The playground – it’s a jungle out there!

“Early to bed with newly ironed uniform laid out and carefully packed new bags all ready to go but sleep just wouldn’t come. My tummy fluttered with nerves, my half awake dreams were shaky and troubled. I tossed and turned only to fall asleep minutes (it seemed) before harsh alarms (not heard all summer) rudely woke me signalling the dawn of this important day.

With the sick feeling in my stomach my cornflakes tasted of cardboard and would hardly go down. I dressed, making a big effort to make sure I looked good. Then plastered a rigid smile to show a confidence that wasn’t really felt and off we went. Ready for the first day of school

As we approached the bustling playground the nerves kicked in even more. Hordes of children in shiny shoes all chatting merrily and looking like they knew it all and were taking it all in their stride. Clusters of brightly dressed mums parading holiday tans and huge smiles and an easy breeze, chatting with ease to others, sharing a joke and some gossip. I felt utterly lost and alone.

I felt sick as I waited for the bell to ring. What would the teacher be like? Would I make any friends? Would I fit in? Was I dressed all wrong? How would I get through the day without crumbling or bursting into tears? The bell rang. Everyone lined up and waved to their mums with brave smiles. This was it.  The first day of school.

And I smiled a bit wider, waved back and tried not to cry.  If it is this hard for mums god knows what my child was feeling!?”

This was written by one of Team Netmums who lives in Scotland where the schools went back two weeks ago. She was waving off her ‘baby’ who was not even starting school but merely going into a new class with a new teacher! She spent the day texting and phoning another mum to seek reassurance and both had to restrain each other from driving up to the school at lunchtime to peek into the playground ingonito to check their children were happy and doing OK. Both mums arrived for school pick-up half an hour early and paced nervously up and down, biting their nails and waiting for the bell to ring and their babies to come out.

And of course – despite a night of tears and worrying and brave concerned faces in the morning line, the kids skipped out beaming and full of excited tales about the new teacher, their new best friends and the fun they had had.

The first day of term, whether it is the very first day of primary or secondary or the first day with a new teacher in a new class can be fraught with nerves.  And, here at Team Netmums, we think sometimes the mums worry more. After all – that’s our job isn’t it?


Are you looking forward to the first day of term? Will you be holding back a tear or spending the day pacing the house worrying and hoping your child can open his juice carton, will make new friends and won’t cry if the teacher asks him a question he can’t answer? Or are you counting the days until term starts and you can all go back to a normal routine?

If your child is starting school we have some great books to share with them which help prepare them for the first day. If your child is going back to school into a new year then we also have a handy guide to help you check you are all organised and prepared.

We have a survey all about  what it is like to be a parent in the school playground.  Please do take it to share your thoughts and tell us how you feel. There is a prize draw to win vouchers as a thank you.

We also have a brand new photo gallery and we would love you to share your photos of your children all dressed and ready for school in their uniform on their first day of school – whether they are starting school for the first time or going into a new class an a new school year.  We can’t wait to see your photos. Upload them here.

And to all the new starters and returning pupils feeling wobbly about joining a new class – and especially to all the nervous parents – good luck and we hope the start of term goes well! And don’t forget to check our Netmums Back to School guide for tips, ideas and checklists to make sure you are all organised and ready.

About The Netmums Blog

The Netmums Blog brings you a behind the scenes look at Netmums, as well as some fabulous guest bloggers and an up to date look at what's new on our Parent Bloggers Network.
This entry was posted in Back to school, Mums, School, Team Netmums, The playground and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The playground – it’s a jungle out there!

  1. I have just this minute published my own guide on how parents can cope with playground nerves! The children are well catered for, but it’s the parents that are the most worried I think! Some great resources in here.
    I won’t spam with a link, but I’d love you to check out my tips too sometime 🙂

  2. Rachel says:

    Some good tips here for mums with children facing their first day in senior school.

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