Summer heat brings with it the end of the school year and also the prospect of change. Current families due to move away, new families arriving -there’s lots of upheaval. And yet there’s also the changes that come with children growing up, that you can’t avoid wherever you’re living.

So there’s a lot on my mind just now.

For our family, our youngest child is about to leave primary and transition to secondary school. Ikeep finding myself thinking “where on earth did the time go?”, “how can we be here already?” , “I’m not ready to have both children at secondary …”

As part of this transition we’re changing schools. It feels like the right fit for our youngest; moving on to a bigger environment. However, that doesn’t stop the myriad of questions and feelings wondering if this is the right move?

We’re also waving goodbye to friends and families we know so well. Some of them have been on this Swiss journey with us, starting a new life in Geneva at exactly the same time. And as they prepare to move on you start to wonder if and when you will too.

So I am in a reflective mood, and it extends to all sorts of family choices. My brain is buzzing, wondering how much independence and responsibility to offer my youngest in particular. What is the right choice? When to travel alone to school or football or to go into Nyon or Geneva?  Travelling by bike, by bus, by train? What should be allowed? And when?

And when to have a mobile phone?  Which leads quickly to questions about apps, permissions and social media?  Should I be considering norms in our home country versus norms here in Switzerland?  What happens when you have older siblings and precedents have already been set? What feels right for our family is most likely to be different to many other families. There isn’t one size fits all. But still I find myself wondering,  “am I doing the right thing?”

In truth we often reach crossroads in terms of parenting choices for our children. But this seems even more apparent when we reach key transition points. For our family, the move to secondary has brought the use of tech to the fore, as school will necessitate a laptop. I am thinking about what to allow and can feel the scrutiny of others – friends, family, my son, my partner. Whilst they are our family decisions to make, it doesn’t stop me being swayed by others views – the options continuing to circulate in my head long after they need to.

I know we’re going to get some of it (probably lots of it…) wrong. I’m just hoping that if we hold on to each other and stick together we’ll come out the other side relatively unscathed and still doing okay!

Maybe I’m dwelling on this now, more so than normal because I’m facing the fact that my children are growing up and I’ve got to adapt. I know this. I get this. But I’m feeling the weight at the moment, trying to keep things moving in the right direction, making the right choices for our family.

One thing I also know is that when the last day of primary school arrives in a few weeks’ time, I will be the parent that will be shedding quite a few tears and will potentially be a blubbering mess (apologies in advance to my son!). I’ll be saying good-bye to the younger years and hello (I’m a bit nervous) to the teenage years.

For me, being able to share how I’m feeling with other people who might be feeling something similar, is important. I find it really helpful and cathartic to chat things through. Apologies in advance to those people who might experience this overspill of emotion!!! If you’re coming to Walk and Talk in the next few weeks, this might include you too!

Come along, join us on Friday 23rd and feel free to share whatever you need to share, and have someone listen to whatever you want to say. We all need to talk (the walk is an added bonus).

The Hub Geneva