Are you going to be a middle school mom for the first time? Read on!
For the past year, I had 2 girls in Middle School…and could call myself a Middle School mom! But tomorrow, I will have graduated to High School Mom status as my oldest daughter starts her freshman year!
I wanted to take a step back and reflect on the things that I wish I had known before I became a middle school mom when my oldest daughter started 6th grade back in August of 2016!! Because I don’t know about you, but in Elementary School I was the mom that volunteered in class to help with reading groups, to help facilitate class parties, go on field trips and was even the Room Mom a few times! So Middle School was a little bit of a rude awakening for me! I wanted to share some of what you can expect as you become a middle school mama! So heres 8 things I wish I had known before these two beauties entered middle school. Maybe they will help you!!
1. Having lunch with your kids at school is no longer cool.
This was a BIG one for me because ne of the things that I started doing when my daughters were in kindergarten is I would have lunch with them on the very first day of school and on their birthdays. And then any other special occasion! Entering middle school I very quickly realized that having lunch with your kids in the lunchroom was no longer cool and in fact it was very much a thing of the past.
Which I’ll have to admit, kind of broke this mama‘s heart because I literally have never missed a birthday or a first day of school eating lunch with my kiddo! So be prepared mamas! Now don’t get me wrong…I was allowed to come for the Thanksgiving feast that our district does a couple times…but honestly, I think I was pressing my luck!!
2. Volunteering in the classroom is a thing of the past
One of the things that I did as a elementary school mom is I would volunteer in the classroom. Those elementary days were filled with apple and salad parties Chinese paper making parties, Christmas parties…you name if there were parties in elementary school I was either helping to coordinate or volunteering in some way.
In the younger years of elementary school, you could volunteer pretty much anytime, anywhere. However going into middle school these volunteer opportunities, especially IN the classroom, are definitely a thing of the past. But thats not to say that you can’t still volunteer at the school because there are still PTA/PTO organizations that definitely need the help of parents.
I will say that having volunteered so much in elementary school, I think my daughters might have been a little bit sick of me being in school because when we got into middle school when I mentioned that I was considering volunteering for PTA, I pretty much got the cold shoulder. from my oldest! So I kept my PTA involvement to mainly Open Houses and bringing in food and supplies for the teachers! I did cut back on the amount of time that I volunteer and have a devoted more time to doing other things with my business and other income opportunities…like helping my girls start their own business www.thescrunchiesisters.com
3. You might get to Chaperone one field trip…but don’t bet on it!
Oh now let’s talk about field trips because field trips were a thing in elementary school that I actually loved to do. I can remember the first field trip that I went on in as a first time Kindergarten mama! I think it was a trip to the children’s museum and then the second one was to our local zoo! Sure the kiddos got a little crazy sometimes especially as you got closer to fifth grade but in the end it was definitely experience that I really enjoyed during my elementary mom days!
Fast forward to middle school, and honestly, you’re going to be lucky if you go on one a field trip because of field trips just aren’t really a thing in middle school. At least at our school! They go on maybe one per year, if they’re lucky! I pretty much left it up to my daughters and if they wanted me to throw my name in the hat for the drawing of getting picked, I would, if they preferred I didn’t go, I didn’t! So elementary school mamas, just don’t expect to have a lot of field trips or be wanted to go on a lot of field trips in middle school!
4. Hold on to your stuff because If something comes back into style, you could up your cool factor if you had said item.
If you’re a mama of little ones and reading this right now, I would say that you probably should to hold onto some of the things that you may think may be going out of style because they just might come back in style! I have NO idea what it could be, but hear me out!
At one point in the last year, I think my oldest daughter told me that Fanny Packs and Scrunchies were coming back in style! I really wasn’t sure she was right and sorta questioned her! But low and behold, they definitely did and when I told my daughter that I had tons of scrunchies back in the day, she thought that was pretty cool told me I should’ve kept them because “vintage” is cool!
5. Hormones are a real thing!
All right this one is just coming from a mom of girls perspective because there’s a book that was recommended to me called Middle School Makeover and it really talked about this! I would highly recommend it to anyone who is having a kid going into middle school! It really talks about how hormones are really a real thing and it definitely affects their moods and well pretty much anything. They will one day be super sweet loving and then the next day they’re crazy hormonal in a bad mood and nothing makes them happy! So just be forewarned that if it hasn’t started happening already, it will! I am not an expert on any sort of things on dealing with hormones at all but even with my pretty low-key easy-going daughters but I still notice a difference in their their moods!
6. You no longer are welcome to walk your kid to the gate of the school. School drop off just got easier and less chaotic!
All right this one may not apply to every single school out there but at our neighborhood elementary school, we were able to walk our kids to the gate and wish them well! I can I remember the first couple years at our elementary school, we could actually walk the kiddos to the playground and wait with them until the bell rang! Yes, I was that parent! I got better though and just walked them to gate but I never did the school drop off or pick up lane in Elementary school! I was that mom that parked the car in the parking lot and met my girls…because I could! But it started off that way because we were on a variance for our first year while we waited for our house that was the longest short sell in history to close!
Just know, that in middle school it’s definitely NOT COOL to have your parents walk you to the front gate of middle school…end of story!
7. Leggings are no longer allowed (at least in our school). So buying clothes for your kids just got way more complicated!
Let’s talk for a second about dress code! If you’re a mama that has a kiddos going to a school where are uniforms are required consider yourself lucky. At our middle school, it’s a pretty strict dress code and kiddos can get dress coded and have to change into their PE clothes, wear a jacket or…gosh I don’t even know what else!
If your daughter is legging wearing a girl like mine, be prepared to invest in an entirely new wardrobe for your daughter. Especially if your daughter loves wearing leggings like mine! Both my daughters hated jeans before going into middle school and were always wearing leggings. Finding jeans they liked was a challenge! Our dress code doesn’t allow leggings unless you wear a really long shirt or dress over your leggings, which mine didn’t really want to do. Another thing was when it came to formal dresses for 8th grade promotion or NJHS events…where the dress code is strictly enforced! Finding a dress that fit dress code proved to be a challenge for several of us #girlmoms!
8. You will no longer know any of your kids parents! And your kids are gonna make new friends. Trust their judgement and don’t interfere!
Ok mamas, I think I saved the best one for the last because this one was probably the hardest for me the first year I was a middle school mom! By the time my second daughter entered middle school, two years after my first…I knew what to expect! I want you to know what to expect too!
So listen up, especially if you were a mom, like me, who became friends with many of the moms of my daughters friends during preschool and elementary school! Think about it, being friends with our kids’ friends parents (does that make sense) goes back to when we had toddler playgroups or park playdates for our preschool and elementary age kiddos. All along, I pretty much always knew the parents of the kids my girls were friends with!
The rude awakening came in middle school when my girls would come home and start mentioning all these girls’ names that they were friends with and you’re like WHO? Do I know them or have I met their parents? What happened with so and so from elementary school?
Please tell me I’m not the only one had a hard time with this adjustment!
What comes next is they’re gonna want to go to a sleepovers, pool parties or whatever with these kiddos and man, your mama heart is gonna be tested! I know mine was. But in the end, I accepted this new reality and my girls have met some pretty incredible new friends! I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I miss “the old days” when the core group of friends your daughters hung out with in elementary school gets separated…because thats gonna happen too. From my experience with both my daughters I have found that its very likely your middle schooler is going to make new friends and start hanging out with different groups of kids! And as much as you’d like them all to be together, just like the old days..it hasn’t been the case for either of my girls!
Yes, they’re still friends…but middle school is different! At least has been in our experience! From what I can tell from a mom perspective, who asks a lot of questions, I’ve found that kiddos tend to become closer to the kids they have in their core classes as well as in the clubs/sports/activities. I can’t explain it other than, they become closer to who they spend more time with!
So now what?
In closing, (because this is a downright novel), mamas, we’ve raised awesome kiddos…so they’re going to pick awesome friends!? And I can say that my girls have picked awesome friends! And yours will too! Keep the lines of communication open and trust they will make good choices…and if they don’t, well thats ok too. It then becomes a learning experience!
I actually feel really grateful! This past school year I was ONLY a middle school mom…meaning both my girls were in middle school (one in 8th and one in 6th) So I feel it was appropriate to share these nuggets on my last night as just a middle school mom.
Tomorrow officially starts a brand new adventure!!! High School Mom..wish me luck!
PS…please know that this is from my perspective from the experiences we’ve had at our school. I’d love to hear about your experience as a middle school or elementary school mom in the comments!!