parenting

Dear Kindergarten Mama, It’s okay to cry.

Dear Kindergarten Mama,

It’s okay to cry. Even if you told yourself you weren’t going to do it, you can’t possibly prepare for the emotions that come with sending your child to Kindergarten. First child or last child, I’m sure it never gets easier.

This is a HUGE milestone. Your baby isn’t a baby anymore and you can feel it with every ounce of his being.

He’s growing like a weed; you bought him new school shoes last month and when you went to put them on today, you realized they were too small.

He’s already talking about how excited he is to ride the bus and make new friends. And while of course you want him to spread his wings, you’re nervous about the bus ride. Will the kids be nice to him? Will he learn inappropriate things? Will he be scared? I mean, you’ll never really know, will you? He’s going to be on his own and it’s scary. For everyone.

All of a sudden, you can’t stop replaying the past 5.5 years in your mind. You remember what it felt like to find out you were pregnant. You remember how you felt when you found out the sex of the baby. When you felt the first kick. Held him for the first time. Heard that sweet, sweet cry.

The first time he said “mama” and “I love you”.

You want it back. You want to relive it all over again except this time, without getting so frustrated.

You wouldn’t complain about the lack of sleep because it meant snuggles in the middle of the night.

You would ignore the piles of dirty laundry and get down on the floor to play with him.

You’d carry him up the stairs when he asked you to.

You’d find the energy to play football in the backyard.

You’d do it all. Because you know that him going to Kindergarten is just another step toward independence. He’s going to realize that there’s a big world out there and as much as it will hurt you, find out that he doesn’t need you all of the time.

But there will still be plenty of times he’ll need you. He’ll need you his whole life because you’re his mom and he’s your son. And maybe now you’re realizing that you need him a little more than you thought you did too.

Because you know that one day, you’ll miss all of these little headaches.

The “get back in your room” discussion. 

The “just one more story” conversation. 

And you’ll gladly take scraped knees over broken hearts.

It stings mama, I know it does. And as much as we want to rewind time, we can’t do it. But maybe now, we’ll cherish our time on the weekends with them even more. We’ll focus more on quality vs. quantity time and we’ll grow our relationship in a different way.

Each age comes with new challenges and new experiences. And this is just another part of motherhood that you’re going to overcome. And even if you do it with tears in your eyes, you’re going to do it.

Just know it means you care. That as crazy as your baby makes you, you love him something fierce. That you hope you’ve given him the tools he needs to be confident and brave as he heads into school.

And when he gets home, he’ll jump off that bus and greet you with the biggest hug and kiss. And it’s okay to cry again, mama. Because in that moment you’ll realize how good it feels to be that person. His person.

The one who makes him feel safe. The one who has his heart. The one who he will always need.

So shed those tears mama. Take a billion pictures and cherish every moment. You’re doing a great job and your Kindergartner is living proof of that.

XOXO,

Another crying Kindergartener mama

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