Rebecca-Anne Withey: Is anyone else unsure how they’ll fit in with the playground mums?

Posted on September 7, 2016

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September. No matter how old I get it always meets me with a “back to school” feeling. And more so this year as my eldest starts nursery school…

Gone are the lazy, take-all-our-time-in-the-world style weekday mornings and its hello to school runs, road rage and hurried breakfasts.

Not a very optimistic outlook, I know. But I guess there’s a part of me that’s sulking about the fact I have to give up my first born for 15 hours of the week, every week.

“You’ll be fine!” My other half insists. “You’ll have more spare time, get more things done, have more…” then he remembers we have a toddler too and stops mid sentence.

I have to laugh. It’s normally the child that’s anxious about starting nursery but nope, my son can’t wait. It’s me that’s dreading it.

And why? Well, I’ll be honest – I’m just not sure how I’m going to fit in with all those playground mums.

I’m the only one that’s deaf. *reverts to feeling about 13 all over again*

What if nobody talks to me? What if I mishear what someone says and they all laugh and talk about me behind my back? And worse – what if they pity my son for having a deaf Mum?

Okay, Beck – stop it. You’re thirty years old, and reverting to childhood anxieties is not going to help. Think logically.

Truth be told, the induction earlier this year wasn’t too bad. Most of the other parents looked too worried or occupied to chat and there was one lady who was pretty friendly and easy to lipread, I must admit.

The school is actually quite knowledgeable about deaf access too as they’ve previously had parents who were deaf, so booking interpreters and texting as opposed to telephoning is all “the norm” for them.

And the teachers – from what I’ve seen – don’t seem too fussed about my son’s exposure to sign language but were rather keen to know whether he speaks as well as he signs. Hmph. They’ll soon discover the chatterbox he is.

They’ve also told me they have a ‘day book’ in which every day they’ll write down what they learnt about at school, so my son and I can chat about it together at home. This will be so useful. It means if my hearing aid breaks or if I’m particularly tired I won’t be spending hours trying to decipher a new subject from my sons excited chatter….!

He will love nursery, I’m sure of it. I just need to focus not on being “the only deaf mum” but on just being me. That way, I’ll only make friends with the mums who see me for who I really am. Deafness and all.

Any other parents tackling “school” for the first time this September?

Rebecca-Anne Withey is an actress, sign singer and tutor of performing arts. A black country girl at heart, she now resides in Derby where she works in both performance art and holistic therapies. She writes on varied topics close to her heart in the hope that they may serve to inspire others.

The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.

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