When your child does something for the first time, there's a certain amount of excitement, fear, and sadness you can't help but feel. The first time they crawl; the first time they walk; the first time they make a friend; the first time (and every time) you realize that your baby is growing up. It's hard not to focus on the fact that they'll never have that particular "first" again, and while you're excited for their growth, you're somewhat, well, bummed. So, of course that first day of school can be an emotional time, and will probably be followed by texts every new mom sends when her kid goes to school. I mean, how else are we supposed to handle such a big change? This is what technology is for, you guys. I'm sure of it.
It has felt like my daughter has grown up in the blink of an eye. Even though one stage ending and another beginning is joyous and wonderful and exciting, it's also somewhat sad, because my baby girl is no longer a baby. The first time she went to school was, for my, the hardest transition I've faced, to date. I was fortunate enough to have been able to spend the first three and a half months of her life with her and only her; not having or choosing to leave for work or be distracted by much of anything. When she went to school and she was no longer in my constant care and attention, I honestly had no idea what to do. I was lost without her. Luckily, I had an amazing partner and amazing friends that helped me reunite with myself and my interests and, in the end, enjoy this newfound "me time."
I think most mothers (and parents in general) feel this juxtaposing mix of emotions when their kid goes to school for the first time. You're getting some freedom and you're excited for your kid to learn but you'er scared and you're sad and you're overwhelmed. Parenthood, right? At least technology can keep is connected to our support systems, so that we can rejoice and be a little sad via text. These are a few of the texts I remember sending my partner, family, and friends the first day my daughter when to school, because there's no way I was going through this change by myself. Nope.
When You're Consumed With Fear
When you're the one who has been taking care of your baby every hour of every day of their lives, relinquishing that control and responsibility can be difficult (to say the least). You can do it though, I promise. Just, you know, keep texting.
When You Can't Stop Worrying
It is OK that you're worried about them, and it's OK for someone on the receiving end of this text to remind you that they're going to, in fact, be OK.
When You Don't Necessarily Want To Leave
Maybe some might think you're being overprotective, but honestly, most understand. Just because you stick around to see if they stop crying (or to see if you stop crying, because I guarantee you this is harder on you than it is on them) does not mean that you are going to go in and disrupt their routine. Then again, it might just help to rip off the ole bandaid and get it over with. Whatever works for you, mom.
When You Realize This Means You're Free...
No one will be crying. No one will be asking you for anything. No one will need you to cook lunch or read them that one book you've already read fifteen million times. I mean, this is what freedom looks like, you guys. Sweet, glorious freedom.
...And The Reality Of Your Current Situation Sets In
This means you are going to get time just for you to do whatever you want or need to do. Yay! You finally will get a little bit of freedom back. I mean, if that doesn't make you feel at least a little bit better, I don't think anything will.
When You Start To Panic. Again.
Look, this first day is just going to be a rollercoaster of emotions. Best to just roll with it.
When You Think Of Something You've Never Thought Of Before
Chances are, your kid is fine and this is just your anxiety getting the best of you. However, if your kid does end up having a food allergy or sever allergic reaction to something, I can guarantee you that the teachers and staff at the school are equipped to handle it. If you have any worries, you can always ask and make sure that your kid is surrounded by people who know what to do in certain, potentially dangerous situations.
When You Start Second Guessing Yourself
You will run over what just happened in your mind. All the paperwork, everything you packed, everything you were told your kid needed on their first day of school and everything you said to their teacher. Chances are, mom, you did a great job and your kid has everything they need. If they don't? Well, it's not the end of the world.
When You Start Ignoring Your Common Sense
Yes, kids can be sneaky. Yes, they're even quick and surprising quiet, when they want to be. Still, these are trained professionals we are talking about. They are not going to lose your kid, I promise.
When You Think About All The Tiny Details
You owe your friend or partner or mother or whoever is on the other end of this phone, a very big thank you (and probably a slew of other favors).
When You Remember How Much You Loved School (Maybe)
Chances are, your kid is going to be surrounded by a bunch of their peers, learning about numbers and letters and colors, doing some artsy stuff and having fun. Seriously, they're going to have a blast and while it might be hard to hear, they'll probably be oh-so happy to go to school every day.
When You Start Looking Forward To The Future
Your kid is (maybe) making friends for the first time in their little lives. That's worth celebrating.
When You Start To Feel A Little Sorry For Yourself
Despite how much you want your kid to have fun and enjoy their time away from you, you also want them to miss you. What can I say? Motherhood is a strange, joyful, painful, miraculous thing.