12 Ways to Occupy Mommy During the First Few Days of School


We all know that sending our kids to school for their first day is nerve wracking for everyone. The children may be nervous, we as parents are nervous, even the teachers are probably nervous … that first day is going to be the ice breaker for the rest of the year. I don’t think it gets easier whether it is your first baby or last baby, kindergartener or a senior in high school, preschooler or middle schooler, every year, every age is different and it is tough on us parents!

I personally have one starting kindergarten and one starting preschool this year. We are excited for them and this new chapter. Its clear they are ready and this will be a fun adventure for both of them but I can’t help but feel having an empty nest during the day is going to be foreign territory. It is difficult to let go and put their education into someone else’s hands. 

We are all busy getting these sweet babes prepared for school. All the adorable bookbags, outfits, and lunch boxes are ready to go but are we prepared for that first day of silence?

I decided to make myself a list of things to busy myself … not only for the first day or the first week of school but really whenever the anxiety decides to creep in so I am not wallowing in my own pity party! I realize everyone has different schedules, jobs and routines so hopefully, you can connect with at least one or more of these. 

1. Plan a Mom Date

This is my favorite. Obviously, we are not alone on this journey and we moms need to stick together and help each other reason through the madness! So, what better way than to plan a brunch, coffee, or lunch date with your fellow mom friends so we can laugh, chat, and even shed a tear together (if needed) while our little ones are off learning the ways of the world.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a group of supportive mom friends that you connect with. I know it is not always the easiest thing to meet other moms that you feel comfortable with but the beauty is that you all have one main thing in common … motherhood, and it’s hard not to connect on some level! 

2. Do Something for YOU

Make a hair appointment. Get your nails done. Do something for yourself that you haven’t had time for in for-ev-er. A little pampering goes a long way for us mommas. We rarely have the time to get out and do those things that make us feel special so take advantage of the time while the little ones are at school learning the ways of the world. 

3. Exercise

Finding time to squeeze in a workout or make it to that yoga class can be super difficult while the kids are home for the summer. Maybe this is the perfect time to hit the pavement for a run or go to the gym or make it to that class you have always wanted to try. Exercise is seriously one of the best things for clearing your mind and who can argue with how great it feels to get that physical activity in. 

4. Retail Therapy

If you are anything like me a little retail therapy can go a long way. When I feel down, anxious or stressed shopping is my go-to. Even if it is just a trip to the grocery store. It will feel amazing to have all your grocery shopping done for the week or who knows … maybe a brand new pair of earrings will make those first-day worries a little easier to tackle. This goes hand in hand with doing something for yourself. It is totally worth it so spoil yourself every once in a while (the kids shouldn’t be the only ones)! 

5. Read a Book

Reading is one of those things that can be difficult to find time for with children. I personally work from home so when I feel like I have a window of opportunity to read, I usually feel like I should be utilizing that time to clean, work, or prep dinner.

Take advantage of that time while the kids are off learning to stretch that brain of yours a little bit too with a good book. Sit down with that book that has been resting on your bedside table for the last few months quietly saying “Reeeeeaaaddd me.” 

6. Get Ahead on School Lunches

There is something therapeutic about mindlessly preparing food, and getting ahead on school lunches for the coming days is nice too. Cutting up fresh fruit and vegetables, making sandwiches, quesadillas and mini pizzas, organizing and storing snacks for your child to have balanced meals will not only be great for your child but for you to check something off that mile-long mental to-do list. 

7. Take a Snooze

Say what? You know, that thing you have been deprived of since your babies were born, sleep. I know it is easier said than done but if you are mentally and physically drained and finally have the opportunity to rest … DO IT! A nap will be incredibly beneficial for your mind and body and maybe some of us will actually have time for once to do so! 

8. Go Ahead and Clean

Some mamas find cleaning to be therapeutic (I personally prefer retail over cleaning but a clean house sure is therapeutic for others). So scrub those bathrooms, vacuum, and dust every nook and cranny while your children aren’t there to make a mess in the other room. It will be great to know your house is clean and give you and your family a fresh start after school. It’s a good feeling. 

9. Trashy Television

I know this one isn’t for everyone but there are many times when you are just too tired to stay up for whatever it is that floats your boat. Grab a snack and a cup of joe (it is officially acceptable to drink pumpkin spice now that school has started) and catch up on your favorites or binge those shows you have been meaning to see but haven’t had time for. 

10. Get Dolled Up

Take that extra time to take a bath, give yourself a blowout, do your make-up (definitely not a daily occurrence), and put on that outfit that makes you feel like a million bucks! Looking good and feeling good will definitely boost your confidence when you are trying to tackle a day that is bound to have you feeling out of sorts. Feeling good in your own skin will also reflect upon your child just like their super cute back-to-school outfit makes them feel like they can tackle the day! 

11. Get Caught Up

You can’t put a price tag on the sense of accomplishment. Busy yourself getting ahead on that project at work, making phone calls you have been meaning to get to, put that pile of laundry away that you have been living out of for the past month, run those errands, and once again visit that mental to-do list and knock some stuff off. It will be such a good feeling to get those tasks off of your shoulders and ready to hear all about your child’s own accomplishments that day! 

12. Breathe

Just breathe. You are going to make it through this day. Your child is going to have a great school day. He or she is ready. You have given them all the tools they need. You are ready. Just breathe. These teachers are amazing. Even if your child doesn’t have the perfect day you both have the tools to make a better tomorrow. It is okay to let go a little bit. Just breathe. It is okay to relive the last few years in your mind and shed a few tears. It will be fine. Just breathe mama, you got this! 

You got this mama! What suggestions would you add to the list?

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Paige Phillips
Born and raised in Columbia, Paige runs a photography and graphic design business from home while raising two young boys with her husband, Stephen. Most days you will find her juggling between her boys, cooking, finding time to read a book, editing a photo, or enjoying a conversation with her friends. A graduate from the University of South Carolina in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Studio, Paige finds creative ways to use her talents to take her career to the next level in-between building forts, nap times, and tears. She enjoys exchanging stories about the day to day joy and challenges of motherhood. Ashton (4yo) and Boone (18mo) keep her busy but Paige always finds ways to make the most of this mom life.


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