10 things every nursery-going mum should know…

10 Things Every Nursery Going Mum Should Know

You think your toddler will be the ONLY one doing all the learning once he/ she starts nursery? WRONG! You – nursery-going mum – will have a LOT of learning to do as well. Some lessons will be delightful, others not so much. But there WILL be new experiences so brace yourself.


10 Things Every Nursery Going Mum Should Know


1. Settling-in period is the most unsettling experience… EVER!

I hated it. As much as I looked forward to packing Little Man off to nursery (I love him but I need those hours of me-time to preserve what’s left of my sanity), I dreaded the drop-offs. He, like most toddlers, took a rather long time to settle, and that one month was excruciating. The protests often began at home, leading to howling, screaming and streams of tears as I dropped him off. Nothing stabs you harder than watching your lil one screaming ‘Mummy’, reaching out to you, eyes red with tears… and you having to walk away. The Momguilt hit me so hard in the beginning, I couldn’t even enjoy the free time I had.

2. Soon, you will be forgotten at drop-off… but the run to you and hug at pick-up is to die for!

However, once the blood, sweat and tears (drop-offs almost felt like that at first) die down, and your toddler feels comfortable/ secure/ happy at nursery, they will LOVE it so much that you will be ignored and forgotten at drop-off. Forget a hug and a kiss, you’re lucky if you get so much as a wave goodbye!


The biggest smile ever when they see you in the evening and that drop-what-they-are-doing and-run straight-into-your arms counts as one of the BEST feelings of motherhood.

3. Our kids do fine without us – we are more scared than them!

Taking off from the previous point, our kids will be just FINE without us. We are the ones who are scared of letting go, of trusting our precious child in another’s care, and of all the possible what-ifs.

4. They learn so much so fast

It amazes me how Little Man – and toddlers in general – pick things up so quickly. Their brain is constantly seeping in information. Alphabets, numbers, songs, language, social skills, functional skills – you will barely recognise your kid after a few months at nursery. Proud mama.

5. Get ready for a whole load of illnesses

Ah, this one’s a bummer. But it cannot be avoided. Brace yourself for a LOT of snot and sniffles and an almost persistent cough/ cold. And then the biggies – chickenpox, conjunctivitus, nits, lice!!!

6. And a whole bunch of crappy arts and crafts (sorry, not sorry!)

The first ‘drawing’ (scribbles) that your toddler proudly brings home will make you immensely happy. And proud. You will stick it up on your fridge, and send a picture to everyone on your whatsapp list proclaiming your child is set to be the next Picasso. You will look at it everyday with a big smile on your face.

The first paper flower your toddler makes will also get the same treatment, as will the ‘hand-print’.

The first Mother’s Day card – ah, now that’s a real keeper.

Then the novelty will start to fade. You will look, say ‘Wow, it’s lovely darling’, probably ask what it is meant to be (because it’s still essentially just scribbles), genuinely be amazed at your kid’s imagination, and then keep it. Somewhere.

After a whole bunch of crappy scribbles have overtaken your fridge and desk and walls, you will slowly start to throw some away, with equal amounts of guilt and relief.


Art Nursery



7. Your toddler will not like to talk about his/ her day when asked, but will tell you EVERYTHING five minutes before bedtime

When you excitedly ask your toddler how his day was, expecting a long, equally excited answer, don’t be surprised if all he/she says is ‘Alright’ or ‘OK’. What did you do/ learn? ‘Nothing’. C’mon, you mean to say I’m paying 80 quid a day for you to learn nothing?!


When you’re (trying to) tuck your toddler into bed, and when all other excuses and storytime and blah blah blah is done with (read this post to get a clearer idea of what I mean), your toddler will start talking about his day. IN PRECISE DETAIL. He will tell you what he liked/ disliked, what he ate, if he did a poo at school, which kid got ‘thinking time‘, everything.

8. Don’t think the staff are fibbing when they tell you your toddler is so well-behaved/obedient!

It’s a fact. Toddlers transform into these ethereal beings when at nursery. They are obedient, they tidy up, they go to the toilet without being continuously told to, they try new foods and even eat their veggies, all while sitting down in one place all through their meal. They nap at the drop of a hat. They sit and colour for a whole half hour. Angels indeed.

Maybe it’s the desire to conform, to emulate what their friends are doing, or they just know they won’t get away with being naughty like at home.


It’s almost as though you left Jekyll at the nursery and got Hyde home in the evening!

9. Your picky eater will eat everything… but ONLY at nursery

Yes, they will relish broccoli, eat all their greens, try out that thing on their plate that doesn’t look like pasta, and basically eat a good, healthy, balanced meal while sat on the table throughout. No one-last-bite pleas, no threats and definitely no television! Blah… mealtimes at home are sooooo the opposite!

10. Child-free hours will whizz past

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I love my son and do love the days we’re home together. But sometimes motherhood can get a bit tedious and a bit much, and that’s when I crave Little Man’s nursery days. But when they roll by, they just whizz past. So bloody fast.

Yet, I can’t wait to pick him up in the evening. Every single time.


This post first appeared on www.meetothermums.com as part of their #BlogSquad


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  1. The Mummy Bubble

    I nodded along to all of this! Brings back memories from when my eldest started nursery 18 months ago, she’s still bringing home various bugs and illnesses now x #dreamteam

    1. Nicole

      And arts and crafts?;) thanks for reading…

  2. Rhyming with Wine

    Totally agree with all of these points. My car boot is currently the resting place for 99% Of my tots’ masterpieces. It looks like the contents of someone’s recycle bin in there? We’ve just started big school for our biggest little and I’m definitely nodding to number 3! Thanks for linking to #DreamTeam lovely. Good to have you back! 🙂 x

    1. Nicole

      Car boot… now that’s a brill idea. You don’t even have to bring those masterpieces home;)
      And good luck once again with the big school!

  3. Briony

    Child free hours are definitely the fastest, if he has misbehaved at nursery I know I’m in for real trouble and I swear he was ill for the first 12 months he was there, it was constant. But he loves it and so do we for all the good things on your list #coolmumclub

  4. MMT

    Ha ha, I can definitely validate every single one of these points! Especially the time whizzing by one…argh the pressure of how to spend the time is just too much – because blink and it’s gone!

    Loved this, particularly as my tot went back today…and that post nursery squeeze was better than EVER.

    Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub

    1. Nicole

      Nothing feels better than the post-nursery squeeze, correct?:) As much as I don’t want the child-free hours to whizz past, I find myself longing to see my little boy towards the end of the day…

  5. The Tale of Mummyhood

    My eldest will go to nursery this time next year, I’m pinning this for future reference! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

    1. Nicole

      All the best Zoe:)

  6. Lucy Munday

    Number 3 really resonates with me as I’m terrified of taking my daughter to nursery next year! I know she’ll be fine, I’m more worried about how I’ll cope haha… I feel like a mess just thinking about it. This post has definitely reassured me though – I think I need to just bite the bullet and let go a bit! #DreamTeam

    1. Nicole

      It will be tough at first – the settling in can be tearful – but once that’s done with, you both will LOVE it:) Good luck!

  7. Mummy2twindividuals

    I’m dreading all the illness but I’m sure they’ll love having some time away from mummy too when the time comes #bligstravaganza

    1. Nicole

      Yes, they love to be around other kids and oh boy, they will learn SO MUCH!

  8. Jessica - A Modern Mom's Life

    This is so accurate! It’s been a few years since those early nursery (daycare) days. I remember the tears in the beginning, quickly morphing to the “are we going yet?!?” and then running off as soon as they get there…Breaks your heart both ways.

    Once they transition to school it’s much the same. And where DO those hours go??

    1. Nicole

      Thanks for your comment Jessica. Yes, it always begins with tears and ends with glee… and you are so right, it breaks your heart both ways for different reasons.

  9. Jessica - A Modern Mom's Life

    Tried to leave a comment and got an error – but I remember the early drop off at daycare days. So many tears, then so much rush to get there because it’s so fun!

    When they transition to school it’s much the same, the trepidation comes in the later grades when the homework gets going!

  10. Mrs Jibril

    Hahaha I got a little excited when I read that my picky eater will eat everything then I completed the sentence to find out that would be only at nursery, Hahaha great post. #globalblogging

    1. Nicole

      LOL… what can I say, they are different personalities at nursery!
      Thanks for your comment:)

  11. Susie / S.H.I.T.

    I remember all of this from our nursery days even though all three are at school now. I used to hate it when the protesting used to start about going, but like you, I relished those few hours of me time. Thx for linking to #GlobalBlogging.

    1. Nicole

      Yeah I used to be terrified of the protests and dread the howling at the nursery – partly because I couldn’t bear to see those tears streaming down and partly because it was embarrassing at times. I remember he once started the protests at home itself and I had to do the whole 10 minute walk to nursery with a crying protesting toddler! Not the best start to a day:(

  12. Alana - Burnished Chaos

    All very good points. With my first the drop off were horrendous and he would scream and cry hut when I went to pick him up there would be even more screaming and crying that he wanted to stay! With my daughter, she ran in full of excitement from day one with barely a backwards glance but I do at least get the beaming smile and hug when I lick her up. And the minute by minute reselling of their day at bedtime is still used by my 8 year old!

    1. Nicole

      Kids are so similar, yet so different. Guess you got to experience both aspects of the drop-off and pick-up! Thanks for reading:)

  13. Emma

    Yes to all of these! The illnesses! I’ve never been ill so much since having children. It’s the fact that they bring an illness home and get over it really quickly, in the meantime you are still suffering from it and they bring another illness home. It just keeps giving. Also childfree hours are shorter that child hours. Fact. The clock speeds up I’m sure! #FridayFrolics

    1. Nicole

      Yes, the clock does speed up, I always tell Hubster that – now I can prove it to him too;)

  14. Claire - Life, Love and Dirty Dishes

    I’m always amazed at how much I can cram in when the kids aren’t around. Yes, Pick up time smiles are the best. Thanks for linking up to #FridayFrolics

    1. Nicole

      True Claire – even if it’s just 3 hours, there’s quite a bit that you can do if there are no persistent requests and ‘Mummy’ calls.

  15. Silly Mummy

    So true! My littlest spends all her nursery time doing art – she brings home reams of scribbled and painted on paper! Thanks so much for joining us for #FridayFrolics

    1. Nicole

      Do you keep all the art?;)

  16. Emma

    Oh the illnesses are never ending! Youngest was ill for what felt like a year pretty much constantly. My Mother-in-law told me it was my door knobs, it certainly was not my door knobs!

    1. Nicole

      ??? about the doorknobs and I get you… the coughs and colds are just continuous!

  17. Emma

    Whoops #FridayFrolics and thanks for joining us x

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