Have you been worried about your LO’s first day at school? I have, it’s been the subject of many heartfelt conversations with my mum (Sarah Beeson MBE author and baby expert), mum friends and teacher friends.

LO decided to recreate this photo of her with her teddy bears this week. For me and her dad Takbir, it was a reminder of though she’s still our baby, she’s not a baby anymore (though she loves to play babies). Super cute?

Developing self-help skills for reception class

For organised little old me, I have to prepare. I can’t not – I’m a planner. We started gently checking off the self-help skills Sarah recommended in April when the schools admissions came through.

Gradually increasing the opportunities LO had to:

  • Get dressed and undressed on her own
  • Take her coat on and off and hang it up
  • Go to the toilet on her own and wash her hands
  • Put her shoes and socks on
  • Find a tissue and blow her nose
  • Pack up and take out her apple and books from school bag

School admissions stress

I never said this at the time, but we had weeks and weeks of worry following the School Admissions in April as LO didn’t get into any of the six choices of school we made and had no school place. My friends with older kids told me to hang in there; there’s lots of “horse trading” one seasoned school mum told me. And low and behold in June we moved up the waiting list and LO got into a great school.

Joy! I bought her school uniform almost immediately but put off labelling the 20+ items.

Do you hate ironing and sewing too?

I flipping do! It takes me ten minutes to sew on a button and I never iron, I just put things on a hanger straight out the washing machine to dry. There are so many labelling products out there I just didn’t know what to choose.

I turned to social media and asked my friends what they use. Nicola, a mum of two and primary school teacher recommended Stamptastic. I instantly started looking at their site and reading parenting blogger reviews from mums in the know. They all rated the product highly as hassel free and long lasting.

Stamptastic was set up by three mums, and as a mumpreneur myself, I always prefer to support another woman in business. I was really chuffed when Emma sent me the stamp with LO’s name on and the ink pad which costs £22. They also do a PTA scheme where you get great discounts if you get your school to sign up.

On the August Bank Holiday Monday I got out my stamp and bam…Over 20 pieces of school uniform labelled in ten minutes!

I really recommend Stampastic. It’s easy peasy, affordable and effective. That’s me sorted for labelling her stuf until she goes to university. I stamped her uniform, bags even her water bottle. It’s permanent ink and doesn’t come off in the wash.

Do you use books to explore new experiences?

I often turn to books to help LO prepare for a new experience. Whether, it’s ballet class, potty training, or having a day with grandma while mummy’s at work.

As one of LO’s favourite books is ‘The Jolly Postman’ we’ve been reading ‘Starting School’ by Janet and Allan Ahlberg quite regularly these last couple of weeks before our current bedtime book ‘Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland’. It’s helped remind me a few things about reception class that I’ve long forgotten. 

The first day of school 

I’ve been having a big declutter as part of my preparation for LO starting school. I’ve been mulling over how to do the school run, meet clients for my brand and campaign business Wordsby, write and promote our books Happy Baby, Happy Family and The New Arrival and our next book She’s Arrived!, exercise and have healthier lunches then be on time to pick up LO from school. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, mums have to be so organised we could plan military operations.

Finding the perfect school run to work bag

I’ve been asking and asking social media friends what is best bag to carry on the 0.9 mile walk to school, that will fit in my gym gear, laptop, notebooks, sketch pads, diary, pencil-case, purse, water and a snack. While keeping hold of LO’s hand.

Kiran Chung (who was at Pink Lining now at Mumsnet) recommended the Pink Lining rucksack. I do love Pink Lining, they’re stylish and practical and Creative Director Charlotte is fellow mumpreneur. Ever since they’d given us beautiful bags like this little mini rucksack at our rooftop mum and baby party for the launch of Happy Baby, Happy Family I’ve been browsing their website and trying to think of an excuse to get one (since LO is long out of nappies).

I decided I’d been faffing around long enough and hit the PayPal button and bought myself the mummy version of this gorgeous Pink Lining bows rucksack which is a great work bag. It’s perfect; comfortable, practical and other mums’ have been eyeing it up too as I’ve had to write down the website address for where they can buy one quite a few times already.

Do you like my yummy mummy school to work run backpack?

Is going school is harder on the mums and dads?

I’ve been a bit tearful over LO starting school the last few weeks. It’s been amazing just how supportive other parents have been in my everyday life and on social media. So, a big, big thank you.

But when the first day of school came it was a really happy one (no tears at all from any of us). We were happy, excited and enjoyed our time together as family and new experiences we’ve had when we’re apart. My mum said to me, ‘She’s happy, so your happy.’ Which seems kind of obvious now.

I know there’ll be bumps and tough days but I’m going to be positive and embrace this new phase of our lives and remember how lucky we are that as a freelance writer and communications consultant I have the flexibility to drop off and pick up LO from school (something my working mother never had).

For me, being prepared helps us to enjoy new experiences. I was a terrible Girl Guide but I do follow Sarah Beeson’s advice on the school pick up.

Those three tips so far have led to happy chats after school as LO has a snack and drink and little by little starts telling me about her day.

Is your LO starting school? How’s your week been?