Starting School

Becky Sappor

I often feel a bit lost within my job as Mama. There are times I feel like a fish out of water, like I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. One of the times I felt like that was when I realised that I needed to make school applications for Leo and that he would in fact actually be starting school.

I literally had no idea what I was doing and I found myself in a bit of a fluster. HOW could he be starting school? Just how? It wasn’t something I’d ever really thought about (I don’t tend to really think to far ahead in general life… I’m lucky if I know what’s happening tomorrow) and I felt a bit overwhelmed. I kept thinking things like; does he need to take pencils? What if I get the start time wrong? What if I forget one day and think he’s still at nursery and I forget to pick him up? What if he hates the lunch he’s selected? How do I order his uniform? What does he even need?

Leo has been at nursery since he was 5 months old, three days a week. I know he will be fine in general. He won’t struggle to be left on a daily basis, he won’t struggle to make friends because he is fairly confident and he seems to really enjoy learning. But he’s my baby. My first born. There’s a part of me that wants to wrap him in cotton wool and never let him go.

We had lived in our new city for about 9 months before we needed to start putting applications in and we had no idea what any of the school’s reputations were. So we made sure we visited and made our own decisions based on gut feeling followed by researching the schools results tables (I know it’s only primary but you know, I want him to be in an environment where I think he will be pushed and encouraged and somewhere that has a decent record for achieving a certain standard with their children but that also has a strong ethos with regards to rearing well rounded human beings – pressure much!) and then we submitted our preferences. I felt sick. I wasn’t 100% sure of the order I’d requested and by the time I was sure I’d got the order wrong it was too late to change anything. Cue massive knot in my stomach until the morning of ‘the big reveal’.

One thing that really made me feel wobbly about the whole transition to school was hearing words like ‘our anti bullying policy’. Gulp. Immediately I pictured his gangly self in the corner of the playground being picked on. He is such a gentle soul, I couldn’t stand the thought of other kids picking on him. And then a few weeks later, we went to his graduation ceremony at nursery. I sat and I watched. I watched him play with his friends. I watched him stick up for himself and really get involved. I’ve since seen and heard him do the same whilst playing with the little boy from across the road. I’ve heard him disagree with things when he well, doesn’t agree. I’ve heard him have his own opinions. I’ve heard him stand up to someone when he thinks they’re doing something naughty. My little boy. Apparently not so little and in need of the mountain of cotton wool I’ve got ready and waiting.

D day was fast approaching and my stomach knot what not improving. Essentially what I wanted was to get our second choice. I felt after reflection that the first choice just wasn’t quite the right fit for Leo. But when I thought about our second choice I felt at ease and like it would be the perfect fit. And what do you know… It turns out we got our second choice. Sometimes I think things are just meant to be?

I struggled with ordering his uniform. That felt like a big step for me… And also… SO much stuff (let’s not even talk about the small loan needed to buy his blummin’ shoes). I ordered him little clothing labels with dinosaur pictures on so that he will be excited to find his coat or pick out his gym shoes in the sea of black pumps. We collected his uniform and he tried it on. Obviously I cried. He looked about 14… And so flippin’ proud of himself.

And here we are, a couple of weeks away from him starting. I’m still an emotional wreck. I’m predicting a mass of tears as I walk away from dropping him off for his first day. But I think he’s ready. I’m not ready. I’m not sure how my new routine will work; how will I fit in drop offs around working and ferrying Tayo to and from nursery as well? I’m sure I’ll work it all out and maybe I’ll slip up somewhere along the way but it’s all a part of the process isn’t it?

And I now feel a tonne better about what to pack in his bag after Amy shared this post all about what they need and more importantly what we need as parents on the drop off/pick up. I never even thought about that! Thanks Amy!

How are you feeling about your littles starting school? Is your first baby starting or are you doing this for a second or third time? Does it get any easier with each child? Are you feeling a bit out of your depth like me?

Becky loves her boys, her pooch and designing. She also loves chocolate digestives, probably a bit too much.
Follow Becky on instagram @becky.sappor

10 Comments. Leave new

LOVE this post… It’s like you climbed inside my mind and wrote down how I am feeling/have felt.

I have my first born, my baby girl Elsie starting school on the 11th and my youngest, my actual baby girl starting Pre school on the 6th.

I have a huge double whammy of both my girls growing up. I am not ready but they both are and have been for sometime.

I am a stay at home mummy so I will be having a whole 9 hours to myself a week (probably more like 7.5 after time for drop offs and pick ups)

I am really looking forward to being able to do the food shop without two little ladies in tow and cleaning the house etc but I can’t help but worry I will feel a little lonely once the ‘novelty’ has worn off.

No turning back now…. cannot stop singing ‘slipping through my fingers’ in my head!!!!


Ah Nicci… A child free food shop is the dream isn’t it! Haha. I’m sure you will find lots of things to do to fill your time… think of all the amazing things you can do in 9 hours… Good luck to both of them and to you xxx


My eldest boy starts on the 5th. He’ll be 5 in October and he is super tall for his age (his school jumper is age 7-8) and he is beyond ready for school! He refuses to ever sit and hold a pencil at home so I’ve not been able too teach him much thus far but his teacher assures me he will never be forced to do anything. He can learn to write with a stick in the sandpit! I can’t wait to see all the things he will learn.
With him being so tall I am kind of imagining a scene from Elf with him struggling to sit on a teeny tiny chair!


Oh Kathryn it’s a task to get Leo to sot down for more than 5 minutes and do anything that involves writing or colouring but he has quite enjoyed the little book in the picture above. Good luck to both of you, I’m sure he’s going to have a blast xxx


I feel exactly the same! Proud and fearful all at the same time. My son is 5 tomorrow so he is clearly ready for school and yet he still seems so little to me.
The new routine is going to be tricky for us as his younger brother will still be going to nursery near where we work which is still a 20 min drive away. Have wondered if we should have got a nanny to manage it all???? But then we would be stony broke so going to see how we go for now…….


Oh Becky you and Leo will both be fine. I was actually excited for Molly when she started last year. Yes I was sad that my baby was all grown up but so proud of her and she has LOVED it. With Alice starting this year I am excited for her as well but feeling all sad that my littlest baby is going. She is so much younger than Molly was (July vs Molly’s Nov birthday) but she is super confident so I hope she will be fine. It’s going to be so odd having an empty house but I can assure you 3pm comes round pretty quickly and you really appreciate the weekends! Good luck on the first day lovely lady xxx


Oh my goodness GOOD LUCK LEO!!

So glad it all worked out choice wise, will be thinking of him and Alice and all the little ones beginning the journey. Feels xx


Good luck to all the little ones starting school! I’m a year 1 teacher and it’s the first time I will be welcoming children into my class in September after having my little boy- I will definitely be viewing it slightly differently after having my son! But don’t worry everyone, there will be plenty of lovely teachers ready to hold your little one’s hands (and yours if need be!) xx


‘Only primary’ – every primary teacher will love that!!! I can promise you it’s hard work and under valued like much of the public sector. A real difference is made to children in those years. It matters a lot. To balance that with the demands of the government’s hoops to jump through and (god forbid) our own lives is hard work. It isn’t an ‘only’.


Laura I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to cause offence. I fully appreciate how formative these years are and how hard all the wonderful teachers work to give our little ones the best start in their educations. x


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