It’s that time of year when a lot of mums are experiencing the excitement of their little ones starting school for the very first time. However, it’s a time that is also filled with fear and dread. The unknown is scary and I know all too well. I was there this time last year. The panic and anxiety. Will he be OK, will I be OK? well, I hope I can ease some worries and calm some nerves with what I have learnt this year. Here’s what you need to know and remember, if we survived, you most certainly will!
1: You will cry on their first day and their last day. You will probably cry several times throughout the year too. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Most of the other mums will be crying too. Put some tissues in your bag. My only advice here would be, try not to blub too much until after your child is through the door. It can be quite stressful for the little ones, and seeing you cry can add to their nerves. Once there in cry away!
2: Did you buy the right shoes? Probably not, but don’t stress, neither did 95% of the other novice mums! If you’re lucky, they just won’t be shiny at hometime the first day. If your not, they might already be thining on the toes! My tip if you have a boys boy. Go for a shoe with a reinforced rubber tip – they work wonders!
3: Don’t buy a pretty or cool shoe just because they are pretty or cool! Although your child will have assistance from their teacher or TA, they will be expected to get changed for P.E on their own. Most schools now take 30 children per class, so there will not be much help to go round. Expecting a 4 or 5 year old to tie shoelaces or manoeuvre fiddly buckles is a huge ask. Stick to velcro for now!
4: Your child will fall out with several of their classmates over the year. Try not to worry if your little comes home saying so and so called them a name or so and so hit me. It doesn’t automatically mean bullying is happening. Obviously, keep an eye out for patterns and talk to the school if you are worried. However, at this age kids will fall out over the smallest thing. Impulse control at this age is still in development, so they can say or do things they don’t mean. The school will know whats going on and will be encouraging children in how to use the correct behaviours. Fin often tells me his best friend is not his best friend anymore so angry and matter of factly, only for them to be laughing and playing 2 minutes later!
5: Your child will eat. At the worst, jacket potato will become a staple part of their diet! Joking aside, there will generally be 3 options for dinner. A main meal, a vegetarian alternative or jacket potato, as well as a pudding. Snacks and milk, are given mid morning, which is generally fruit. If you do have a fussy eater, then you might consider a packed lunch a better alternative, but what’s allowed is often limited and different per school. So check directly if your not sure what’s allowed in the packed lunch.
6: It doesn’t matter how many labels you put on your child’s clothes, they will lose things. Probably, several things throughout the year if I am being honest! The school will have a lost property but don’t get your hopes up. Your best option to save money, in the long run, is replacing items when the schools sell the non claimed items/second hand items throughout the year.
7: The different types of school mum. Well, what can I say? I dreaded this the most. I read so many articles about the different stereotypes. What I learnt is it’s all poop! Yes, there are different types of mums, but every mum in Finlays class has been nothing but friendly. I have clicked better with some than others, but we all will happily chat at drop off or if we see each other in the park. In fact, one of my biggest regrets this year is how I have let my anxiety stop me from getting to know people better. So don’t worry if the mum next to you doesn’t look your type, I bet you she’s actually really nice!
8: Your child will be ravenous after school. It doesn’t mean they haven’t eaten all day. They have been so busy, they are just starving. Luckily, Finlay loves apples and he always asks for one at pick up now. Try to stay away from unhealthy foods like crisps. Fruit, Malt loaf bars or oat bars make great options. That said, the odd treat doesn’t hurt anyone and Finlays loves it when I surprise him with a little bag of sweeties!
9: You haven’t lost your baby just because they have started school. I couldn’t believe it last year when Finlay began school. It felt like the last four years had flown by in a blink of an eye and my little baby was growing up far to quick. Well, fast forward one year. Yes, he has grown and yes he is more independent, but he still very much needs his mummy and your baby will too. Someone told me not too long ago that your children never stop needing you as they get older, they just need you in different ways. So I will leave you with that, your baby will always be your baby!