Oh mama. You and your baby are about to embark on a new journey. You’ve got the school supply list, you’ve coordinated after school pick up, and your little one has bought their favorite sparkly unicorn backpack with matching lunchbox. But what next? What can you expect over the next 9 months? Here are some tips to get you this exciting new phase in you and your little one’s life.
The first day of school. Give yourself lots of grace and extra time on the first day of school. It may seem like a fun time to walk to school for the first time ever but maybe take the car. Emotions will be high and anything you can do to avoid added stress and guaranteed on time arrival will be a plus. Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you would normally wake up. Make a big yummy breakfast, talk to your little one about the day ahead and remind them how amazing they are and how many friends they’re going to make. When you get to school, make sure and take a few pictures to remember the day. Avoid the rush, and enjoy the moments.
Be careful what you sign up for. If you’re like me, you are always the go-to girl when it comes to making things happen and the people around you likely know that. You’ll be asked to join the PTO, you’ll be asked to be the room mom, but before you sign up… really ask yourself why you’re doing it. Are you doing it because it’s what you think the picture perfect Kindergarten mom would do? Or are you doing it because you love the opportunity to be creative and the idea of meeting other kindergarten moms while making a difference in your child’s school. If you can’t do it with a grateful heart, and as Rachel Hollis says “if it’s not a ‘Hell Yes’, it’s a no”. Don’t over commit.
There are new rules. Things will run very differently at a public or private school than they did at your child’s preschool. Nap time isn’t a thing anymore. Make sure you have a bedtime that reflects that and allows your child to get the most sleep to be able to learn. What they wear to school needs to be more functional than fashion. I’ve never been a tennis shoe kind of person and my children’s wardrobes reflect that. They’d wear cute sandals or boots but now they likely have gym every day. Plan on sending tennis shoes and socks to keep at school if your child will not be wearing tennis shoes every day. Also, in most cases, tank tops should cover their shoulders. They’ll also be asked not to wear any jewelry or clothing that is too distracting. Yes, make sure that they’re dressing to represent their individual style but it will likely not be able to include anything too distracting. Lastly, they’re probably rules for birthday party invitations. They will probably need to be mailed to homes and not handed out at school so that children don’t feel left out.
There will be lots (and lots) of information. Thursday packets are a whole thing. This can be overwhelming. Know that you don’t have to attend every skating night or school fundraiser event that you’re sent information about. In the beginning you’ll think you need to but just know, you don’t. Make note of the things that apply to specifically your child and their classroom success and only commit to things that you feel you will really enjoy together.
Make them feel special. For some children, the idea of them being away with all these new people all day can be daunting. Help them pick out a few new outfits that make them feel confident. Send them notes in their lunch and special treats (don’t worry, there are plenty of lunch teachers to read them the notes). Consider personalized lunch boxes or pencil cases. Read a book the night before that makes them feel like they’re able to take on the world the next day. I recommend “Brave” by Jessica Hische. And remember, you’ve got one special, talented, smart little one that is so excited for their big day, and you two totally got this. 🙂