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First Day Back at School

There are moments that catch me by surprise. Rare moments when out of nowhere my chain of thought is completely thrown of course and I’m stood, as if naked. Suddenly exposed. Suddenly put on trial. Suddenly judged. The judge, is me.

Miss 7 has been trying on clothes for tomorrow. Piecing together an outfit for her first day back at school. Exceptionally pleased with the uniform Grandma has sent from England.

She’s dancing, singing, posing. She’s in her own little world and everything’s perfect. She’s happy, confident and beautiful.

A wave of anxiety washes over me.

Am I nervous about her first day back? Am I compensating for her lack of concern?


All of a sudden, it’s me that’s about to walk into an exam.

Have I done my work this summer? Have I done what I should have done? Am I doing anything to help my creative, kind, loving little girl to get ahead in life?

Are they all ridiculous questions?

Get ahead. What is get ahead?

Is ’get ahead’ understanding algebra, before they study algebra? Is it reading a novel before they’ve been introduced to chapter books? Is it about knowing all the answers? Is it speaking another language? Is it doing backflips and the splits? Or is it about having friends, and having time to spend with them? Is it about being happy? Is it about character?

What’s going to help her the most?

Which combination of the answers is the best?

Days, weeks and months go by of indecisiveness. Efforts hopping from one arena to the next. Then I wonder the price of inconsistency.

Well, here we go again. A new term. A new start; another of many.

It’s not a test.

So, we didn’t throw a ball around as much as we maybe should have and we’ve hardly read a book. But we hugged some of the worlds tallest trees. We’re researched 40 breeds of dogs. She learnt to swim. We lived in a desert!

I’m reminded of the certificate on our fridge. One she came home with on the last day of school. A prize for resilience, which I wasn’t quite sure how to react to. Is that a quality you need to get through a day of school? Does that strike you as a positive award to hand out?

This summer however, without a doubt, she has fine tuned resilience. Our lives and the course they are to take has shifted from one week to the next. The ability to bounce back, to recover, the elasticity of remaining grounded despite pulls in one direction and then another.

This summer has been richly filled with experiences; there’s nothing resembling failure in that. Tonight however, we’re going to read!

First Day Back at School. On the eve of the school day there's a sudden jitter of nerves. Not Miss 7, she's happy, content. It's mama. Have we done enough?

This ’Big Tree’ is 92.6m (304 ft) high; 20.7m (68 ft) in diameter, and estimated to be 1500 years old.


…Now. What pictures should we take tomorrow morning? 

First Day Back at School. On the eve of the school day there's a sudden jitter of nerves. Not Miss 7, she's happy, content. It's mama. Have we done enough?

Linking First Day Back at School with #ParentingPinItParty, #BrilliantBlogPosts & #SHINEbloghop


  1. Great post! And really honest too! My son had a certificate from previous school in London before we moved to Hertfordshire, saying that he can sit still for 1 minute! I got to laugh. He is a toddler. He can’t sit still! I’m sure your Miss 7 will be fine. Hope she’ll have fun at school! x #brilliantblogposts

  2. Great post Steph 🙂

    The 6 weeks have flown by, I feel nervous about the children going back, I love my routine though. Some days have been so lazy here 🙂

    Thanks for sharing at the Wednesday blog hop

  3. That tree looks AMAZING!!!
    I think as mums we all panic if we have ’done enough’…even though we don’t even know what ’enough’ is! Looks like your daughter has had a fantastic Summer.

    • Thanks Laura.
      I look forward to landing in some kind of understanding of what ’enough’ might look like x

      The tree: It does doesn’t it!! It was HUGE… Absolutely, unbelievably, undeniably, HUGE! Did you read those stats? 😀

  4. Eek we have all the same thoughts here too! Just part of being a Mum I think. It definitely goes in waves. The thing is, there’s so much to DO in this world that there’s always going to be a bigger list of ’not done’ than ’done.’ Doesn’t make me feel any better though!

    • Haha! Yep, there’s about to be an overload of ’get ready for school’ posts 🙂
      …Enjoy your holidays for as long as you can! x

  5. I think we all have these moments of doubt about our kids. At least I do. I wonder if I’m doing enough and what actually is enough. I don’t have answers to your questions as I’m still figuring it out. But in the end I always come back to the same answer – ensuring my child is happy is the most important thing. Great post and beautifully put. x

    • Thanks hun x
      Yep, I think these are thoughts I’m not going to shake, they’re just going to pop up out of the woodwork every now and again like the north star, keeping me on track!
      Since she started school, we’ve read every day… SUCCESS! Even if we’ve done absolutely nothing else 😉
      I’m giving myself a high-five anyway! Something needed to change… We changed it. Now we’ll lay low for a while ready for the next thing.

  6. Great post! School hasn’t started yet here, but I am already feeling nervous for my son. He will be starting grade one; I really hope that he will have a good teacher.

    I am certain that your daughter will do great.

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