The 5 very distinct phases of prepping the kids for another school year.

Thanks to our brand partner, Myer

For me, the phases of getting ready to go back to school always start the same way every year. The date is January the... somethingth. It's been January the somethingth since around New Year's, and it will remain this way for some weeks to come.

It's at this critical moment of peak relaxation that I notice a shift in the messages I'm receiving from my girlfriends. Instead of swapping Netflix recommendations and fully supporting my decision to eat rocky road for breakfast, they're chatting about their kids' school's new uniform policy and reminding each other that dance class enrollments are due. They're wearing makeup. And bras.

They're busy. And acting like school is starting next week.

Which, I now realise, it is.

Seeing as I always must accept this reality rather quickly, over the years, I've become quite attune to the five very unique phases of getting ready to go back to school.

The shop for new school shoes phase.

Image: Supplied. 


From the ages of 0-18, humans undergo significant growth spurts during the summer months. I have no certified data or studies to back this up, but what I do have is two primary school-aged kids who end every summer holiday hulking out of last years uniforms and shoes.  

So, at start of every school year, we hit the shops for a fresh pair of quality kicks. I reckon this is a great phase to start with for two reasons.

Firstly, kids and teens are keen to pick the one and only item of clothing they get to have a bit of say about (in accordance with their school’s uniform policy, of course).

Secondly, I bloody love it. Parents, if you don’t get at least a little bit excited about the annual shoe shop, you’re obviously not hitting up the right places.

Hands down, number one recco would have to be Myer. 


In the kid’s shoe section at select Myer stores, you’ll be greeted by The Fit Squad, powered by Shoes and Sox – the specialists in fitting kids' shoes. What I love about getting my kids' shoes from here is the time and attention they invest in achieving the exact right fit, using one of those slidey things with the measuring device (which we also had a go at, naturally).

Image: Supplied. 


I also really appreciate how The Fit Squad at Myer understands that kids aren't going to spend the 7 or so hours a day, 5 days a week calmly strolling in their school shoes. 

My daughter had the opportunity to thoroughly test how different pairs of shoes felt when she jumped and skipped. The Fit Squad helped her in picking the right pair of shoes by asking specific questions about how the shoes felt and whether there were any niggles or issues in different types of movements. This attention to detail throughout the fitting process ensures that kids can move freely and comfortably in shoes tailored to them. 

The result? Happy feet that aren't plagued by common issues like blisters and soreness.

Now let’s talk what styles and brands of shoes you’ll find there. There’s the classic, quality brands like Clarks and Harrison which are famous for their black shoes with either lace-ups or buckles. They also have some adorable Velcro/self-fastening options for the kids still learning to lace. You’ll also find black sport shoes from trusted and world class brands like Reebok, Nike and ASICS – perfect for the super sporty kid who spends lunch times playing and after school time training for each and every sport they can. 

Finally, you get 20 per cent off school shoes and black sports shoes which makes some of the best shoes you could possibly buy for your kids today, genuinely affordable. Oh, and you have the option to shop in-store or online. 


The bloody book list phase.

Despite telling myself every single year that I won't leave the book list 'shop' to the very last minute, I inevitably do just that. Why? Because book lists are confusing, confronting, and expensive. Additionally, they're distributed in November, which means the notes and app reminders are repeatedly ignored and classified as a problem for future me.

And this is how current me always finds herself at the local newsagency, sweaty and snippy because there are no book covers left (plenty of contact though, shudder), and you can only find three stapled non-oversized scrapbooks that are 24cm x 33cm with 96 pages, and apparently, you need 12 of the buggers.

I literally have no tips or advice for this phase. 

It’s a jungle out there.

God speed ladies. 

The notoriously dreaded shop for new uniforms phase.

Image: Supplied. 


I’m going to come right out and say it – uniform shopping sucks. It sucked 20 years ago when I was at school, and it still sucks now. 

Parents of high schoolers, be prepared for at least one awkward disagreement with your child in front of the uniform shop ladies. This disagreement will likely revolve around your expression of concern regarding the inappropriate length or size of their skirt/shorts/shirt.

And for primary school parents – don’t even think about bringing them with you if you can avoid it. Meticulously organised but incredibly cramped uniform shops are no place for a child who hasn’t had a routine for two months. 

Save yourself the stress and just grab one of everything the next size up. Done.

The bulk bake phase.

There’s something about doing a bulk bake of various bits and bobs for my kids’ lunchboxes that I find strangely soothing.

As I line up the chocolate slice, mini muffins, and zucchini slice, I start to feel almost excited about the new school year. Later, when I’m packing my deep freezer with these tasty little morsels, I allow myself to believe I was always just one bulk bake away from being the kind of mum who is organised, in control, and unflappable.


And when this illusion is shattered only hours later, at least I can comfort eat chocolate slice.

The have a little cry phase.

Emotions are always amped up in our house the night before the first day of a school year, as, I’m sure, they are in every house.  

In the quiet moments before sleep, my kids often talk about their mixed emotions: sadness that the holidays are over, excitement about the new school year, and a touch of nervousness – which they know is normal. They wonder why "nerve-cited" isn't a word and ponder how words are created, until finally... sleep.

And that’s usually when it hits me: Another one of those 18 summers I get to make memories with these little loves of mine is officially over. They’re just memories now. Time keeps on ticking away, ever so slowly taking these babies of mine along with it. 

And it’s sad, so I cry.

The final phase is officially complete.

At Myer, shop in-store or online, to get back-to-school ready with The Fit Squad, powered by Shoes and Sox.

Feature Image: Supplied. 

Parents, we’ve got your back… plus the backpack, school shoes, and stacks of socks for stacks of fun. From finding the perfect fitting shoe, to making sure you get the best quality for the best value. We’ve been by your side for generations, giving you the ABC’s of back to school, all in one place. So, you can stress less over which option is best, and get back to what really matters…making sure your little ones are set up to Start bright.