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Tips For the Preschool Mama









Guys. guys. guys. The time is here. The time when my sweet Zoe will start her "pre-preschool". She will begin a spanish immersion program next month and this mama is both extremely nervous and excited. Anyone else starting this journey? Or perhaps going on to daycare or simply a new school year? Please comment below and let me know I am not alone!

I am not going to lie have sporadically broken down into tears the last couple weeks, thinking of a kid (or adult) not being nice, hitting or goodness doing something worse to my girl. The idea of me not being able to protect her literally paralyzes me in fear. Like I want to throw up and my brain goes to all these dark scenarios (am I the only mama that this happens too?!!).

But I also know how great it will be for her. I know she will learn so much, gain so much independence and have so much fun. I also am looking forward to having 2 days where I can concentrate on Ami too, maybe a music class or swim. And maybe even blog!!

It will be great for both of us. I know this but it does not make it easier. I thought I'd take the time and share all the things we have been and will be doing to prepare and make this smoother for her.

As for me, you'll find me in the parking lot sobbing while trying to not wake Ami from her nap...

1. Read books together. We seriously get books about whatever we are doing in life, big sister books, traveling books, books on each season/holidays, books on kindness and sharing, and have now introduced books on first day of preschool. (Favorites: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4 Book 5 ) and I'll link more on my shop page. Books are a perfect way to introduce new things and it helps her understand, explore and ask questions.

2. Classroom visits or tour. Get them excited and familiarize them with the space they will be spending time in. This will take away some first day jitters by taking away the unknown. She'll see where she will hang her coat, do circle time and play.

3. Big girl dates. We'll each be taking her on a big girl date, our moms and her sister will too. These are similar to ones she got before becoming a big sister but these are a way to remind her how special becoming a big kid and going to school is. We hope to keep these up through out the school year and as long as she wants to do them.

4. Make a countdown to create excitement. Goodness I have found myself cringing every time I say Zoe will be starting school which is NOT a good thing for the three-ager ears of hers that hear and mimic everything. So we have started counting down to the first day and everyone is getting EXCITED. (and mama is most days having to fake the excitement)

5. Make the first day special. Fill their room with balloons. Backpack fairy. Special breakfast.

6. Buy a new backpack or maybe even a first day of school outfit. If your kid loves shopping as much as mine then this is a great way to just make it special. We bought this lunch box, ordered a special monogrammed backpack and have talked about ordering new big girl school clothes (more on that later!). PS I wanted this lunch box but ouch that price tag!!!

7. Morning routine. Getting everything ready the night before {backpack, breakfast, clothes, snack}. That way in the morning, all they need to do is eat, brush teeth, and get dressed. Also, make your drop-off much easier. Try to maintain the same or similar routine everyday.

8. Get up before EVERYONE - this is key! hard these days because Ami is not sleeping well through the night and wakes before 5am most days, but her and I start our days before Zoe does. I listen to a podcast, feed Ami, get ready and get Zoe's breakfast/lunch/snack packed. This means less for me to do and less "hurry ups" which are so stressful for both her and I. Creating this calmer morning for us is KEY.

9. Get your child involved in an activity before leaving the classroom. Help them drop off their backpack and jacket. Ask them what they'd like to check out first and make sure you say good bye. hugs and besos are our good bye routine and sneaking away is not best for her (but may work for your little!) Having a "special" goodbye ritual, ie a handshake or special whispered song or heck a "grownups always come back" song from Daniel the Tiger can also help! But make it quick and fight your instinct to linger...

10. Leave something from home. A special blanket or baby or teddy in her bag will give her something to go to when she is missing home. Or maybe it's a photo or mamas bracelet, whatever it is put it away and remind your little one it's their if she needs it.

11. Leave a note. A note in her snack or lunch for a teacher to read, or maybe it's a joke or a colored picture from mama and dadda. Whatever it is a special surprise for her to look forward to can make a huge difference.

12. Ask your caregiver to check in. This one is much more for you than them, a quick text or email from the teacher honestly saying when the tears stopped or that they are doing well can be helpful. Maybe a pain for the teacher but mama is going to need the reassurance or she may run back in and carry out her baby... lol no but seriously...

13. Create an after school routine. Like a special snack, some rest time with a movie or maybe even a stroller walk. My girl still can get pretty over stimulated and some time to just be still is so important for her to have a good nights rest.

And for those of you that don't have little ones yet or aren't "here" yet, reach out to your mama friend that is at this stage and wish her luck. Because as much as this is necessary and "good for them and you" it is HARD, and it is sad and stressful and full of anxiety. And admitting this out loud is probably going to get me some mean comments but they are my feelings, and I always feel better after allowing myself to FEEL ALL THE FEELS.

Let's be kind and support each other.

xo

Natalie

#bebe #preschool #tips #family

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