The surprising emotional end to Primary School

It’s been a big emotional week here, and it’s taken me surprise. Daisy has just over a week of Primary school left and it’s really hitting me hard.  On Monday we had our high school uniform appointment where I had to go and spend an extraordinary amount of money on uniforms and then sob when I saw her in them. Emotional AND expensive!

In my head we headed off with her next to me looking like this:

And then when we got there she looked like this:

How did this actually happen. I mean truly, how?! I cried some more when I paid for the full kit (can someone explain to me how school blazers cost over $200 when they are not made from the finest Italian wool?! HOW?!) I mean I know it will last and last, but seriously, HOW?

Then in the evening we had her graduation where all the school kids and families (being in a small school that means that’s not that many people) for a dinner and a presentation where there were speeches and songs sang, presents given, and then a slide show where I saw her primary school years flash before my tear strained eyes. Mum and Lucy were there with me and were also crying (as was Daisy mind you).

I sat with tears pouring down my cheeks and literally holding in proper sobs because I thought that I might go hysterical. All those years from 2012 to 2018 are done and we are about to embark on something much bigger. What seems more important. Like the BIG stuff that will shape and make the person that they will be.

I don’t feel ready. I feel panicked that we aren’t up to the job. I am having that same anxious feeling I had when they said we could take her home from the hospital after she was born…I’m not ready, I don’t know what to do, I’m not ready. 

Whether we are ready or not, it’s coming, and there’s nothing much we can do about it. We can talk about ALL the feelings we are feeling with each other (I have been openly telling her how nervous and scary it is for me, so it must be for her too). We can cry. We can remember the good times and we can get excited about the adventure of what is to come.

I know that she going to blossom in her new high school. Her whole WORLD is going to open up and I know she is going to make the most of every single opportunity. I cannot believe that Rob and I are old enough to have a kid in Highschool (even though I actually feel like I left 10 years ago tops). It just feels like we are about to head into the great unknown. And we are so ready and not ready at all and terrified and excited. All of us.

Lucky we have a kind, funny, compassionate, patient, smart kid who can show us the way. And like I wrote in this post when she started school back in 2012, the wise words of Bob Dylan ring true.

May God bless and keep you always 
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others 
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars 
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young

May you grow up to be righteous 
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth 
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous 
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young

May your hands always be busy 
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation 
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful 
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young

Got any tips for me for surviving our first year of High school?
Anyone else feeling emo about this stuff?
How can Daisy be 11 and look this grown up you guys?


  1. Omg how grown up does she look! My Mr 12 is graduating next week and I’m already borderline hysterical about it. I’m a cryer usually so I know I’ll be choking back the sobs next week.

  2. She is so ready for this and you will be too xx

  3. melanie tarr says

    The parenting thing — difficult at times. My daughter is graduating Yr 12 and is 5 ft 9 or something – taller than me – way prettier.

    So much fun though


  4. Oh god Beth, I am right there with you. I was sobbing away in bed this morning at the whole thought of Miss G finishing primary school in a week and a half. Tears. She’s as cool as a cucumber about it all, going through the high school info pack and checking off the timeline. Luckily we’ll just have a trip to Lowes in late January to get her kitted out. The monkey will probably grow between now and then. Last assembly today, Presentation Day, Year 6 Farewell and all the rest next week. Lots of tight hugs!

  5. My eldest just finished year 12 (emotional level x 100000000). His headmaster read that Bob Dylan poem at the final graduation ball – so I obviously just cried again reading it.
    Kids are much better at all of this than their parents – she’s got this! And you’ll be fine, just hold on for the ride. xx

  6. You may not be ready but it seems that Daisy is, so you’ll all be fine. You’ve done a great job with all your girls so perhaps you’re more prepared than you realise. This parenting thing is tough – you finally get good at one stage only to be shoved onwards and upwards to the next one.

    While we got through it very well, I found high school much tougher than primary school. Adolescent girls aren’t always nice to each other or themselves and I was much less involved with my daughter’s school life, especially after Year 7, which is how she wanted it, how high schools work and probably how it should be. Don’t worry though – you probably won’t have to go through so much turmoil again until Daisy finishes Year 12, which was a really hard time for me. But of course, you have Harper and Mags so you’ll get better at endings and beginnings eventually!

  7. As a foster mum for over 20 years I have watched a few little ones start kindy. Now it is time to watch my only remaining “baby” that has been with us since she was 6 months old, go into year 11. How did the little girl in pigtails become this young lady that’s taller than me. I am a mixture of thrilled & terrified about her next two school years.
    Daisy suddenly looks so grown up, where do the years go ?

  8. You will be fine, daisy will be awesome and like all of adulting life just smile and wave, smile wave. 💖
    Cheers Kate

  9. OMG Maggie looks so much like Daisy. The same thing happened to me two years ago but my country mouse girl went to uni!!! My tips are to keep the communication lines open, that is so important, she even had a friend that could talk to me. Sometimes you don’t want to know who’s doing what but be glad that they can confide in you, but never get involved in school yard emotions/arguments, years 9 and 10 are the worst, in my opinion. Try to keep a calm during the hormonal stages (both you and her LOL). If you can do canteen (somehow I still am 3 years later) or any voluntary roles at school so the teachers know you and are comfortable talking to you about any issues, not that there will be. Enjoy the ride as she spreads her wings and know that you and Rob have made the foundations of a beautiful young woman and now it’s her time (insert tears). And before myself and your followers know it Harper and Maggie will be in high school and we’ll be saying how the hell did that happen???

  10. It could be the thought of school fees making you emotional. I certainly feel emotional every time I open the invoice 😬

  11. My brain can’t go there. Nuh-uh. My son just finished year 1 and I already feel like year 2 is so grown up haha. Wishing her (and you) the best for the next chapter!
    Also…hello…she’s future Maggie to look at OMG (but hopefully it will feel like much longer away before she’s in the same boat)!!!!

  12. Well I’m now at the end of year 7 and massive change just like Daise will go through… big school lots of people – accountabilities and responsibility which they never really get to practice in year 6. I’m there Betty and there was lots of tears 😭 in the first 6 months tiredness and newness. Now all I can say is I’m so proud of how Lach has adapted he has really been Engaged in both the academics the arts and the sport – they become almost adult like by the end of the year …… Daise will shine as you and Rob will be there for her the whole way …… enjoy the last days of primary xxx

  13. Nicole O'Connor says

    Far out Beth! As many tears reading this post as at the year 6 farewell! Your first, my last, two amazing kids. Half of me says bring it on – I can’t wait to see what this beautiful boy of mine will become. The other half of me is a blubbering mess that is still seeing that tiny baby being taken away because he wasn’t breathing properly … one thing I know for sure, they will both fly high!

  14. Michelle Cockbain says

    Oh all the feelings… Hang in there and embrace what is coming. Of my 4, I now have 2 that have finished school (the joys of waiting for HSC results… not) and 2 going into Year 8 and Year 10. I am seriously, not that old to have kids these ages…… The move from physical to mental parenting is a whole new headspeace. If I could be so bold to offer advice, don’t take the abuse you get form high school kids to heart. They love you, they really do. It is hard for them but it doesn’t mean that you take their shite lying down. They appreciate the line in the sand and rules. On another note to file in the memory banks, 15 year old girls are not nice, even if they are yours and are lovely for other people…… The lovely inner person that they are will come out again around 17.5 years. I’m on my third teenage girl, not sure what to expect from the next teenager who is male…. I don’t think I could do another teenage girl. Just love, laugh
    and feed them all and all will be well in the world.

  15. All the very best Daisy, high school is waiting for you but always remember Mum & Dad are by your side through it all.

    On a side note, young Daisy & Mags are basically twins!

  16. It’s so overwhelming as you cross that threshold from primary to high school for the first time, but for most they fly and it’s amazing to watch. My second is still a year away from high school and we are so chill compared with last time. I think this time we will all be ready.

    If my guess is right her high school has a new principal from over here in the west. She’s a good one and such a champion of strong, capable and kind girls. Your Daisy is in good hands.

  17. oh beth!
    i was going to write exactly what mrs woog wrote!
    all the best daisy!
    much love mx

  18. My daughter started year 7 this year and it’s been a real roller coaster! I just want to say that I felt all the feels you described but was reluctant to talk to my girl about them because she was just so excited about what was ahead. I somehow thought that me talking about my fears about the big transition would rain on her parade. Anyway, the transition hit her like a freight train, boy was it tough and I regret not being more open with her about what it might be like. I don’t know if it would have made it easier, but it might have. So I just wanted to encourage you to keep up the great work, and keep talking. This has been my most challenging parenting year yet, but we got through it, we learnt heaps and it really has strengthened my relationship with my big girl. She knows 100% now that I am right beside her no matter what happens. You and Daisy have both got this!

  19. I felt emotional when my eldest started high school too but I was an absolute wreck when he graduated. For the weeks leading up to it I just felt incredulous that this is where we were. I kept looking at him & then looking at my youngest son thinking “ you were JUST that small! When did you turn into a fully grown human?!”
    All these stages are so huge for us & our kids. So many emotions , so many tears, So. Much. Pride. Who knew raising kids was gonna break your heart & put it back together so many different times & ways 🤷🏻‍♀️

  20. Joanna Evans says

    It’s a big deal – thank you for sharing this part of your parenting journey. I’ve done it three times and now as a parent of three wonderful adults I count my lucky stars for all the moments (good, bad, and the goddamn-ugly) that my hubby and I were around to celebrate, confiscate, and interrogate! Stay true to yourself and your values; thoroughly and deeply believe you are the best parents for your children; trust your gut; show up and share everyday – whatever you llook and feel like; and delight in the love (and plenty of shouting conversations you’ll have at a closed bedroom door) that will be returned to you in spades. Even when you feel like the spadeful has brought to your knees, know that this is love!

  21. Daisy looks like such a lovely girl, you must be so proud and you’ve done a fantastic job and she will ease into yr 7 beautifully. The first few months can be interesting as they deal wth new friendships and settle in. Every stage is emotional I guess, my youngest has finished yr 12 and is just back from schoolies in Fiji – so happy he survived! And my eldest is moving away for her last year of uni, leaving that one stashed away in my emotional tissue box till after Christmas.

  22. We have just spent the weekend looking for a grade 6 graduation dress with no luck. They were either for a more grown up girl or not go large enough in the sizing. My daughter loves Daisy’s, can you tell us where you bought it please.

  23. SHE looks ready maaate! and we just do what we’ve always done – wing it! Our 1st borns OMG, everything just hits you right in ALL the feels – that post you wrote a while ago, rang so true to me. My 1st born just finished her 1st year of Uni – how?? Thank goodness for other children, is all I can say but now my 13yr old is taller than me, so they can all go and get directly stuffed!

  24. I am hearing you Beth. Harry is done with primary school too, exactly like Daisy – started 2012 and now finished and it really does feel like he only just started Prep. Oh and did I mention I will also have a son in year 9 – year NINE for goodness sake – he will be 14 on Sunday – I am so not old enough to have a kid that old! When they are babies and toddlers it feels like it will never end and then in the blink of an eye they are off to high school. SHIT. Thanks for sharing this with us. x

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