Em Rusciano's guide to the first day of school (for overly-anxious parents).

Be comforted by the fact you will definitely do better than I did on Odette’s first day at school.

When my youngest spawn Odette first started school I was a MESS.

At the time I did a little research on how to prepare myself for the first day of school and found there was plenty of “how to prepare the child” crap but there was jack shit out there for the “anxious, hysterical Mother.”

Watch Em discuss having a baby at 21 below (post continues after video).

So I thought maybe I would have a crack at writing a guide on how to survive the first day of school for Mothers and Fathers.

If nothing else I hope you find my guide a comfort.

Be comforted by the fact you will definitely do better than I did on Odette’s first day at school.

Em’s 8 point guide to your child’s first day at school:

1. Get up early, find a nice private place and have your first cry before everyone else is up. This is the big one. You can really snot it up, heave and lay in the foetal position without emotionally scarring your children. May I suggest a pile of towels in the laundry as your cry spot, that has worked well for me over the years.

Note: Yes I realise how sad that sounds but can any of you really say you haven’t ever once had a 2am breakdown that requires serious muffling?! This is the information I wish was given to me as a young Mother so I happily impart it to you.

2. Make sure you look amazing. But not too amazing as those kind of standards are hard to maintain and no-one likes a show-off. Pick a fabulous outfit, do your make-up and ensure everything is WATERPROOF. I mean get that synchronised swimmer shit, the stuff that wouldn’t move during a hurricane in a wind tunnel during an earthquake.

Em know’s about looking fabulous for school. Trust us.

Note: I learned the hard way that you need to remove ALL the glitter from your eyes if you had a gig at a gay club singing on a podium the night before your child’s first day at school. That shit STINGS and the other parents assume you are a lady who spends a great deal of time with a pole and or with money in your undies.


3. Once at school immediately try to win over the teacher. If he/she likes you best then he/she may play favourites with your child. You WANT the teacher to love your kid best, you just do. Everything is easier that way, yes I know this in unethical but I don’t give a fuck, I wanna see you FIGHT for that teachers love.


Note: Don’t be overbearing and needy though, don’t try too hard and then subsequently get banned from reading to the class because you are considered “disruptive” and you don’t “respect the rules”.

4. Try and isolate another parent who looks on your level, lock that shit down on day one. You’ll just know, I promise. Get them before they get swept up in the tupperware, organised, perfect hair gang. That cult is a hard one to leave, I envy those women. I really do, I bet their pantries’ are stocked with military precision. Mine belongs in a science lab, the ants have taken over and I am expecting to meet their leader at some point in the near future.)

(Because you are here I am assuming you are one of my tribe the: delightfully disorganised my child may or not be wearing bathers for undies yes we had cereal for dinner well meaning crew.)

5. Don’t get caught with the hip flask in your bag.

Note: This could be a handy way to find a kindred spirit (Anne of Green Gables reference, Gilbert! Matthew! The puffy sleeves! Sorry… ) Walk around showing glimpses of the flask to perspective mates, like a drug dealer or a flasher. If a friendly eyebrow is raised, you’ve caught one! Look I am not advocating early morning drinking but sometimes stressful circumstances require just a nip of hard liquor.

6. Find a nice bush where you can spend the day watching if need be. You could also power walk around the school or take your lawn mower down and pretend to be a gardener. Don’t overstep the mark on this one otherwise you could end up on some sort of a watch list and have to drop the kids off 500m from the school as ordered by a court.

7. Home time! Rush over to your child, hold on for dear life and break it to them you are considering home schooling.

Pretend like you’ve had a totally normal day and walk home.

8. You’re welcome. Don’t worry it gets easier, my kids are going into grade 3 and year 8 this year and at this point of the school holidays I am ready to drop them both off yesterday and have them camping out until the School feels sorry for them and lets them in early.

Speak soon,

Em. x

This post originally appeared on Em Rusciano’s blog and has been republished here with full permission.

Em is touring her brand new stand-up show “The Motherload” in a city near you. Imagine this blog live only with more singing, sequins and wine drinking! Info here.