As I dropped my boys off for their first day of preschool, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed. It seems like yesterday they were both squishy, little babies, so watching them walk down the hall with their backpacks and lunch boxes made me suddenly realized that, well, they aren't babies anymore at all. I felt like the crazy mom; the one my sons' teachers are making jokes about as they all split a bottle of wine. I feel like there are things we all worry about on the first day of school, and there are undoubtably things every mom wants her kid's first teacher to know. Still, none of that made me feel any less ridiculous as I blabbed on and on about my sons' quirks, to their teachers, on their first day of school.
Realizing that your babies aren't babies anymore, and learning how to let go and let them learn and grown on their own, is a necessary step in helping kids to become more independent. Still, even though it's necessary, it's also sad. I may or may not have cried (but definitely did cry) when dropping my kids off at their first day of school, and I may or may not be crying right this very second as I think about how quickly they're outgrowing my hugs and kisses and bedtime stories and funny faces.
Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled to see my boys making friends and learning new things, and having a few hours every day to myself to get my work done is a huge relief. Those positive,s however, can't keep it all from feeling like like it's happening way too fast. Thankfully, both of their teachers are amazing and their love for the children in their classes is obvious every time I drop my boys off. I love both of their teachers and, like every mother, I hope that those feelings are mutual. Just in case there's ever a question (or in the event that I come off as a helicopter parent), I, and most moms in general, want our children's teachers to know the following ten things.
Trusting Someone Else With Our Baby Is A Big Deal...
I've always been committed to my career(s), but having two babies has inevitably made that commitment complicated at times. In fact, we had so much trouble finding childcare for our first son after I returned to work, that I had to cut my hours in half so that I could be the one who was taking care of him the majority of the time. That difficulty has admittedly jaded my partner and I when it comes to letting others take care of our kids, so letting them fly on their own for the first time is sort of terrifying for us.
...And It's Stressful
I never thought I would be the mom who worried so much about literally every single aspect of their day with someone else. I've worked in healthcare for several years, and feel like I've got a good and realistic grasp on germs and safety and health, but when it comes to leaving my boys in school with someone else, I'm suddenly worried about every single corner in the classroom and choking hazards and other kids' immunizations, or lack thereof, and just, wow, I'm stressed the eff out.
We Hope That You're Patient With Them While They Adjust
Being in a new environment, around new people and new things is exciting, sure, but for kids it can also be pretty scary. I hope that my sons' teachers are patient with them while they adjust, and understand that they're really great kids once they get comfortable.
They Really Do Eat More Than Just Chicken Nuggets
I didn't think that packing lunches for my boys would be such a source of anxiety for me, but I was very, very wrong. I don't want to be the mom that sends chicken nuggets and mac and cheese in my kids' lunch boxes every day, but sometimes I feel like I don't have a choice. I'm so afraid that if one of my sons is sitting next to a kid who has a vegan mom, I'm going to face relentless ridicule and judgment. My kids really do eat more than chicken nuggets, I promise. Also, please don't judge me.
We Want To Help However We Can
If there's anything, literally, anything that I can do to help you help my kids, I am 100 percent on board with doing so. If I need to put in extra time reading books or counting numbers or reciting the ABC's at home, sign me up.
We've Got So Much Respect For What You Do
I really don't know how you guys do what you do. You're walking saints in my eyes, and I respect the hell out of your patience and attentiveness and compassion for children. You're making such a huge difference in my boys' lives, and you're giving them the tools they'll need to succeed in life. I really can't even find the words to describe my respect for what you do for children (and parents).
We Trust You
It might be difficult to do, but I trust that my boys are in good care when they're with you.
Our Kids Are Good Kids But, Sometimes, They Act Out
I think that most kids act out at some point, but since I've only raised my own, I'm not exactly sure of when a child misbehaving is cause for concern. I promise you that my boys come from a loving and supportive home. Sometimes though, they get bored or curious and they act out. It just happens.
We're Not Crazy, We're Just Nervous
I realize that my list of questions and concerns is probably a bit lengthy, and that it makes me seem like I'm either paranoid of overbearing, but I'm really not crazy. I'm just nervous about loosening my grip on my children's childhood. I'm afraid that they'll get hurt; physically, mentally, emotionally and any other way that could potentially cause my children to feel pain. Although I know that this is a very important first step in their lives, it's still hard to let them go out into the world without me.
We Really Do Appreciate Everything You're Doing For Our Kids
I really can never thank you enough for what you're doing for my boys. You're holding their hands and guiding them through one of the most important first steps of their lives, and I'm going to remember that for the rest of mine. Letting go is hard, but knowing that they're in good hands puts me at ease. Thank you for taking care of them; thank you for teaching and nurturing them; thank you for caring about them.