The long school holidays can feel like a wonderful, amazing thing. Or/ and can feel like a huge challenge of time to fill. No matter how you're feel about the holidays, I find there is still another curve to round when it comes to back to school - and even more so if your little one is moving from nursery or being at home to being a school boy/ girl.
School feels so grown up. No matter if it is the first day at a new school or going up a year, I think change and transition can be harder than we expect it to be.
In the past, I've found summer holidays a big challenge, two very active little ones who like to go in different directions and not much planned can make for a looooonnnngggg summer!
It's Ok to acknowledge the summer and all that you've enjoyed.
This year has felt different - we have been using my summer planner and looking actively for fun things which fit what we all like to do as a family. We have balanced some work time and some fun time. We have signed up for local events. We have seen some family. And now it's the day before they go back and I think tomorrow will be...
A new day. Yes, it may seem odd to be back into the routine of back to school. It feels easier this year than last as the boys are already at school, so the everything new isn't a challenge this time. We know generally how things work. But we still have that new teacher, new year and new things to learn opportunity that lies in front of us. We have the getting out of holiday mode to get back into. Earlier rising. Faster breakfasts. School clothes not home clothes. Maybe some packed lunches.
As well as the practical considerations there are the emotional. How are you feeling about the start of the school year? I love back to school, always have and was a very geeky child who loved being at school and learning new things. Oh, and stationery of course! But it can be emotional, particularly because that holiday can feel like such a long one.
So I'm popping in here to say be gentle on yourself as you move out of holiday mode and into the new year and new term. Go gently with yourselves and your little ones (or bigger ones!).
Celebrate the new
Find out what works for you and give yourself permission to acknowledge that the emotion you are feeling is there, and is normal. And the same for our children. Here, I love to create little celebrations so we will be having a nice tea and I'm thinking pancakes for breakfast (if I can get organised today!!).
Remind of the known
Especially if your child is already at school but feeling a bit nervous, how about focusing on the known and liked elements to help support them back? Meeting back up with their friends, playing in a favourite spot in the playground, having a nice cooked lunch at lunchtime, hanging up their new school bags on a hook with their name on.
Take time for you
Sometimes I hear that the first day back is a whirlwind of activity of all the things that you didn't get done in the holiday - I know I can have this tendancy! So how about taking some time just for you? Whether it's on the commute into work or whether it's when you've dropped the kids off. Or in your lunchtime. Take a little time and do something you love. Have a cup of tea and read a favourite magazine, Call a friend for a chat. Read a little of a book. Smile over your memories of the holiday. Enjoy the feeling of having some quiet time, just for you. Savour it. And get ready for all the excitement and news of what's happened at school when you go and collect them.
(Even if realistically that is the news of what they had for lunch and nothing else!))
Until next time, friends