Back to school survival guide for busy working mums

Tory Fox-Hill

Posted on August 30 2018


Believe it or not, September is just around the corner and that means a lot to the Fox & Moon household because Harper is starting pre-school this year.

Even writing that first sentence I can feel myself getting all kinds of emotional, because it seems like only yesterday I was holding a newborn baby in my arms. Now she’s about to take a big step and it’s definitely a bittersweet moment.

Over the past few weeks I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling a bit anxious about preparing for Harper to go to school for the first time. Whilst on one hand running the business will get a fraction easier knowing that Harper is taken care of most days of the week, on the other hand, this busy mama is feeling a bit flustered just thinking about all the extra organisation that will have to happen…. Spare clothes? Bag packed? Homework? Play dates? Books? How will I remember it all?

Back to school survival guide

I was keen to tap into the knowledge of our amazing mums in the Fox & Moon community - all of the seasoned school-gate parents who know what to do (and what not to do) in the build up to back to school.

After all, who better to learn from that the people who are already doing it?

So I asked a question over on my Instagram page about what hints and tips other parents had for me on getting prepared for Harper’s first days and weeks at pre-school.

@rosiepants13 came up with some GOLD advice: "I use my fox and moon diary and write it all down! Find a routine that works for you, get up, get dressed, breakfast, bags ready then teeth! Make sure all stuff is sorted the night before!"

@empowering_amy dropped such a useful comment that it was a light switch going off in my brain... She mentioned that she uses her school's Facebook group to keep up to date with what's going on. I hadn't even thought of that, thank you!

With a bit of extra research on my end (ever the planner!) I have put together a back to school survival guide for busy working mums...

Be realistic

This needs to be said right up front. Be realistic. Chances are things are NOT all going to run smoothly and you will soon learn from those mistakes. So I’m going to try and not sweat the small stuff and remember that tomorrow is another day.

Meal prepping

The thought occurred to me that planning for lunches is going to be a lot like planning for meals throughout the week. I'm thankful that Harper's meals are provided by her school, but of all the things to organise, lunches would probably be the one I would be best at because I can use my Fox & Moon meal planners to help me!

Starting each week knowing exactly what food to make - and therefore what to get at the supermarket - would take that last minute pressure off filling a lunch box every day.



This one had totally slipped my mind but is such a good tip! Make sure everything that can get lost, pinched or forgotten about has a name tag on it so it can be returned. I’m not much of a domestic goddess, so while I know that some parents are fab with a needle and can sew name tags into clothes, I’ll probably be sticking to… well, stickers - as everyone knows I love a sticker!

Get the kids involved

We may forget that going back to school isn’t all about us… It’s actually about our kids! So whilst we feel like we may have to do everything and get organised on all fronts, you can involve your children and ask them to help you. Not only will this speed things up, it will help get them excited for what’s coming up.

Things they can help with could be, depending on their age: fetching bits of their uniform, putting on shoes or clothes, packing their bag…

Do a trial run to school

My mornings are going to be a bit longer as Harper’s school is not going to be in the same location as her nursery. I’m going to have to leave the house earlier to make sure she’s there on time, so I loved this suggestion on a Mumsnet article that I read that advised going for a practice run in the car before school starts. Practising getting ready, into the car and out to school is definitely going to help me (and Harps!) get in the zone!


Don’t cry (well, while your child is watching!)

This one may not be so relevant for mums with kids who have already started, but I know I’m going to need to remember this one! Being emotional at the school gates and long, drawn out hugs and goodbyes are going to make me cry, let alone Harper, so I better remind myself to be strong until she’s gone into the classroom! If your kids are nervous about going to school, it’s better to be bright and positive about it rather than stressed and upset.

Support network with other mums

Just like new mums and dads with their NCT classes, leaning on a supportive group of other parents going through the same thing will definitely help. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the other parents at the school gate who I can ask the odd question or two or nip off to have a cheeky coffee!

Good luck to all of my busy mums out there - you’ve got this! I think what I will find is that I’ll get into a new rhythm as we go through the experience and I’m hoping that I’ll quickly learn the ropes.

What tips do you have for a smooth back to school experience?


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