Starting school brings about big changes for all the family. You might be feeling excited about your child‘s first day at school, a little nervous perhaps, but no doubt you have a few specific worries too…
So what are our biggest worries?
Whether it’s getting to the classroom on time or ensuring our child eats all their lunch, it seems that us mums share many similar concerns about sending our precious cargo to school. Top worries include:-
- They will feel overwhelmed and anxious (58.8%)
- Whether they will make friends (56.3%)
- That I will miss them (50.5%)
- Whether they will eat a proper lunch (40.6%)
- That I won’t know what goes on in their day (36.4%)
- That they won’t get enough attention from the teacher (39.7%)
- Whether I will be properly organised and get them to and from school on time/ getting lunches ready/making sure they have the right stuff on the right days etc (29.8%)
- That they won’t need me so much (22.9%)
- That they will become institutionalised (10.5%)
- What I will do with my time (9.3%)
- Getting them to agree to wear the correct uniform (8.2%)
- I’m not worried about anything 5.4%
And what about the mums?!
It seems that we’re a bit of a mixed bunch when it comes to deciding how we’ll fill our days when our kids start school. Out of the 1,800 mums who answered our first day mums survey, 41% (and quite clearly the most house proud!) are planning to do more cleaning at home, 22% of us will commit more hours to work whilst 33.5% of us want to use the time to get fit and regain some of that lost identity. Others have decided to donate more time to friends, sorting out the garden or studying for a new qualification.
It’s likely that the initial few days will be hard (as illustrated by the mums below) but with a bit of time, positive planning and ambition from you, life will soon start to feel comfortably normal again.
Here’s what some mum’s said about the change in their life…
“I feel lost, and sad at the end of an era. Have loads to do including people to see and have just completed an application to return to work (after 7.5 years, eek!)” Nicola L
“My daughter started on Thursday at the age of 4, my last child. I miss her but am looking forward to a new chapter in my life.”
“My son doesn’t start for another week but already I am a whole mixed bag of emotions! We had difficult time at nursery with him and we don’t want school to turn out the same. I am proud, happy and sad all at the same time and I will miss him.”
“My Little man starts school on wednesday. He’s going full time from day one…we were going to put him part time but noticed everyone else on the list said full time so didnt want him to be left behind!! The thing is he is one of the young ones and still falls asleep everyday at home! I’m so worried how he’ll cope…my emotions are all over the place!”
“I have really struggled with my daughter starting school. There are lots of issues wrapped up in it but I just love being a Mum at home (I also have a job which I do from home and run my own small business so I don’t sit and watch This Morning!) and I will really miss her and all the things we do together.”
Worries for ourselves
Starting school is a big change for mums so it’s natural to feel concerned about how you’ll cope, especially if you’re a stay at home mum who’s spent the majority of your time at home with your child. Our recent first day mums survey revealed that 55% of mums are primarily concerned about making friends with the other mums at the school gates whilst 54.5% are worried that they won’t be as organised or look as glam as other mums.
It also seems that many of us have got so curled up in the world of mummy-hood that we’ve lost our sense of identity with over 33% expressing concerns about getting back into the workplace.
All of these types of pressures are extremely common amongst new school mummies but it’s important to realise that they’ll eventually pass – especially once you get into the school routine and have got to know some of the other mums.
Top tips to make starting school easier
- Keep busy – don’t sit at home dwelling on why the house is suddenly so quiet, it will only make you feel sad. Instead, try to embrace the change positively and fill your days with rewarding things like work, going to the gym, having coffee with another mum or perhaps embarking on one of those tasks you’ve always wanted to do like writing a children’s book or starting your own business.
- Be strict with bedtimes! Tried grumpy children are harder to manage so make sure they get to bed on time.
- If you are late – try not to get in a tizz as this just transfers to the kids and everyone gets cross and anxious. Breathe deeply and remember this is just out of your control – like a traffic jam. You’ll be there as soon as you can.
- Listen out for any new friends your child talks about and consider inviting them round for tea after school. This is a good way to meet other mums and help your child bond with his new friends.
- If your little one is especially sensitive or quiet, make sure the teacher knows and make home as cosy and safe as possible so they know they have a quiet little haven to come back to every night.
- Plan lunches in advance and pack them up the night before. We’ve got some greatlunchbox tips here to keep your child’s energy levels up.
- Encourage good communication. Talking about your feelings and encouraging your child to express their thoughts about school will help you all embrace the new school life and adjust to the changes positively.
And some tips from mums who have been there and done it!
“I find being organised helps. get up early if need be and pack lunches and PE kits etc the night before. Even laying the children’s clothes out ready can knock minutes off!”
“I would suggest making one friend at a time – say hello to a mum who is on their own – they will be feeling just the same. Smile and say hello, ask which class their child is in / their childs name / their name – how they got to school – anything just to break the ice.”
“Something I did to meet new mums was to join the PTA at school. It’s just a group of parents trying to raise funds for the school. I have met many mums and it’s been a real help in boosting my confidence and finding out what other stay at home mums do.”
“The one tip I would give you, is don’t forget yourself!! You need a drink, food and a rest beforehand too…”
“As term goes on, try to get to know another mum near by who could take your child to school if you’re having a really bad morning. Lots of mums will be glad of someone who can return the favour. Even if they don’t have a baby it’s useful for when a sibling is ill.”
Thanks for sending this in we hope it helps you
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