What surprises have you come across since your child started school? I definitely encountered a few! When your child is starting school, particularly if they are your first, there are definitely some surprises along the way that I wish I’d been prepared for – head lice, after-school starvation, the black hole of Lost Things…
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Get ready to be tested, because when your child is starting school and you’re entering a whole new ballgame of parenting, with so many new experiences for both kids and parents.
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Your Child is Starting School? Get Ready!
#1. How stressful school mornings can be
It’s true, school mornings can be very stressful, between getting everyone up, fed, watered, dressed, teeth, lunches in bags, water bottles filled up and out the door.
My tip is to get up a little earlier than you need, as an extra ten minutes can help make the morning a little less stressful.
#2. How stressful school runs can be
Who knew that school runs could be so stressful? Stuck in traffic, then trying to abide by safe parking rules, find a place to park, avoid making other drivers annoyed at you, avoid getting annoyed at other drivers, dropping the kids to the gate, placating an unhappy child (why do they always leave it until the last minute to have a meltdown?), then rushing off to start the next stage of your journey…
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#3. The amount of admin and paperwork there is
Every week there are texts and papers coming home that need to be read and signed. I find the texts the worst because I often forget later about them.
My tip is to check with the kids as soon as they are home if they got any notes that day, rather than finding them 3 days later scrunched and soggy at the bottom of their bags.
#4. The constant requests for money that you’ll get
Who knew school was so expensive?? Between voluntary contributions, school trips, dress down days for charity and bake sales, it’s a constant stream of requests for cash.
My tip: keep a few coins handy for the last minute requests.
#5. The after-school meltdowns
No matter what age your child is, school days can leave them with a lot of emotions. While this release of emotions when they come in the door is probably inevitable, there are effective ways to deal with these after-school meltdowns that can keep everyone from completely losing it.
#6. All the items that will be lost
We actually got off remarkably well over the years all things considered, but I didn’t think my daughter would manage to lose not one but TWO winter coats at school! Needless to say, label EVERYTHING.
#7. You’ll get sick of making lunches
By the end of school term I am thoroughly sick of making lunchboxes up. I end up throwing in the same old same old and run out of inspiration for new fillings or things to try.
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#8. The amount of time homework will take
Again we’re probably quite lucky in that our primary school had a policy of not sending home as much homework as other schools, but it still takes up time after school. Your child is hungry and tired from school and the last thing they want to do is homework but in my experience it’s best to feed and water them and then settle them down to get it out the way early.
#9. How much printing you’ll end up doing
Stock up on those printer cartridges now or buy a few multipacks because you’ll be printing notes, timetables, book lists, school calendars, presentations for school projects and more.
Thankfully, many schools are opting for a more environmentally-friendly paperless option now, but it still requires lots of inbox checking and completing online forms.
#10. Last minute projects
Without fail, about 8pm on Sunday evening your child will inform you that they should have completed a project or made a costume to bring tomorrow.
#11. Head lice…
I wish I had known what a pest (literally) head lice would be. Despite keeping on top of combing and tea tree oil sprayed on the hair, we still ended up with the pesky creatures.
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#12. They will be STARVING when they come home
Always have some food ready for when they come home from school. I usually make a pot of soup (gets the veg in) so that there’s hot soup and bread or rolls, as it’s quick and easy to make, you can make it in advance and just reheat later for them. Plus it’s a healthier choice than typical snacks.
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#13. Your weekends will no longer be your own
You will now be required to drop off and pick up your child at weekends for parties. And there will be ‘boom’ times where you may have multiple on each weekend! The worst party invites are the ones that start at 4pm on a Sunday with an end-of-weekend sugar high!
Don’t forget to get uniforms or school clothes ready for the following week. To get ahead and not have a last minute panic, I usually wash the school uniform on Friday night so that it dries over Saturday but that does mean ironing duty is then on a Sunday.
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