The end of an era – my baby is going to big school!

The end of an era – my baby is going to big school!

Today was Leo’s last day of play school. This morning was like any of other Thursday morning except for the fact that this particular Thursday marks the end of an era and is the beginning of the next chapter in Leo’s life. I can still clearly remember dropping Leo off for his first ever session at play school back in March 2016 when he was just 2 and half years old. Today he was there with all his friends, children he has only known just over a year, and together they celebrated their ‘graduation’ from play school with a little leavers party.

My baby is going to big school

the end of an era

How has this happened? My baby boy, my beautiful firstborn, is leaving pre school behind him and in September will be thrown into the world of full time education for the next 12 years of his life. He is ready for this, he thrives in a teacher led environment surrounded by other children to play with. I’m not naïve, I am not expecting it to be a completely smooth transition, Leo will only just have turned 4 when he starts school and while he is mature in some ways, there is an obvious difference between him and his older peers. I know Leo is going to love school though, we talk about it all the time and he is so excited to be starting ‘big school’ soon.

Leo may be ready but me? Well , I most definitely am not. I know it is a cliché but I just don’t know where the past 4 years have gone. I feel like since becoming a mum my whole life is on fast forward, it feels like just moments ago I had a midwife telling me to scoop my baby up out of the birthing pool. I can remember the day he arrived in the world so vividly in my mind, and I will never forget how our eyes locked for the first time and in that moment he changed my life forever. When I look into those same eyes now I still see my baby. I think even when Leo is 50 I will always see him as that very same baby, no matter how big and old he gets.

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Delve a bit deeper into my blog and you will see that since having Leo I haven’t always loved motherhood, I struggled a lot when Leo was 2 and went through a biting phase and throwing serious toddler tantrums, I have often questioned if I’m doing it all wrong and have felt the unwelcome effects of ‘mum guilt’ on an all too regular basis. I definitely haven’t cherished every moment with Leo but I have absolutely loved spending my days with him. And now that time is almost over and I’m really sad about it. Come September our days will be dictated to by the school run, no longer will we have afternoons completely empty of plans, a blank space for us to fill however we want. There will never be a random Tuesday where I can just ask Leo what he wants to do with our day, where we can just stroll up to the library and read books and play and grab a cake from the coffee shop on the way home. We won’t be able to spend mornings lazily watching Moana and Lego Batman, eating toast and cuddling close. Education, new friends and exciting new experiences will begin to take over his life, it’s not a bad thing I know, it’s the way it’s supposed to be. I’m just going to miss having my best buddy around that’s all.


I guess today I am just feeling a bit sad as Leo leaving play school feels like the end of an era. It is the end of him bringing home ‘splat rainbow’ paintings, castles made out of empty cat food boxes and gifting me coco pops cakes and tiny bread rolls that he’s made during cooking week. We will never again excitedly open his tatty blue book bag to see what story he has picked today, he always knows what it is but likes to act surprised when I pull it out anyway. His school is on the same road as play school so it’s not the last time we’ll see it but when I picked him up today that was the last time we set foot in the building, unless Alex goes there when he’s older. I think it is only natural to feel this way when a chapter in life comes to an end, I can only hope Leo isn’t feeling as sad about it all as I am.

Looking at Leo now it is amazing to see how far he has come and how much he has grown in just 16 months. I am so proud of him, he has gone from a ragey toddler who got off on the wrong foot with the other kids by biting and snatching toys to now a polite and friendly little boy with a group of friends and brilliant relationships with all the staff at his play school. He still has his moments, he’s not perfect but then who is? The thing is though, play school really helped him learn how to deal with his emotions, to understand how to get on with others and it has sparked his curiosity and interest in the world around him. I will always be grateful for the staff there for helping to shape my little two year old into the absolute joy of an almost 4 year old he is now.

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As for Leo, I could not be prouder of him if I tried, he is amazing in every way and I am so excited to see him start his new journey into the world of primary school. Until September comes around though I will be making the most of the summer holidays, 8 weeks of no plans and our final chance to take on each day in whatever way we fancy. No school run schedule to abide by or need to rush around. I am sure there will be times where I feel like I’m running on summer holiday survival mode but I am not ready to let go of my baby just yet, I am determined to cram in as much quality family time during the summer as possible.

It’s been an emotional day, has your little one finished play school or nursery today? Maybe you have a child about to finish primary school or maybe one who’s about to graduate university – I would love to find out how you feel as your child gets ready to their next step towards their future.


You can find this post linked to some of these amazing blog link ups –

Maternity Mondays | Marvellous Mondays | Posts from the Heart | #MG | Big Pink Link | Twinkly Tuesday | Dream Team | Tried and Tested | Blogger Club UK | Best and Worst | Family Fun | Cool Mum Club | A Blogging Good Time | The List Linky | PoCoLo |For the Love of Blog | KCACOLS  …and of course #BlogCrush, the linky I co host every Friday.

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  1. July 14, 2017 / 7:41 am

    Aw Wendy this made me shed a tear!! So beautifully written and especially poignant for me as my son is starting school in September too. His birthday is in the middle of June so, like Leo, he’s only just turned 4 too and still feels like very much like my baby. You’ve given me a whole new perspective on the summer hols as well. Really loved this ❤️ xx #BlogCrush
    Jemma @popcornlunchuk recently posted…Batteries – A Short Guide for New ParentsMy Profile

  2. July 14, 2017 / 7:46 am

    All the best to your little boy starting big school! It must be such an emotional time. Think I’ll be in bits when my first starts primary school! Great post x #blogcrush

  3. July 14, 2017 / 7:55 am

    Leo is gorgeous and he will be fine…I promise! What a lovely post to look back on when he is older. School does make Years go faster…I’m sure about it! My youngest is about to leave year 10 and I really don’t know how that happened! Enjoy your Leo and have a great summer. #blogcrush
    Oldhouseintheshires recently posted…Real Neat Blog AwardMy Profile

  4. July 14, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    First-How do you manage to take such fabulous pictures?
    Also, Leo is a doll!!!

    Now, whenever I catch myself getting emotional about (all three kids) growing up I remind myself that I want them to learn & grow! That their promotion to the next grade level is a sign of a job well done by yours truly!
    Moms don’t allow themselves to take credit for much of anything! We do allow ourselves to feel guilty or get emotional, but it seems like we always stop short when it comes to giving ourselves a pat on the back.

    So STOP NOW & applaud yourself for getting that precious boy of yours to the next level!!!

    Heather Burnett recently posted…Unicorns, Facebook Overshares & Pool Floats Shaped Like Maxi PadsMy Profile

  5. July 15, 2017 / 12:37 pm

    Sometimes it’s harder for us parents to step outside the comfort zones we have created for the kids, than it is for the kids. We went through this last year when Fidget left nursery and started in reception. Yesterday we had her graduation from reception and felt the same again. She just soldiers on!
    Great post.
    David – Tales of Two Children recently posted…Fidget’s First School ReportMy Profile

  6. July 15, 2017 / 10:59 pm

    It is such a big change for you both, but there are plenty of fun times to come. Enjoy your summer together first. #KCACOLS

  7. July 18, 2017 / 8:37 am

    It’s my daughter’s graduation from reception today. Really looking forward to seeing my big (little) girl up on the stage at school talking about everything they’ve learned in reception. Each year brings something new, don’t be sad x

  8. July 18, 2017 / 9:43 am

    We’re in the same boat as I head to BIG school too in September! Thankfully I have another summer of nursery/preschool to enjoy with my friends in the garden and a lot of them I will see in my class which makes it more bearable. My mummy is an emotional wreck though!!! Lol. Popping over from #DreamTeam x
    Baby Isabella recently posted…Silent Sunday 16.07.17My Profile

  9. July 18, 2017 / 12:05 pm

    A big change for you both. It is amazing how quickly the time goes. My daughter started senior school in September, it doesn’t seem that long ago that she first started school. I hope the start of school goes well for you.
    Ali Duke recently posted…Booey’s Birthday Wish ListMy Profile

  10. July 18, 2017 / 12:58 pm

    It’s a weird one. We want them to fly the nest and become independent, but we don’t at the same time. My baby starts her GSCEs next year. How the heck did that happen?! Good luck to both of you 🙂
    Tubbs recently posted…Travelling With KidsMy Profile

  11. July 18, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    A very exciting change for you both. Little Leo will love his new adventure. My 3rd son started reception class last year and my eldest is off to high school in September and I will be a wreck. They grow up so fast!
    Great post xx

  12. July 18, 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Oh it’s such an emotional day when they finish nursery! I remember it well – it feels like our kids are taking another little step out of our arms and into the “big wide world”. But it sounds like Leo has thrived at nursery and is so very ready for big school. I hope you guys have lots of fun together over the summer and can launch into your new chapter with renewed energy, come September x #blogcrush
    Lucy At Home recently posted…Family Meals Made Easy With TickleBuds Food ParcelsMy Profile

  13. July 18, 2017 / 9:40 pm

    Enjoy every minute of these 8 weeks. Exciting times ahead but the end of an era and once they start school the time just flies. I can’t believe my youngest is now going into year 2 as it seems like yesterday that he started in reception. And my eldest is going into year 6, wow, how did that happen. I have such bittersweet feelings about them all growing up so quickly and they, of course, can’t wait to grow up. Good luck. #postsfromtheheart

  14. July 18, 2017 / 11:11 pm

    I remember this milestone so well and sobbing when my first son left his amazing nursery even though they made it such a special day. Now I have a grumpy teenager who can’t quite work out what to do with his life just yet after GCSES. Another milestone but we love them and will get them through no matter what. All the best to you moving forwards and well done on saying motherhood is not always a breeze.

  15. July 19, 2017 / 9:38 am

    Aww! Time seems to really fly over when they are little. It is such an emotional time. I am sure he will love big school…As a parent it takes some getting used to but you will. #bestandworst
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Fred’s Box – WWE Ooshies – Review.My Profile

  16. July 19, 2017 / 8:01 pm

    Aww this is me too hun! It’s mad…so mad! I’m doing like you; spending lots of time with my eldest, going out, chatting and having fun. Will really miss her. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x
    Sarah Howe recently posted…Best and Worst Week #103My Profile

  17. July 22, 2017 / 11:46 am

    It is such a big change isn’t it! I’m sure he’ll be absolutely fine though, sounds like nursery has been wonderful for preparing him for school. x #KCACOLS

  18. July 22, 2017 / 1:51 pm

    I’m not sure if you read my post ‘When Your Baby Isn’t Your Baby Anymore’, but it is very much along the same lines as this. My little man starts school in September too and I am finding it all very emotional. We had the ‘graduation’ on Thursday just gone and I found it so hard to believe that the little lad up in front of me is mine and we are four and a half years down the line. Where has the time gone?! We can do this! No doubt we will be back here in September with more words to help each other along. Until then, let’s make the most of Summer! 🙂 Thanks so much for linking up to #TriumphantTales – hope to see you again on Tuesday!

  19. July 24, 2017 / 9:21 am

    BB is going into year two in September which seems crazy – blink and the time is gone #postsfromtheheart
    Crummy Mummy recently posted…A little bit of news!My Profile

  20. July 24, 2017 / 8:42 pm

    This is us too! I know exactly what you mean about time flying. It just goes doesn’t it. Leo looks like he’s raring to go and I’m sure it’s going to be a proud moment when you watch him running through those school gates. #DreamTeam
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…Is It Possible To Inherit A Talent?My Profile

  21. July 27, 2017 / 3:17 pm

    Oh I remember this with my first, it’s a sad and happy time. It’s lovely to watch them grow but you miss them so much! My youngest is going to do nursery one day a week next September so I can have some time to do my uni work. I’m sure your little one will love school!

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time
    Jenny (Accidental Hipster Mum) recently posted…#StayClassyMama Link Up Number 66My Profile

  22. August 2, 2017 / 1:11 pm

    I know exactly how you must be feeling – we are only at the start of our preschool days with Arthur and although I have loved watching him develop and play with the children there (mixed ages so many are leaving for school) I also really enjoy the days where we can snuggle at home and choose what we get up to. As a Reception teacher I always watched my new class starting in September and Felt just how small and how young they are…I always staggered the start days and hours they came in at the beginning to help with transition. By the end of the year though it is amazing to see just how much they change, learn and grow and it is wonderful to watch that development. #kcacols

  23. August 3, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    It’s such a big milestone. I can still remember when my son started primary school (he’s now 13!) and know exactly what you’re feeling. I’m sure he’ll love school 🙂

    Laura @ Dot Makes 4 recently posted…A Harry Potter Birthday PartyMy Profile

  24. August 5, 2017 / 7:43 am

    Wendy, this is beautifully written! Such a HUGE milestone for you both now that he has graduated from nursery to start school in September please god. You must be so proud of your boy! #KCACOLS

  25. August 23, 2017 / 10:59 pm

    Good luck! My daughter starts school in September having only just turned 4 – its mental and I’m not sure how it happened or whether it’s right for her but I guess we’re going to find out!

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