New school year.

New year.

As the new school year has rolled around so have many more emotions.

This year will see me having 2 primary school students. 😭

Whilst I am super excited for them both, I’m full of all other emotions. My little man is starting grade 2, and my little miss starts kindergarten. Where had this time gone?

My tummy is already rolling around with anxiety for them. For my little guy, it’s hoping that his friends from last year continue to like him this year, that he gets some wonderful class mates, new and old friendships, his teacher understands him, that he continues to enjoy school and most of all, that he tries his best and is happy. For my little miss, it’s the excitement of starting ‘big school’, she is starting kindergarten with no one from her preschool, that within itself is confronting. She is quite confident, but I still feel a sense of fear for her, walking into a classroom knowing no one. Although she will be perfectly happy, I’m nervous for her. 

It’s all the unknown. I know that I have had 2 years of primary school thus far with my little man, but nothing quite prepares you for the first day back at school facing the almost ‘unknown’. A new classroom, a new groups of friends, a new teacher, a new quadrangle, a new routine and nene learnings. 

For all those parents starting back at school tomorrow, I’m sending you virtual hugs. You may be feeling comfortable and confident about it, I myself am hoping for the best but bracing for what the first day may entail. 

You’re excited, you’re anxious, you’re nervous, you’re overwhelmed, you’re sad, you’re happy.

This can be a tough time of year. On the one hand – you made it through the summer holidays and you probably have some battle scars and could use a few extra hours (or days) of sleep, especially if you have younger kids, but you made it.

On the other hand, going back to school is hard – for parents and kids.

In the weeks before the first day back to school, emotions are at an all-time high. Schedules are made, bedtimes are enforced, and the reality that holidays are over has settled in.

As a parent myself of 2 heading back to primary school, l like to be organised. Back to school means a host of extra tasks and responsibilities that are piled on an already overflowing plate. Stress mounts as you check and double check lists of supplies for school including stationary, lunchboxes, hats, chair bags, uniforms and whatever else your school requires. You also need to make sure that everyone knows what time you need to do drop off and pick up or what time the bus will be coming. There are pickups and drop-offs to be coordinated along with the after school activities.

Your household could be exhausted from the holidays, let’s face it, 6 weeks of full time entertainment of having your kids at home full time, and getting over the hurdle that is the first day of school feels like a task too daunting to think about.

Emotions from all family members range from excitement to dread, depending on how old your kids are. Younger kids might be feeling excited, especially if it is their first time attending school. Parents on the other hand, are likely sobbing while they look at baby pictures, wondering where the time went.

Older kids might feel nervous, especially if it is a transitionary year and they are heading into their first day of high school. Their parents might also feel nervous. With the high school years come more intense academics and athletics. Then there is also the added stress of HSC and studies to help get the marks needed for university degrees and what is the ‘back up plan’. Not to mention figuring out how to pay for it all.

There can also be a feeling of fear, both for parents and kids. Will your kids make new friends? Will their old friends still want to play with them? Will they be bullied? Will they be the bully? What about their grades? Will they be able to keep up? Will they be able to balance their full schedule of schoolwork and afternoon activities? Will you be able to balance everything and keep your sanity? It’s normal to feel anxiety at this time of year.

But there’s also something magical and exciting about it all too. 

A new school year is a new beginning. It’s hard not to feel at least a little optimistic and excited. So snap those back to school pictures and be proud of your child on their first day of school – whether it’s their first day of kindergarten or first day of university. You must remember, you helped them get to this point, and you should be proud of not only them, but yourself.