Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Your First Child Going to School? How to Adjust to Your New Routine

If your first child has just started school in kindergarten or a school like Kid’s Country Learning Center, it’s completely normal to feel a conflicting set of emotions. You may feel excitement for your child because of all the fun, new discoveries that school will bring. You may feel apprehension about leaving them in the care of another person for such a long period of time each day. It’s also common to feel a sense of nostalgia and sadness because you realize that this is one of the first steps in your baby growing up. There isn’t a one-size-fits all way that parents process this important milestone. Here are some helpful tips for adjustment to your new routine having your child away at school during the day.

1. Pamper Yourself A Little

It’s okay to enjoy having a little extra time alone while your child is in school. This could be your perfect opportunity for some much-needed “me time.” You could spend time reading that book, magazine, or blog you’ve been wanting to catch up on. You could go to a fancy store or museum that you wouldn’t want to visit with a small child. Or you could even spend a day getting a manicure, pedicure, or spa treatment. With all the hard work you put in taking care of your family, school time is the ideal time to unwind and relax a bit.

2. Catch Up On Projects

Though pampering yourself has its place, you can also make the most of the extra time you have with a child at school by being more productive around the house. You could get some extra cleaning or organizing done, get ahead on laundry, or even add a fresh coat of paint to a room or two. Whether you like gardening, sewing, or working on crafts, the sky’s the limit for projects you can undertake while your child is off at school.

3. Enjoy Adult Relationships

Often parents of young children can feel a bit isolated because they don’t have the time they wish they had for adult conversation. Reconnecting with friends or getting to know new ones is a great way to adjust to your new role having a child in school. You can make that phone call, go out for coffee, or spend a day out shopping with your best friend or a loved one. If your spouse has any time off while your child is at school, this would also be a great opportunity to spend quality time together as a couple.

4. Add Fulfilling Activities

Perhaps you’ve been wanting to take a class, learn a new skill, or join a civic organization but you haven’t had the time while caring for a small child. Now, with some extra time available during the day, you may find that one of these activities will finally fit in your schedule. This could include adding some exercise to your daily routine, which is one activity that has been proven to generally improve people’s overall mood and energy level.

5. Encourage Your Younger Children

Often, if you have younger children still at home, they can tend to feel left out or confused when your oldest child goes away to school for the first time. You can help them through this transition by approaching it with a positive attitude. Take them to do something special after dropping their brother or sister off on the first day, such as out for a treat or a trip to the park or library. Reassure them that their sibling will be back to play with them again at the end of the school day. You may even want to give them some of their own “school work” to do at home. You can take advantage of having more time to focus on your other child or children.

Struggling a bit with the adjustment of having a child in school is perfectly normal. After the initial transition of the first few days, however, you may find that you actually enjoy having a little extra free time while your child is in school. When you fill your time with meaningful activities, memorable moments, and some leisure time, you’ll be refreshed and ready to see your child again at the end of the school day.

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Integrated Family Community Services is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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