If you have a child starting school this autumn, brace yourself – you’re in for quite a ride. Those first weeks of school are the proverbial emotional rollercoaster, so prepare for ALL the feels; joy, sadness, pride, and just a teeny tiny bit of stress. But like most things involving children, it’ll be worth it…
Here are five truths about starting school.
1. It’s emotional.
Your four year old may sail into class with the confidence of someone who’s done it all before but you will be a mess! Snot, tears, quivery breaths as you wave them off and leave them – abandon them – looking so grown up and so tiny in their classroom. It really does feel like the end of one era, and the beginning of another. Sniiiff.
2. The school run/getting ready for school is every bit as stressful as everyone says it is.
No matter what time you get up, no matter how organised you are, SOMETHING will derail things just as you need to leave for school – a forgotten reading book, a lost permission slip, your child’s shoes or the worst: an urgent, last minute poo. Let’s just say it’s a pretty intense couple of hours.
(You can read the truth about getting ready for school in the morning here)
3. Even though you are a fully-fledged grown-up you will be little bit frightened of and in awe of your child’s teacher.
There is something about teachers which awaken your inner child and you become ridiculously desperate to please them. They also command respect in a different way: not only do they have your child to care for and educate, but there are 29 other children to do the same for too. How??? HOW???
4. It is utterly exhausting.
Whether you are working or at home, the routine every single day takes its toll – and that’s just on you. Your child will be totally WHACKED in a way you last witnessed when they dropped their nap a couple of years previously. This may also make them grumpy and prone to emotional outbursts as they get to grips with being on best behaviour all the time at school. So naturally they need to let rip at home. To you. Sorry about that.
5. You will feel so immensely proud of them.
Not just on the first day but every day, with every achievement: making friends, learning to climb really high, reading, writing and their incredible creativity. When it comes to their first Christmas school play, prepare to be blown away by the emotion all over again. Then, before you know it, that first year of school is over and you can allow yourself another blub as you realise how far they’ve come and how much they’ve grown in every possible way since the first day your so-grown-up-but-still-tiny person went through those school gates.
Image credit: Alison McGarragh-Murphy