To the Mom Who is Struggling with Sending Their First Kid to School
Letting your child go off to school for the first time can be hard. Even though I knew this day would come, I was caught off guard by the emotions that came with it. I also never imagined it would come so fast.
As I get ready to send my oldest daughter to preschool for the first time, tears creep into my eyes. I always pictured that it would be her crying, not wanting me to leave or begging me to stay at school with her, but nope! Not my daughter.
She’s beyond excited to start school. Leaving me for a while doesn’t seem to phase her. In fact, it’s completely the opposite of what I expected. It’s me that’s having a hard time, not her.
If you’ve been following my blog, you know that I suffer from anxiety. I also consider myself a highly sensitive person, so it’s probably not surprising that I’m having a hard time with this. However, I still never expected her starting school to be so emotional.
I know my daughter will have fun, make friends and learn lots of new things. So, if I know that she’s going to love it, why am I having such a hard time letting her go?
My thoughts on why this is so hard for me:
1.) I Will Miss Her
For almost the last four years, it’s been me and her. Our second baby was born about eleven months ago, so we had a lot of time where it was just us. She has become my best friend, someone that’s always there with me and I truly just enjoy her company.
I love being her mom so much. She fills my day with so much joy. Not to mention, she’s a huge help with her baby sister. I’m convinced that even the baby is happier when her sister is home.
2.) We Live in a Different World
The world is definitely not the same as when I grew up. There are situations that our girls will be faced with that we weren’t, and it scares me.
I didn’t grow up in a world where we had drills about what to do if there’s an active shooter. I didn’t grow up with social media, thank goodness. I can’t imagine the pressure the internet and social media puts on kids and teenagers now.
I think this part scares me the most. Our kids today have to grow up with a different reality and I get that. However, it doesn’t seem to make things any easier in these weeks leading up to her first day.
3.) Lack of Control
Another factor that’s making this so hard for me is the lack of control I’ll have. The fact that I won’t know where she is or what’s happening with her while she’s gone, is a huge adjustment to make, especially when I’ve stayed at home with her for so long.
4.) I Will Worry… And Worry
This goes without saying. I worry about everything. Like I mentioned earlier, my anxiety already causes me to worry about my girls constantly. Now, with school, it feels like there’s a whole new list of things filling my head with concern.
Will the other kids be nice to her? Will she make friends? Will she have a good teacher? Is the campus safe? Are they careful about who they let onsite? What if a major disaster happens when she’s there (i.e. an earthquake)? What if a stranger walks onto the school and tries to harm the kids?
I try to remind myself that most likely, EVERYTHING WILL BE OK. I know this. However, I think that only time will make this process easier for me.
5.) Some Things Have to Come to an End
With her starting school, other things have to end, and some of those things I will miss tremendously. We had a long time where we were able to take naps together. She would cuddle with me and fall asleep, while holding my hand and it breaks my heart to know that those days are ending.
I think with her starting school, it’s just the realization that this is one of the first steps to her needing me less, and that’s a hard thing to accept.
Being a mom is crazy. There are days I would kill for a break and would give anything for her to go somewhere (like school or Grandma’s) but really, at the end of the day, I LOVE having her at home. She is the most kind and thoughtful kid I know. She’s taught me so much about patience and letting go of what I can’t control.
I recently read a good post on the Reader’s Digest blog called 8 Ways You Can Ease Your Anxiety When You Send Your Kid to Kindergarten. It has some awesome advice for mom’s going through these similar emotions.
I guarantee there will be a lot of crying on my part, when she’s not around, and I think that’s okay. I just won’t let her see that. I want this to be a happy event and I don’t want anything to get in the way of her excitement. I am SO happy that she’s confident, excited and ready for her first day.
Did you have a hard time letting your child go to school for the first time? What helped you get through it?