So the countdown is on: the middle one starts school in September and we’re in the midst of form-filling and uniform buying ahead of the big day.

This got me thinking about the first time around, and all the things I wish I’d known before the oldest started school but nobody actually tells you.

when your child starts school

I don’t mean official things, like what time the school day starts and when the holidays are, I mean unspoken things that you only unwittingly find out through experience.

So, for any first timers out there, I thought it would be fun to pen a tongue-in-cheek post on what the forms and meetings don’t tell you when your child starts school.

10 things nobody tells you when your child starts school

1. Empty nest syndrome isn’t just something that happens when they leave home. It happens with they start school too – and the silence at home is deafening.

2. No longer having to come up with different lunch ideas every day is the best. Assuming you’re taking advantage of free school meals for key stage one, of course. And make the most of it – by the time they’re seven it’s down to you again.

3. You have no idea what key stage one actually means and nod along politely – then have to google it.

4. There’s no such thing as blackboards anymore. They have ‘interactive white boards’ instead – and you have to google what that is too.

when your child starts school

5. Getting white board marker out of school uniform is a bit*h. Who in their right mind gives a white board marker to a four-year-old?

6. There’ll be an Alpha mum. And a Beta one too. Trust me.

7. There’ll come a time when your child is the one who doesn’t get invited to the party. And it’ll hurt you more than it does them.

8. Your phone and inbox will suddenly become swamped with school-rated notifications: ParentMail, ParentPay, newsletters – the list goes on.

when your child starts school

9. You’ll lie at parents’ evening. Of course you read every newsletter.

10. You’ll cry at their first nativity. Even though you promised yourself you wouldn’t. And so will everyone else.

Do you have a little one starting school this year? Have you been there, done it and got the t-shirt too, or are you a first timer? I’d love to hear about your experience!

If you liked this you may also enjoy reading;

10 types of school play parent

Why I’m not cut out to be Mary’s mum

Our school countdown bucket list