Not so long ago I was complaining about always being told to cherish every moment with my children while they are young, because they grow up quickly and soon it will all be gone. Well, now I am feeling that anxiety, that nostalgia, that emotion that I scoffed at before. It is true what they say: you can never understand something other people tell you about, until you experience it for yourself.
My eldest daughter is about to enter the education system. Yes, she is starting at Big School. And that is a Very Big Thing to us emotionally charged mothers. After all, we have spent the past 5 years nurturing these babies (if you include their time in the womb). We fed them, changed their nappies, witnessed their milestone achievements, introduced discipline, routine, playtime and boundaries for safety and morality. And we will continue to do so. It is our job, along with our husbands, partners or the children’s fathers.
But right now I am focusing on the emotion. As I write this, I contemplate the fact that tomorrow morning I will drop my daughter off at Big School, and leave her there for two whole hours. Now, she has been at pre-school for three days every week for the past two years. You would think I would be used to it. But this is different. This is Big School. This means a new routine for all of us, including me, her younger sister, and our dog. Now we will have to prepare to leave the house earlier and walk to school every day for five days. I will have to prepare her uniform, help with school projects, arrange her attendance in any clubs she might express an interest in. And I might also (gulp) be coerced into joining the PTA… Phew!
So there we are. Tomorrow is the start of a whole new adventure. She will have her first taster of school life. I will have my first trial of the school run (minus the dog, to begin with; he can get a bit over-excited around new people, and I can do without the added stress of wrestling an exuberant Staffie X while trying to keep it all together and not cry in front of the other parents, teachers and children). But I do feel anxious. I am excited. I am…unsure. Please, parents, do share your own feelings about this new adventure. Perhaps you remember how it was for you and your children. Or maybe you are experiencing it right now, just like me… We can do this!
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Great post, mama! Don’t these milestones make you feel like an emotional smoothie?! Make sure you write about it! You’ll want to look back and read it and remember it forever!!! Your baby is going to do great and so will you!! Feel free to cry, I’m sure you won’t be the only one. 🙂 thanks for sharing your story!!
Ha ha, no I wasn’t alone! I stood with my mummy friends as we watched our children walk into the school building, and then we all turned away, gave a collective sob, and carried on with our day. It helped that I had our youngest daughter with me to focus my attention on 😉
Hate to say it, SMG…but that feeling never goes away. We just set our college grad up in a new apartment out of state (a summer work adventure she orchestrated) and it was all I could do to hold it together until I got into the car. You have lots of milestones ahead. You will adjust and it will get easier, but that emotional roller coaster of wanting them to be independent, and yet still need you, will continue to suck.
I suspected as much, thanks for the feedback. I remember my mum getting emotional when I moved away to university at the age of 19… but she held it together very well!
Well, and to be completely honest: I made it all the way to the doorstep after leaving her post-college graduation party before completely falling apart. But it was still easier than when she went to day care for the first time.
Here, here dbkennison. Totally agree.
It is a scary time! I have found that the milestones are easier to manage emotionally as they pile on year after year. Or maybe It is only that I am less surprised by the emotions. It sounds like you have prepared her well. Best wishes for a smooth transition! ( my oldest baby just graduated university and moved to the other side of the continent for a job! )
Phew, I’m glad to hear that it gets easier, thanks! She thoroughly enjoyed herself and can’t wait to return 🙂
I do remember that day well and I have a photo of each of my children on their first day at school. It is very emotional, but if you focus on the positives – the excitement, the newness, the pride you have in your children – you can somehow keep those more overwhelming negative emotions at bay. But maybe it’s best to let them out… but probably later, not in front of the school gate! May your daughter have a lovely introduction to school, and quickly make some new friends.
Thank you Sheila. Yes, she went in very happily and I feel a lot more calm than I anticipated. It’s all good! 😃
I don’t envy you, but it doesn’t change. I didn’t want mine to go into school, I wanted to protect them. Now my youngest is 15 and we are waiting to find out whether he got the apprenticeship he so wants – probably not, the competition is fierce and I just want to protect him from rejection. But I can’t and he will go on to enjoy whatever he does, just as he (mostly!) enjoyed school.
And I still envy you (I’m a complex creature). To have those days back again!!!
Ha ha, I understand! Part of me does not want to let my girls grow up, and part of me is rejoicing because I can get some of my own life back while they are entertained elsewhere… and then there is the part of me that is nervous about our new routine. How the heck will I get them to school on time every morning?!