The summer is almost over… although judging by the weather it finished a few weeks ago! For lots of parents the feelings of relief will be kicking in as they celebrate surviving another 6 week break, but for us primary school newbies, we’ll be spending the final week checking that we’ve gone fully OTT in our preparations for the kids starting reception.
In our previous post we talked all about our summer preparations; buying uniforms, developing independence skills in our babies [*sobs] and generally just being ready for school in its entirety. However, as our little ones’ first day fast approaches there are a few more things to take into consideration to ensure that the first one is one to remember and not a stressful one for all parties!
The Night Before
Getting the kids up and ready, especially twins, and out the front door for 8.30am can be a challenge any day of the week, but after a long lazy summer I can only imagine what it’s going to be like. Doing a few bits the night before will massively reduce any stress or panic the following morning.
It might seem obvious, but creating a morning filled with positive vibes and extra time for the obligatory photo on the front door step, is going to help put the kids at ease on what is likely going to be a massively anxious moment in their young lives.
So, here’s my checklist for the night before;
- Uniforms ironed and ready
- School bag packed (with all the things they probably won’t need for the first few weeks)
- Normal bed time routine (complete with lots of positive reinforcements in my best cringe-worthy excited tones)
- Alarm clock set- I can almost guarantee the first lie in we’ll get all summer will be the one day we need to be up and at it! Also I plan to get up a bit earlier before the kids so an alarm will definitely be needed!
- No alcohol, no matter how tempted I am. I will resist the sweet-singing noise of the bottles of Coors Light clanging together every time the fridge door opens!
Surviving Day One
By the time it comes to setting off for the first school run, you’ll have spent hours preparing the kids, washing and ironing clothes (unless you’re going for the ‘straight off the rack’ look) and ample time worrying about whether they are ready, will they make friends, what if they have a poop and can’t wipe their own bum properly etc.
But what I bet you haven’t thought about really… is YOU!
The last thing both you and your child needs is a blubbering parent during drop off. It’s not going to help the poor kid settle if the last thing they see is daddy or mummy crying like a baby. I can’t stress enough how important it is for us to try and keep our emotions in check in front of them. By all means once you’re back in the car, or even just out of eye sight (if you can’t hold it in any longer) have a real good cry… I have no doubts that I will be sobbing like my nan when Take That split up back in 1996… uncontrollably and messy!
All jokes aside, it is going to be a really emotional time for many parents, particularly those who’s first child it is (although I bet even those hard-faced parents who are on child 2 or 3 still have at least a whimper!) and for me it’ll be a tough time because I just know the feelings of how proud I am of those two little crazies and how resilient they are will come flooding in… combined with the fact that I’m a total crier!
If you know, like me, that you’re going to find it tough, try and have something organised for the morning to keep you occupied. Maybe even have a friend or family member prepped and on standby for some support or if you know any of the other parents maybe arrange a group crying session… I mean a coffee morning? Whatever it is, my point is not to underestimate how you may feel and don’t be quick to disregard your own needs!
When it comes to picking up time, make sure you set an alarm because lets face it, if you haven’t had to go to work then you most likely will be spending the first afternoon catching up on some well deserved, post-summer, zzzzz’s!
Wishing all our fellow newbie-schoolie-parents and your little sprogs a fantastic first day/week in school! Let us know how you get on!
Looking for more back to school hacks? then check out this fab post from The Less-Refined Mind.