By Simone Mundy

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I have no idea how five years has flown by so fast. It’s probably due to the fact I can’t sit still, definitely because I haven’t slept well since 2009. My little boy is five now and next week he’s starting (big-boy) school. There’s something funny about seeing him wearing his wide brim hat, giant school bag and brand spanking new school uniform that hangs off his little frame waiting for the inevitable growth spurt – all of which will probably only remain clean for 0.5 seconds before he spills something or strips something off and loses it forever.

It’s a mixed bag of emotions, part of me is excited that he’s starting a new stage in his life and the other part is sad that I won’t see him as much – I want more freedom but I’m not sure I’m ready to let go. I know I’m not going to be alone in what I might be feeling on that first day. There’ll be mums and dads facing meltdowns, it could be from their little ones or possibly even their own. That might be me, but it’s equally possible I will have car keys in hand ready to make the fastest getaway possible, shaking down my hair and driving off with a giant smile, Thelma and Louise style.

When we visited the school they told us to think about strategies to make the transition as easy as possible for our little ones. Things like visiting the school playground during the holidays, having a photo or small comfort item packed in your little ones bag or spending the week before talking about what they are looking forward to. This is a smart move and it’ll make life easier, so why not have a transition plan in place for parents?

Simone’s Survival Guide to the First Day of School: (For Parents)

TIP # 1

Wear large sunglasses in case of sneaky tears. Make sure you put on your comfortable shoes for quick sprint out the school gate; I might even use active wear for its intended purpose that day!

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TIP # 2

Have an appointment booked so you are not tempted to stay. The teachers are professionals; your child will be fine. Only stay for as long as the teacher has indicated. I plan to book in a LOOONNNGGGG Endota Spa facial at Burnside Village to start getting rid of the black luggage under my eyes or a soothing massage to get rid of 5 years’ worth of carrying my child and all the paraphernalia he insists on bringing everywhere. Endota Spa Burnside has a special offer just for Adeladies – If you book a one hour treatment, you can add a 30 minute facial for $30 (normally $70) during the first week of school!

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TIP #3

Brunch at The Store! Head to your favourite eatery and eat a meal that is full of exotic flavours, fresh produce and doesn’t come with a colour-in-placemat. For me that’ll be a visit to The Store for a Big Breakfast! Enjoy all the foods you have been missing out on to wash away the taste of your kids’ leftover fritz or nuggets. For second lunch I’m torn between giant plates of fresh vegetables that don’t have to be disguised or something with so much chilli my face will catch on fire. Maybe both! If you’re after something a tad ‘harder’, stumble over to our Bars tab for some of SA’s great drinking holes.

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TIP # 4

Pick up some flowers as a present to you, not only do they look gorgeous, they smell pretty and serve as a reminder that you made it to the next level on the list of parenting milestones. On the first day of school I want to start combatting the years of nappies, stale milk, funky feet and little boy farts that have surrounded me for the past five years. Better yet, grab a plant like the ones from Potted Thoughts that will grow with you through the next part of the parenting journey – it’ll require far less attention than your toddler did.

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TIP #5

Adult time – do something that makes you remember who you are, or who you were before you were a Mum. I want to spend some time in a scared space. For me it’s probably an arty space that stocks local designers like Claire Ishino. You should go to a place you’re usually terrified to bring sticky children, sometimes I don’t even know what that stickiness is! Do they have pockets full of jam? Stay on topic! – ADULT TIME! Breathe… Remind yourself what feeds your soul. For some of you it might be the serenity of the botanic gardens or pottering around in your own backyard, elbows deep in mud. For others it could be baking, shopping, a sneaky post-lunch nap or long bath. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s time for you.

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And once this stage is done, I will be ready to go back to the classroom and ask my little boy all the important questions: What made you laugh on your first day of school? Who was the most interesting person in your class today? Did you eat your lunch? Is that jam in your pocket? What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

I love it when a plan comes together – Wish me luck ladies!

Simone x

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