Dear kindergarten moms:
While a lot of moms love the thought of back to school, others are just starting their journey into having a “school-age” child. And let me tell you what, if it wasn’t hard enough with my first born it is even harder with my “baby”.
My first born made starting school a breeze, and for that, I will forever be grateful. My second (and last) child has done quite the opposite. Through two years of preschool, a morning without tears or fighting was like finding a unicorn at the end of a rainbow… Because of that, we knew that starting kindergarten wasn’t going to be much easier.
When we moved across the state line to Pennsylvania, we were very much looking forward to having half day kindergarten which was no longer offered in our home state of Maryland. Half day kindergarten was so great when Lucy went through. I was able to pick her up at 10:30 and we had the whole rest of the day to ourselves. Since I was unaware that the school district was considering switching to full day kindergarten, I was pretty shocked when I learned that was happening this year!
I could barely get Jackson to go pre-k for 2 1/2 hours, 3 days a week. How the heck was I going to convince him that going all day was going to be fun?! Well, I still don’t know and I am VERY open to suggestions!
Since Lucy started 1st-grade last year, it was just me and Jackson home all day together. He was the one who drove me bat shit crazy in the grocery store, he was the one that followed me around all day asking for a drink, he was the one that made me play with balls in the house and demand my undivided attention. And, above all, he was my side kick, my little buddy, my partner in crime.
Everyone always made it seem like when there youngest was going off to school, they were ready for a break. “I can’t wait to have quiet time!” They said. But for me, sending my “baby” off into the big scary world is the hardest thing I have done as a mom.
If you have a little one that is a home body, I’m sure you can relate. He has absolutely no desire to be gone all day, so if things weren’t hard enough let’s add a cute little pouty face and tears to the mix. Because of his desire to be home more, he has even nixed riding the bus in the morning to have more time with me. What does that mean for me? I have to take him to school and kick him out of the car with tears streaming down his sweet little face. And he just looks so damn cute and small walking into the school in my rear view mirror. Que the tears…
My guess is you’re waiting for ideas to cope with this emotional roller coaster, well I’ll tell you all I’ve come up with:
- Do NOT spend the day looking at baby pictures.
- Do NOT watch a lifetime movie.
- Do NOT go straighten up his room only to find yourself lying in his bed snuggling his favorite stuffed animal. (In fact, close the door to avoid any and all temptation!)
- Do NOT listen to his favorite song in the car.
What you can do to stay busy and distracted:
- Start a new side hustle like Usertesting or Swagbucks.
- Start cleaning out the house! Decluttering feels SO good!
- Have lunch with a friend you haven’t seen in a while because you have been too busy being someone’s activity director.
- Go grocery shopping and meal prep. (I know, yuck!)
- Sign up to volunteer in school so you can stalk progress.
Little things I have found that help him not totally melting down:
- Putting a little toy in his pocket to make him smile and remind him of home. (We have used a lego guy and his sister’s seashell.)
- Drawing him a picture for his lunch box.
- Face-timing daddy on the way to school, so he can distract him with silly daddy-ness.
- Telling him something fun you can do when he gets home like play PlayStation or play catch.
- Remind him of something fun he has done at school with a new friend.
I know this isn’t easy mama and those that told you it was were either lying or medicated but we can get through it together. If your therapist offers a group rate on therapy please feel free to contact me. In the mean time, cherish all the times you have together in the evenings. Don’t spend them on your phone. Watch shows like the Ellen Degeneres show to make your heart happy take a minute to just focus on you!
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