5 Things all parents think at the nursery drop off

As Violet is at nursery on her LAST day in the baby room, I am now sitting in an empty, quiet house feeling rather emotional about her nursery journey. I didn’t expect that – at all. When she started nursery, it was a real shock to our systems to get used to being apart and to get her settled, but now she’s been going a while, I just merrily continued dropping her off and picking her up – looking forward to hearing tales of her day and all about the funny things she’s been up to. However a few weeks ago, we were told she’s going to be moving up a class. Yes, thats right, she’s no longer a baby – she’s officially off to TODDLER SCHOOL.

Although I can’t wait for her to be around slightly older children and to work on more complicated language and development, I couldn’t help feel really emotional that she’d be leaving the safety of her keyperson and room she’s happy and familiar with. They are the people I let in and began to trust with Violet, now she will be going into a whole new environment, with new people to look after her too. Luckily, her new room is lovely – lots of new activities, even the resident bunny lives in there (which she will LOVE!). I’m sure she’ll settle just fine, but doesn’t make it less of a big step for her.

So, as I feel like we will be going through all of this again next week when she goes straight into her BIG room, here are the 5 things every parent thinks when dropping their child off at nursery for the first time (I challenge you not to feel these things!)


“Paste a smile on, we can do this! Positive thoughts, positive thoughts. This is going to be AMAZING for her development, she’ll learn so much, make friends, have so much fun!” 

We arrived at the nursery, I’ve dropped her off and it’s time for the WORST bit –  the GOODBYE. I never really know what to do! Do I kiss her goodbye, make a scene squishing her little cheeks and squeezing her tight or do I sneak out while she’s distracted with some toys?

So hard to know what to do for the best – but just know this: once this is done you know the worst bit of your day is over.

Don’t cry, Don’t cry.

I’ve said goodbye and I’m backing towards the door – in my head all I can hear is “please don’t cry, please don’t cry”.

OK, she’s crying – do I run back to comfort her, do I keep going? Oh I feel so terrible as I’ve just kept on walking, pretending I can’t hear. This is going against every instinct in my body. What have I done, was this all a mistake? Maybe I’ll give up work to look after her full time.

I just walk away – quickly. I duck my head as I pass the reception in case anyone notices I have tears in my eyes too as it feels so odd to walk away from her when she’s upset. Quick, retreat to the car, the tears are burning my eyes.

ALL of the worries!

So many things to think about during the day – I wonder if she’ll sleep there? Will they settle her in the right way, sing songs like I do? Give her a cuddle and tell her she’s safe?

What will they feed her? Do they know she doesn’t like broccoli? Maybe they’ll give her broccoli today and she’ll starve! I’ll make a note to tell them she doesn’t eat broccoli when I pick her up.

How soon can I call them to check on her without seeming like I’m a bit crazy?

It’s been 20 minutes…. Seems long enough, right? (picks up the phone, puts it down again)

Is she missing me?

I wonder if she is missing me? Hang on – do I want her to miss me or should I be happy if she doesn’t? Confusing.

What if she cries and they can’t settle her? That instinct is kicking in again, I shouldn’t have let other people look after her, she needs her Mummy. No she doesn’t – she needs to be independent and be happy in others company too. More confusion. 

Ok – it’s time to pick up now, PHEW. Looking forward to smiles when I pick her up, she’ll be so excited!


Oh – why did she burst into tears when she saw me? Did she hate it or was she pleased to see me? I’m confused again. This whole thing is an emotional rollercoaster!

The day is over, but let’s do this ALL again tomorrow….  YAY!

If your little one is just starting nursery and you are feeling a bit emotional – DON’T WORRY it’s totally normal, but they will be fine. I promise! ?

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  • Oh god, all so true. And when they cry when you pick them up….that is the worst! And because Emilia is at a childminder with just one other kid, it basically feels like a mummy-competition, does she prefer me or her?! I mean, I know that’s stupid, but I can’t help but think it and every day I look for signs she would rather stay there! :-O
    Best of luck to Violet at big nursery! x

  • I SO needed to read this. Thank you!!! Alyssia started last week and she burst into tears when I picked her up too, it was so sad.. I didn’t know if she missed me or hated it or was just overhwhemed. I think she was overwhelmed but it’s so hard saying goodbye especially when you’ve never left them with anyone before 😩