I’m not ready for my baby to start primary school
It may only be August but I’m already thinking about all the stuff I need to buy ready for my children to go back to school in September. I know. I can’t help it. I am a planner after all. It’s my safe place. I love planning.
As I’m getting prepared for a new school year, I think about my sister who is about to send her eldest to secondary school and her twins to primary school. Two very different situations that share some similarities.
She has four children in total which means she is a pro when it comes to ‘mummying’ and organising little people. I know she has already planned what needs to happen so that each child gets to where they need to go on the first day of school. I know that each child will have everything they need for day 1 of school.
However, there will be mums who are dreading the first day of school. It is a new chapter in not just your child’s life but also yours. For some mums, this will be the first time that their baby is not with them all day. Let me tell you, it will be okay.
After Lea started school I thought Louka would have a similar experience. But he didn’t. And that was because he started school in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic! However, with both of them, I remember thinking I just want them to enjoy it and to make friends. It was that simple.
I wasn’t really bothered about anything else.
And to be honest, that’s what I think we all want for our children in life. To enjoy it and to make friends.
So if you’re reading this and you’re about to watch your child start the next chapter of their life then I would like to share with you the benefit of my experience and give you some advice on making it easier.
Create an annual tradition
When I was younger, and a few days before school started, my mum would take us shopping to buy our school shoes from Clarks and to buy stationary from WH Smiths. I loved doing this. The excitement of buying new shoes and getting to choose the stationary I would need for school.
I now do this with my children and they love it. Although they prefer to go to Smiggle.
Get the stuff you need
I learnt that not all the things I should buy were the things I needed to buy. Just because it’s on the school list, it doesn’t mean that you have to buy it. You know your children and you know what they actually need. So buy from the list what you know they need and make sure they try it all on in advance of day 1 so they know how it will feel.
Make day 1 easier by practising day 1. Go through the ritual of what will happen so that you can remove some of the uncertainty of day 1. Plus you’ll be less anxious on day 1 if you know what’s going to happen as well.
Help get your child excited about starting school, if they aren’t already, by talking about what they are looking forward to. Ask them to tell you what they think school will be like. Tell them about when you were at school and how things have changed.
And finally, prepare yourself. Take some time to deal with concerns that you have and focus on what reality is as opposed to what you might be making up.
Every child’s experience is different. Some love school. Some hate school. Some excel on the academic side. Some thrive in sports. Some prefer the arts. Some just get through it. All you can do is be there for them and encourage them to be themselves and do their best. Some days will be easier than others and yes some will be challenging. However, you will do your best and that is more than good enough.
Are you looking forward to school starting?
If you need some help getting started then take a look at my book, ‘Busy! The working mum’s guide to confidently walking life’s tightrope’.
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