Primary school nearer to my house in September.

I don’t think I could adequately explain the volume of admin involved – there are THREE separate apps I have to download for parent communications because for some reason each school uses a different app; and there are also THREE different school-based payment platforms for meals and trips etc that I need to sign up to and get passwords and logins for; and then there are the 49 different forms to sign regarding the child’s medical history, Dr’s contact info, allergy info, school meal info, registration forms, pupil premium forms, etc; and the 57,000 letters and emails and messages flying about informing me about transition plans, and end of term activities, and SATs and homework and revision, and tours of the schools, and meet the teachers, and settling-in days for both kids at different schools, and requests to volunteer on the PTA, and requests to bake things for the bake sale, and to help out at the school disco, and reminders to be present and correct at any school engagements like parent assemblies and football matches, and pacts to sign swearing I will bring my child to school on time, in uniform and won’t take them out for holidays during term time on pain of death.

It’s pretty full on.

I have to remind myself that I’m a single mum with two kids and I’m not an evil monster if I don’t have the time or energy to be on the PTA or bake shit for the bake sales that apparently happen EVERY WEEK. Usually I love to join in and be involved but this is a CRAZY amount of admin and emails and communications. Obviously I’m terrified I’ll miss something important as I’ve never done this before, but JESUS CHRIST it’s a lot to take in!

It doesn’t help that A’s new primary school has a terrible website with no useful information (the “Parent Information” page is literally blank), and their transition page talks about a lovely slow transition with lots of visits and half-days for them to adjust to Reception and build up to doing full days etc, but the letter they have sent out to parents just basically says “We will visit you at home on XXX day and then they start full time on xx September” and that’s it. So I am wading through it all to try and figure out what is actually happening and hoping it will become clear

Adoption Leave

Well I am 3 weeks into my adoption leave, and am starting to realise how little from my to-do list I am likely to achieve.

I had a plan that once I stopped work I’d be doing all sorts of things like going swimming and painting the doors and skirting boards, and meeting friends for coffee in a relaxed, chilled out sort of way.

Instead I am finding myself waking up profoundly tired and dragging myself through the day, mostly doing laundry and food shopping and meal prep and running the girls around to playdates and activities. S finds it astonishing that I am getting myself ready for bed at 9pm while she is still sneakily trying to read her book in bed instead of going to sleep!

Continue reading

Parental Control

So after S moved in, I had to set up parental controls on her tablet, which the foster carer previously had set up. She has an android device and the foster carer used Google Family Link so I set it up and it was all fairly straightforward and made sense to me.

The kid was mildly annoyed that I still wanted to approve any games or apps she downloaded and set limits on screen time, but otherwise it was fine and easy to sort out.

Then I tried to set up A’s tablet and it was a total disaster!

Continue reading

Up and Down, and up and down….

The 7th January is the 2 year anniversary of the day my daughter A’s adoption order was granted. It should have been a happy day.

But it was also the day I got some devastating news about my second adoption, so it’s rather bittersweet this year. And since then it has all been VERY up and down quite frankly.

To sum up the journey so far, in April last year, we saw S during our regular visits to A’s foster carer, and I asked her social worker if I could adopt her. Initial feedback was very positive and in June I re-started the approvals process to get approved. At that point I genuinely thought the approvals process would be faster the second time around because I’ve already successfully adopted once before, and this is a known child to me so there is no need for all the anguish of the matching process, waiting to find the right kid for you. I already KNOW she’s the right kid for me.

Continue reading

The Christmas Letter 2021

Ah the Christmas letter. A dying art form. Some are very dull while the truly great letters are witty and light hearted, bringing joy and exaggeration to the most mundane of lives.

It’s not really needed in my case, as most of my friends and family have already read my blow-by-blow accounts of the minutiae of our lives all year and are pretty much up to speed. Nevertheless, I thought I would attempt a Christmas missive to recap the year.

Continue reading

Meeting my newest and oldest daughter (officially)

So, I wrote a while ago that I was planning to adopt again, and all the incredibly slow and boring red tape that goes with it. Since then I have moved house to Chateau d’Omnishambles to have more space etc and be ready for the next child.

I also wrote about the specific girl who I really want to adopt. Well things are FINALLY moving forward and starting to happen!

Continue reading