Things We Shouldn’t Have Freaked Out About (Starting School Edition): The Mom Hour, Episode 62

When it’s your kid starting preschool or kindergarten for the first time, every detail seems mission-critical. But having sent our kids off to new classrooms year after year for quite a while now, we’re here to tell you: It’ll all be OK.

In this fun addition to our “Things We Shouldn’t Have Freaked Out About” series, Meagan and Sarah look back at the things we fretted over when our kids went off to school for the first time. With the benefit of hindsight we’ll help ease your mind about everything from potty training your preschooler to finding all the school supplies on that crazy list.

Giveaway Update!

Congrats to listener Tara who was randomly selected to win the back-to-school prize packages! Be sure to check out these great brands for fun, affordable products for toddlers and preschoolers!

Links we mentioned, or should have, in Episode 62:

TMH BTS Giveaway

How to win our Back-to-School GIVEAWAY!

One lucky listener will win our amazing giveaway package, valued at more than $230, that includes the following products (shown clockwise in image above):

To enter, just leave a comment here on the show notes (click here to get there if you’re reading this by email). We’d love to hear what you thought of the episode, and whether you’re signed up to receive our emails. Be sure to leave a valid email address when you submit your comment.

Content runs through Wednesday August 10 at 11:59pm. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 24 hours to claim her prize. ****UPDATE: Winner has been chosen and claimed her prize. Congrats, Tara!*****

Good luck, everyone!


  1. It’s like you guys are reading my mind…so grateful for your time doing this podcast….thanks for putting a jittery mom at ease (for now ?)

    • I love listening to this show! I’ve been a parent for ten years, now with my third child and I can’t get over how many simple, day to day topics you bring up that somehow shed a more relaxed light on what I’ve been going through….often feeling alone. Thank you for reminding us that it’s going to be ok!

  2. Loved this episode. Hit close to home. Fingers crossed as my little one gets started this year. ?

  3. Great episode! Thanks for easing my fears of sending my first off to preschool

  4. I loved this episode! Even though I only have a toddler, it’s great to get a peek into the world ahead. A random tip about school supplies: if your school offers a school supply kit, talk to other parents to see if it’s worth buying and for what grades. The school I worked at offered one and all of the parents and teachers would agree that the elementary kids could live without the kit, but the middle schoolers who didn’t purchase it were so lost with supplies and having exactly what they needed. Sometimes it is worth the extra money to set your middle schooler off to a good start.

  5. Potty training twin boys starts today and I am so thankful for a new episode to distract me from the madness ??

  6. Sarah and Meagan, thoroughly enjoyed your show and thank you for the feature of our product, the janiebee nap mat. Wishing all your fans the best of luck. Just a 3 quick facts about our mats… they are made in the USA… 100% machine washable… and meet daycare safety standards in all 50 States. For reviews your fans can click here:

    Best of luck,
    Rene’ Harmon, Chief Designer

  7. Great episode! Much appreciated by this momma!

  8. Thanks for keeping it real!

  9. Thanks for this episode! Now that August has arrived I’m anxiously awaiting the start of K4. Hoping my son has matured through the summer and is ready for more academics. He loves to play and his assessment at the end of last year showed it. Hoping he’s ready for two full days a week. Can you tell I’m nervous??? Overachiever wanna be mom right here!

  10. I love how you all keep it real! I appreciate all of your “expert” advice. I look toward to listening each week. I also appreciate receiving the email notifications when podcasts are available. Thank you!!

  11. Good episode! Brought back many memories! I would have liked to hear more about older kids. I have one starting his first year of middle school, yikes! I know there is a lot of anxiety for both of us. I will miss the school holiday parties ?

  12. Love the podcast!

  13. The “Things We Shouldn’t Have Freaked Out About” episodes are my favorites! And yes, I just signed up for the email list 🙂

  14. This was exactly what I needed to hear! Thanks Mom Hour for helping me relax.

  15. I love how you’re so ‘real’ about how you do things or feel about things! It’s great to know I’m not the only one…on so many things you talked about. I recommended this episode to 2 of my friends with kids starting school this year!

  16. Just want to say, I love your show and have been listening from the beginning. I have a toddler and love hearing of your experiences knowing you have been there. Right now I am stressed that my boy will never poop in the potty. Oh goodness, guess I really said that but that’s my life now.

  17. Here’s my freak out… Packing Montessori lunches. There are so many rules! And the teachers are totally going to judge me for what /how I pack, RIGHT?? (Though I have to say Meagan once gave a tip about packing lunch during dinner prep when the kitchen is “open” and that has been a life saver!). Thanks for the awesome show!

  18. My daughter isn’t even in school yet, but I related so much to what was said about choosing the “right” school. I did have a spreadsheet about daycare options, ha! I just can’t imagine how stressful it will be to choose a school! Thank you for your relaxed advice! 😀

  19. I had my son in a Montessori preschool starting at age 2.5 but the school closed after the end of the school year. I’ve been debating whether to put him into a different preschool in the fall, which turns out not to be so easy, as there aren’t any schools very close to me. I also realized that his behavior got better after he stopped going to school–so I’m thinking that at 3 years old, school might just be a little too stimulating and overwhelming to him. But it’s a tough decision because he seems to really like going to school. Thanks again for your real talk and relaxed attitude that encourages me to just trust myself and my kid and do what I think is right for him.

  20. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m still freaking out about my little one starting kindergarten and she’s my THIRD! Thanks for the talk down.

  21. From a mom who frequently “freaks out” over any and everything.. I really love this series! I have a 2 year old who is starting preschool in a few weeks and one worry I have is about making friends with other moms like you discussed – mostly because I’m 26 so I’m usually the youngest mom I come across, many times by 10 years or so. So I often feel like a little kid in a big mom pond and it’s hard to feel like I fit in! That and preschool germs/illnesses when you have a newborn at home. Any tips there? Excited for this giveaway! So fun!

  22. Kaylee Edwards August 2, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    My toddler has been at 2-day a week summer camp at her preschool so it was a nice ‘soft-launch’ into preschool which will officially start on the 10th! This weeks episode reminded me that I need to volunteer at her school! #totallyforgot #newschoolmomprobz
    Love the podcast! I’ve binge-listened this summer and you ladies really brighten my day! Excited for the giveaway, crossing my fingers!

  23. Hey-I have been listening from the very beginning, and this episode was very timely. Just signed up for the emails, and entering for the winnings-this time with a totally valid email address the FIRST time 🙂 Thanks for being awesome, ladies! Sarah, I tend towards asking more questions and wanting more teacher communication too-so glad to have you guys in my ears to help me take a deep breath and know it’ll be ok. P.S. Meagan, I am guilty of fishing for compliments on my kid too-though I didn’t realize it until you mentioned it 🙂

  24. We are fixing to start preschool & I didn’t even know i needed to hear this. Thank you so much.

  25. I found this podcast while looking for tips for moms with traveling spouses… That was last week. Your podcast is now part of my daily routine as a catch up on episodes in your archives. I’m loving every episode. Thank you.

  26. Always good to be reminded that sometimes the things that loom so large in our worries turn out not to be such a big deal when seen from a distance! Oh, I thought that was a dragon, but when I moved my finger away from my eye it turned around to just be a gnat. 😉 Yes, I’m signed up for your emails as well!

  27. Ashley Washburn August 3, 2016 at 9:40 am

    This was such a great episode and I’m listening to it again this morning! One year ago, I was freaking out over the start of kindergarten and a daycare change for our daughter. All that worry didn’t make me any more prepared. I really appreciated some of your side comments about the school social scene (for parents!) and parent/teacher communication. Those are always topics that make me wonder if I’m the weird one, or if everybody feels that way. As always, you both are SO reassuring and great mentors for moms who are less experienced.

  28. You guys are awesome to listen to! I’ve got a 2nd grader and kindergartener this year. I used to panic about back to school and how to be the best “school mom”. I’ve now realized it’s just not worth trying to be something I’m not! I totally agree about finding a way to contribute to the classroom that is fitting for you! There’s always something! Thanks ladies!!

  29. Thanks for helping us keep it real! Trying not to freak out is a daily struggle for this mom 🙂

  30. I love your podcast, and although I have only recently found y’all, I have just about listened to every episode. I love how real the two of you are and I always leave thinking it is all going to be fine. My little boy, Jack, will be starting preschool this year and he is still struggling with potty training. It has been such an ordeal. He peed on the potty at 18 months and I thought I had a potty prodigy. Ha! He is almost four and hates the potty. He is now pooping in his pullup and then taking it off himself right away without telling me. Oh the cleanups I’m having to deal with now. I would love for y’all to do a podcast on discipline. I have a very active child and all my tactics are hit and miss. It is always interesting to hear what other parents are doing/have done when it comes to discipline. Thanks again for keeping it real and keeping me laughing through parenthood.

  31. Love this episode guys! I too find myself getting less freaked out with my younger kids versus my oldest, and everytime he enters something new my worrying nature takes over. Your mantra of “don’t worry it will all turn out ok” is going to be my new approach to new things…even if I am an anxious overworrier!
    Awesome as always. The mom hour is one of my favorites where I actually feel like I’m in the conversation but my introverted self doesn’t have to go out and talk to people! ?

  32. Perfect timing for this episode! Our school starts next week. Loved the analogy about how being a school mom is like starting high school – it’s a whole new phase. I’ve totally felt like that the last couple of years! I’m still trying to find my place at my kids’ school. Thanks for the reassurance – it WILL happen in time. You guys are like wise older sisters with great advice ?

  33. I can’t believe its time already to talk about going back to school but this was a good way to ease into it. I definitely recommend getting the “school supply kit” if your school offers it. Ours is a fund raiser for the PTO and, holy moly, I don’t care about the mark up in the price, it is SO nice not to have to bring that fussy list to Target and to know that my kid is totally set on the first day. Done and done.

  34. Great show–funny and relatable! I wish I could’ve listened to it last year before my daughter started preschool. But I’m still getting used to being a “school mom,” especially with a new baby in tow, so your advice, particularly in regards to socializing and volunteering, is super helpful!

  35. Kathy Rohlfing August 4, 2016 at 2:49 am

    Loved your comment-“listen to that little voice”- when it came to visiting and doing so much research for that first school enrollment. So easy to get overwhelmed and overloaded with info. Also, liked the fact that Megan knew what she needed when they moved to a smaller town. It highlighted the fact that there are seasons and in each season you need to listen to what is right for your particular family. Sarah your openness about being the “newbie” that first preschool year, communication at the preschool and potty training were refreshing. Love how you two easily add perspective and added input into your ongoing conversation.
    You hit all the pressing topics with refreshing candor-loved that you stressed volunteering has so many choices-find what is right for you at this present time-everyone’s contributions matter. The parent friendship conversation was spot on. Wish you two were around when I was younger. Just goes to show you that we all learn from each other and it does indeed take all of us helping each other–we all need community. Thanks so much–finally listened to a whole show :).

  36. Kathy Rohlfing August 4, 2016 at 3:00 am

    P.S. Meagan, please forgive my omitting the first “a” in your name–it is late, but still no excuse 🙂 You two have a great week!

  37. Thanks for this episode! I especially love The comments about not worrying solely about where the other “good moms” are sending there kids– I have been worrying about this as we live in a different district than most moms I know. I already subscribe to the email list. Thanks for the podcast!

  38. I love your podcast! This episode put me at ease, and helped remind me that I am not alone in my Mom worries. I always look forward to your next episode. Signed up for emails now too! 🙂

  39. Great episode! I love the podcast and look forward to listening each week! Keep up the great work!

  40. Great episode. I love the episodes where you talk about things you shouldn’t have freaked out about. I am a worrier by nature, so I find these very reassuring.

  41. Love this podcast….I’ve lived in Michigan and now am in Ladera Ranch, CA so I feel like I have a connection with both of you! Maybe I will run into you Sarah sometime!

  42. This episode is such a great reminder to not worry about all of the new things coming up this year. I especially appreciated the thoughts on choosing schools since my stepson is almost ready to look at middle schools soon!

  43. I always enjoy listening to you two talk. Thank you for reminding me not to worry so much and to just have empathy for the stages my kids are going through.

  44. Thanks for the wise words, sending my first to preschool in a few weeks! Xoxo

  45. I totally laughed at Sarah’s comment about the preschool spreadsheet – I definitely had one of those. As I am in the midst of potty training my June-birthday 2 year old to be ready for preschool in September, I appreciated the perspective that many parents are also trying to squeak in under the wire.

  46. Such a good listen!

  47. Love this and every episode! I feel like I always learn something new. Thanks for helping us get ready for the start of preschool!

  48. My oldest is 3. I’m having a minor freak out about her going to Mothers Day Out 3 days a week starting on the 15th. Your episode was so helpful in making me feel calm and normal (as per usual) Love this giveaway. I’m already following on social media an on email list. 🙂

  49. I am so glad I found your podcast! I’m a new mom to a 14th month old and my second will be born in March. I can relate to almost each and every topic you discuss and it makes me feel better as a new mom who is constantly obsessing about little things and phases that will soon pass. Thank you for your raw emotion and honesty about motherhood! ?

  50. Love your show so much! Have been listening to you both for over a year now and get excited when a new episode comes out. I am already signed up for your emails and my sister has started listening to your show too since she is a new mom! Thanks so much for your advice and reassurance through the year:).

  51. SO helpful ladies! Thank you for sharing your wisdom with humor and so much straight practicality!! I am preparing to send my oldest off to preschool this year so naturally, I’m full of anxiety and emotions! Thanks for calming them!!!

  52. New listener here! I can’t believe it took so long for me to finally listen to an episode, but I’m so glad I did! You ladies bring some great perspective to parenting. I especially loved this episode since I just have one child who is 17 months old, but will be starting at a new daycare in a couple of week (full-time for the first time). I’m trying to lesson my anxiety and hoping he doesn’t pick up on it!! Thanks for the show!

  53. Karen MacDonald August 9, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    Enjoyed the episode! Hoping to win the giveaway!

  54. I loved this episode. As a mom of three (soon to be four!), I could definitely relate to so much. I remember freaking out about little things when my oldest started kindergarten, especially the seemingly lack of information from the schools! Spot on as always ladies!

  55. Just started listening to your podcast, and I love it. Thanks for staying positive and giving helpful information!

  56. I am fighting the wigging out about school choice options 🙂

  57. Hi! Love your podcast! This episode was informative, my oldest is 3 so it gives me a “sneak peek” of what is to come. I’m not yet subscribed to your email list but I will do that.

  58. Hey Meagan and Sarah! I love your podcast so much! I leave my laundry folding for Wednesday so I can fold and listen to you at the same time. 🙂 Thank you so much for being REAL and making me feel ok about not loving playing with my kids and being a bit of a mom mess! I live in Dallas TX and have 4 kids ages 3-11.

  59. Love your podcast! I’m a first time mom, so it’s refreshing to hear what I don”t need to freak out about!

  60. Love this episode!!! My oldest is starting preschool this year and I’m so nervous…nice to know I’m not alone in this!

  61. I just recently found your podcast and LOVE it! I have an almost 3 year old and 8 month old daughter so am definitely at the beginning of this whole mom thing, but love yalls advice and perspective and just signed up for the emails! : )

Comments are closed.