To the mom whose baby is starting school this fall
I have been you. I have had all of those fears, anxieties and worries that you are feeling. The fear of leaving your baby in a stranger’s hands for a few hours every day. The fear of whether your child will be OK, not knowing whether he will be scared or nervous or homesick. I have been you. I have felt the mix of emotions that surround that certain day on the calendar. I know how you feel. I do.
But here’s what I also know. I know that your child will be OK. There may be a few tears (on your part and theirs). They may cling to you and not want you to leave. But at the end of the day, they will be OK. They will make friends. They will have fun. They will play and learn and be stimulated and come home tired and happy.
Starting school is a rite of passage, not just for them, but for you, too. But it’s a good one. As much as it tugs at your heart to know that your baby is growing up and taking those all-important steps into independence, please know that they will always need you. You are their mother. They are your child. No amount of life experience, time, distance, milestones or new phases can ever change that. Yes, they will spend more waking hours without you than with you during their school days, but when they come home at the end of the day so happy to see you and full to the brim with stories about their day, your heart will be more full of pride than you’d ever thought possible. With every school concert, art show, and science fair you attend, you’ll marvel at how far your child has come and how amazing they are.
So, when that day comes and you are full of emotion, allow yourself to feel those emotions. Live in them. Savour them. Know that everything you are feeling is normal. But please, also know that everything is going to be ok. The school years will be years full of accomplishment, firsts, pride, new friendships, new experiences, and lots of fun. As a parent of a child who is almost 9, I can tell you with certainty that it does get easier. Once you see them take root in their school community and start to grow and thrive in new ways, the pain in your heart will ease. I promise.
You can get through this. You will get through this. And when your child comes home at the end of that first day, you’ll get to hug him and snuggle him and be proud of the fact that both you and he were able to take this big step and get through it in spectacular fashion.