On the eve of a new school year, I am anxious, ready, and sad, all at the same time. The first day of school always makes me excited and anxious, all at once.
I guess I’m ready and not ready.
Yes, the first day of school butterflies are still real, even as an adult.
When School Starts…
I love having my kids home for the summer, letting them sleep in, having meals at looser times, and lazy days when the schedule doesn’t resemble a schedule at all.
But I also selfishly enjoy sending them back to school.
I love routine, structure and schedules. Especially my own!
It keeps me motivated, focused and accomplishing the things I want and need to—without the interruption of children needing my attention or the disruption of chaos.
When they’re gone, there’s more “me time.” I sacrificed “me time” for nearly nine years as a stay-at-home mom.
Now as a pediatric nutritionist – aka “working mom” — I relish the block of time that comes with waving the school bus good-bye.
But focusing solely on me during that block can get boring.
Most of “me time” is spent picking up the house, doing the laundry, running errands, writing, working, planning and making meals, and gearing myself up for the return of my kids.
…And the onslaught of homework, snacks, dinner and “driving all over creation” (a funny term my mom used to use to describe endless child deliveries and pick-ups).
Are You Ready for Back to School?
To me, the start of school is far-reaching—it is more than having the needed school supplies, getting up early, packing a sack lunch and getting homework done.
For me, the first day of school is riddled with hope, wonderment, and doubt.
Starting school and the stress that ensues can make even the most secure, organized, connected momma tremble in her waders.
Pressure, newness, expectations and the unknown can get the best of any parent.
More than School Supplies and School Lunch
The first day of school means getting ready for new friends to pop into your life (and your child’s). The start of new classes and the demands associated with them.
If you’ve got an athlete, new sports teams and practice schedules can add more pressure and stress to an already busy life.
And what about the requests to volunteer?
New friends and their influence on your child (both good and not so good) can be a worry, too.
Get ready to navigate homework and play dates.
The First Day of School Brings…
New pressures that fall upon your child. From wanting to fit in with school age friends to the teen who wants independence and to stand out amongst his peers.
The pressure to succeed at sport and academia is undoubtedly brewing and with it disappointments, feeling left out, friend drama and loss.
Yes, the start of a new school year is exciting and hopeful, and at the same time the stress is palpable.
To help you weather the ups and downs, I’ve gathered some school resources to help you along your journey to the first day of school and a new school year:
- Bringing you the latest in school lunch news, my friend and colleague Dayle Hayes keeps us all up to date on school nutrition at School Meals that Rock.
- Get your child on board with lunch packing with my article and guide called the Independent School Lunch Packing Guide!
Sack Lunch Ideas
- Laptop Lunches offer Bento boxes and ideas for healthy lunches.
- And to show your child you love them even when they are at school….these sweet endearments.
- Want to plan out your weekly lunch box meals? Check out my free lunch planner below or head over to LaLa Lunchbox to plan your daily lunch.
Snack List for Young Athletes
- 21 High Protein Foods (Plant-Based) for Young Athletes
- 10 Powerhouse Foods for the Young Athlete’s Diet
- How about my 70 Awesome Snacks for Young Athletes? Guaranteed to give you inspiration! Click the orange box below to get them!
Smart After-School Snacks
- I’ve outlined the secrets to making a healthy snack, something you need whether you have an active athlete or not.
- Grab my Healthy Snack Planner to help you strategize after-school snacks.
- Here’s 51 Snack Ideas for Kids
Healthy School Snacks
- What should you bring for classroom snack? Good advice here from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
- Also check out 25 Shelf-stable Food Allergy Friendly Snacks for School
Your Child’s Development and School
- Many of my posts address child development, something that has a powerful pull on children’s eating behavior, social dynamics, and overall choices.
No matter how you feel about the first day of school—happy, sad, lonely, or free—getting ready for whatever comes your way can help the transition.
How are you feeling about the first day of school?
Written by: Jill Castle, MS, RDN
Published on: August 27, 2012
Updated on: August 14, 2019