Louisa Claire


Dear Seasoned Mummies…I need your help.

In 6 short sleeps my baby girl starts school.

I’ve got so many emotions and thoughts rattling around my exhausted body that I can’t begin to make head nor tail of them.

I am still not sure how the time has flown so fast. Where does it go???

On the one hand I know she is ready (and I know I am ready!)

On the other hand, I am not sure I am ready for 5 days week. In fact, I am completely freaking out about it.

Surely she is still only two and a half. Surely?!?

I can’t allow my brain to go where it wants to go – have I done enough for her? been enough for her? given her enough of me? I know I haven’t been perfect, but I’ve done my best and I love her to pieces. I hope and pray that it’s been enough.

I look at this baby face and I know that it’s too late to go back, nothing can be re-done…all we have is now.


And now, she’s my big girl. and a gorgeous one at that.

She has grown up so much these holidays that it takes my breath away.

I am really going to miss her.

5 days a week seems like a LOT at the moment, though I would happily go for 2-3 days (as I think would she).

starting school, family traditions and starting school

So please Mummies, I need your help.

I’m looking for suggestions about different family traditions you have yourself or know of for both the start of school generally and starting school for the first time.

I would like to start next week with something special, something we can build on – another brick in the foundation of our family life – and I love some suggestions on what that could be!

thanks in advance,

love from a very tired mummy.



Thoughts on “Dear Seasoned Mummies…I need your help.

  1. Its a killer isnt it! Just before my girl started school I made her a little photo book – just one of those little slot in photo folders and I chose pictures of all of her major ‘things’ from when she was born to graduating from pre-school. She is in year 2 this year and we still get it out often (actually she took it away on holidays!) and we go back and chat about the photos – who was there, how I felt, how she felt and it helps her see the before and the after. We are slowly getting pics together now for the second book that I said she could have on her 8th birthday and even she sees how there is more photos of friends, of parties, of her reading books, of her becoming more independent. It helps her understand time but for me it helps me appreciate how amazing little people are as they grow. In the sense of rituals it gives us a reason to stop, look at it and chat…
    Good luck – I found that I was so lost for the most of term one but once she got it together I just went along for the ride. Dont ask me about my boy – Im keeping him home with me forever x
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    • Beautiful idea! I have thought of doing a book so often – maybe I will finally get to do it with her at school, the boys having day sleeps and me on maternity leave. Maybe! (p.s. I am keeping my boys home forever too!!)

  2. I know this may not be what you are looking for but it works really well with three kids. Organise a special box and make sure she has acces to
    Pencils and paper. When she has a thought about something she wants to share with you and you’re too busy to stop ask her to draw a quick picture to remind her of what she wants to say. At a special time each evening give her your undivided attention and go through the box together. It is important I think for the child at school to be acknowledged as being ‘different’ by making her bedtime even 10 minutes later than the younger ones. Use this time to talk with her every day. I know reading each night is very very important but when I had to choose between reading or listening I have picked listening every time. Good luck. Ps still can’t believe my youngest (who still has a baby face) has just started year three!

  3. It will all fit into place pretty quickly and it’s not like you’re short of things to do. lol.
    My lulu has already asked me to put a lovely note in her lunch box wishing her a wonderful day. Seriously!
    But if she’s only starting school and cannot read perhaps a surprise to say ‘I love you’. I quite like the fairy bread sandwich with a heart shape cut out of the top piece. [see my valentine pinterest board]
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  4. My baby girl started y12 yesterday. I swear it was last week that she was starting school… :'(
    Seeing that a soul sister made for both my kids was a binder book with sleeves in it with a sections for each year of primary school. In each section there was a place for awards, special pictures, school photos etc. it’s a great keepsake.
    Something that we do at dinner each night is take it in turns to talk about our day. Either by sharing one good thing that happened, or a just in general what you did. Aston my little man who started grade 1, has LOTS to say, and even the teens end up sharing information. I find out more this way then when I ask what did you do today. Lol.
    This motherhood gig is bitter sweet hey Louise? Don’t forget to take the tissues, and make a date to have coffee with a friend after you have dropped her off. Lots of love. Xxx
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  5. We just insist on having family dinner together every night, with no tv or other distractions and try and make sure everyone gets a turn to talk about something in their day. (not easy with 7 people around the table!) And then when I say goodnight to each of them in bed, that is when sometimes more stuff comes out they may need to talk about. And by the way loving “her more than anything and doing your best” is the most perfect start for her! xx
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    • Thanks Martine, it sounds like bedtime is going to be a key time. going to have to make sure hubby starts being home in order to give her some proper 1-1 time in the evening. Thank you for the advice (totally agree re dinner too!)

  6. Thank goodness you are going first!!! Seriously, what an emotional week ahead!!! I think what will get you through is Bliss’s excitement!!!

    As for traditions, you’re such a wordsmith, why don’t you write her a letter…. You could write her a letter at the beginning of each school year and then give them to her when she graduates either primary or secondary. Treat yourself to some beautiful paper and perhaps a special box to keep them in. You could even start with a letter before she starts and one after her first week, capturing all the emotions everyone has felt.

    I’ve also seen some fantastic photo projects of first and last day of school photos. There is something EXTRA special about those first day of school photos. The excitement and apprehension on little faces is just priceless.

    Ooohh ooohh another idea… why don’t you video her and do a little interview…. Ask her about what she is feeling and what she thinks school will be like. You could do it at her favourite caffe and make it extra special, just the two of you.

    Hope this helps!!!
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  7. I let go of my big boy yesterday…. sent him off into the world, into the car of someone else for a huge chunk of his days.

    I know he is ready. I am confident and happy with the school and his lovely teacher. I have even done this all before with the girls…. but it is still hard. It is hard to let them go… to give up a little bit more control and influence.

    I keep telling myself that we have to do this… bit by bit we have to let them grow up and go forth and make their own way in life. It is what we want from them, it is why we worry so much about how we parent them… but it is never easy.

    Much love…. We went to a little local cafe and celebrated the first day back with HUGE milkshakes for everyone. It has become a tradition over the years since the girls started school… nothing spectacular, just a little something to acknowledge that we all made it through that first big step and we’ll all be ok.
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    • Thanks Kate and big love to you – I can easily see how it’s a huge deal each time you send them off for the first time, no matter how many times you have done it before. Having good teachers who you know really WILl care does make it a lot easier!!

  8. I had similar feelings when my eldest started school – thought I was almost losing her, not going to have any time with her……. but you do. You just have to make the most of the time you do have, particularly after school. I have to remind myself to be on my best behaviour & try & get the mundane jobs done before she is home. They are EXHAUSTED when they come home & mine doesn’t start talking about her day as soon as I pick her up (although I’m desperate to know what she’s been doing!). She talks at bedtime so I need to make time for that (not easy). You’ve been given lots of great ideas. How about a special afternoon tea when you get home. My girls love coming home to the table set for ‘tea’. Maybe you’ve had time to bake something (my husband still remembers coming home from school to the smell of baking). It’s a chance to sit down for 15 mins without any distractions (other than 2 other children! But I mean no phone/washing etc). You could chat about your days etc. She may also need some time to switch off on her own – they are “on” for 6.5 hours a day!! She will love it, you will love it. It’s a new exciting stage that you will both enjoy – might just take a bit of time adjust. Have fun!! X

    • That’s a beautiful idea Sarah – I love it! And yes, that’s exactly how I feel – like I am losing her! Is your Miss 2 going to school this year too? Thanks for this idea, I really love it!! Hopefully a good habit for high school when I imagine “talking to Mum” could easily drop off the radar completely. (& also good use for all the beautiful tea cups I have in the cupboard!)

  9. It all depends on what you feel comfortable with as a family. I know people who choose to only send their child part time. It means more time at home, but it also comes at a price. It generally means your child will take longer to adjust, and also miss out on a lot of things, not so much in the way of acedemics but developing that bond with their peers, if you’re there more often your comfort at your role amoungst your peers will grow.

    Bluey wasn’t at preschool before starting school, and he adjusted really well. The first month he was exhausted after school and would come home and fall asleep come 4pm, but he slowly adjusted.
    I wouldn’t reccommend extra cirricular acitivites for the first couple of terms, at least. There will be a lot of adjusting just to school, then they will add homework, and I think it’s nice for everyone to just focus on that for a while, and then add in extra cirricular things if you guys like.
    I hope that helps. Really, it will take a bit of adjusting but the 6 hours goes by so quickly and before you know it you’re picking her back up and she has the biggest smile on her face.
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    • Thanks so much for this advice – I really appreciate it. I’ve heard a lot that we shouldn’t have any extra activities. At the moment she has swimming on Friday arvos but I can cancel that at any time so will see how she goes – it might be a nice way to finish the week with a bit of a splash about and f&C but we’ll just see. Thank you!!

  10. I am the same with my eldest heading off to big school next week in our house. I’ve loved reading these suggestions (and of course the original post, too) and will definitely incorporate them. Miss 5 and I had a special ‘date day’ on Wednesday when her sister was at preschool and I’m hoping that is something she will remember (and something I can easily do with Miss 3 when her time comes too). We have family pancake brekkies on the weekend (love this as my hubby cooks!) and I am fortunate enough to be able to have one afternoon a week when Miss 3 will still be in daycare so I can have an after school date with Miss 5. First day will definitely be a special afternoon tea (she’s already requested peanut butter sandwiches since she won’t be able to take them to school and just *loves* PB!!) and we will take some time and work out our best routine once school has been going for a few weeks. Love the idea of the special photo album though not sure I’ll take that on as I don’t think I’d get it done this weekend. We have bought one of those ‘page per school year’ books so look forward to filling that out each year with my girls. Good luck Louisa!!

  11. Well l know l am a few months late with my comment….. but it is better late than never, besides my comment probably ain’t gunna be much help as l can not offer any advice on this subject as our little girl is not yet 3 years old. So rather than give you great ideas (which l do not have) l figured l would simply say l have a fair idea of what you are thinking and worrying about. For 6 hours a day and 5 days a week your little girl is going to be in the care of others which in itself can be a worry for many of us parents….. but on top of that your little girl will be in amongst 20 or so other kids during class time and a whole lot more during play times and there is always the fear of how others will accept your child and how kind or mean other children may be. The whole thing is a real reason to be concerned, but at the end of the day it is something that we all must teach ourselves to adapt to and become comfortable with. I guess as the days go by you will become more relaxed with the whole school thing and who knows you might even begin to look forward to school days as it may enable you to do things that you were not previously able to do.

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