When that first day of kindergarten is approaching, every effort is put against getting the youngster heading out on his or her first big adventure out of the home. There is a lot to do to get ready for kindergarten. Between meeting with the teacher, buying clothes and school supplies and preparing the little one for the big challenge of being away from Mom and Dad for a few hours to a day at school, it’s a big step for the kiddo and for the family.
But what is often overlooked in this rush to prepare for kindergarten is there is a very important participant in the process who also needs to do some preparing. That person is Mom!
When you think of it that five years from the birth of that angel from heaven until he or she walks out that door for kindergarten is a pretty intense period of closeness and bonding. For virtually every waking minute of those years, Mom is aware of that child, helping him, taking care of him and keeping him safe and healthy every step of the way.
Now the time has come to let that little one be away from home every day for several hours a day and start the road toward independence. Mom wants the right thing for her child and beginning the move to be her own person is the right thing. But there are a lot of emotions and mixed feelings that a Mother goes through even in getting the little guy or gal ready for kindergarten much less on the day you let that child go off to start that uphill road toward higher education and success.
One of the people who can do a lot to help Mom get ready for this big day is Dad. If he is a sensitive Dad, he will be aware that there is going to be a lot of anxiety and worry along with good old selfish desire not to let that kiddo leave the house. But Dad can be the voice of reason for Mom and for that kindergartner as both cope with the new way of life. By gently counseling Mom that the road to independence is what will make that child a successful young person and eventually a healthy and well adjusted adult, that logic can filter its way down to the emotional system and start to convince the heart that the head, in this case, is right.
Other Moms who have gone through this before are also a tremendous resource of comfort and advice for how to get through that separation, especially those first few days and weeks when the house seems empty and far too quiet. Friends can counsel Mom on how to fill that time, on things she can do to ease the anxiety like volunteering at school and on the wonderful victories that the family will celebrate together when the little one comes home from kindergarten full of excitement about what she learned that day. I highly suggest getting together with Mom friends on the first day of school for breakfast or lunch to cry and laugh together!
There are a lot of ways Moms can get involved with the school to help out. You can channel those emotions that you are going through to benefit the school and to support your kids while they are in class learning to become good students. There are programs like the PTA that needs volunteers to benefit the library, to raise funds for new furniture and equipment for the school and to help teachers buys supplies. Many times teachers would love a helping hand in class as well. So make sure to ask if there is anything you can do.
I have sent two off to Kindergarten so far! I felt like they were being ripped away from me in one sense and very proud of them in another sense. I knew that on Day 1 I had to hide those emotions that made me want to cry until I was out of their eyesight and just let them see the happiness and pride.
It’s amazing how much they grow and change in Kindergarten. Both of mine went into it not reading and both came out reading. They learn not just academics, but they learn social cues and get a greater understanding of the world outside the bubble of the family.
I am here to tell you, Mom, that you will be okay and so will your precious baby. Just make sure you have plenty of tissues available after they are safely ensconced on the bus or at school. This is such a big step and an important year in your child’s life. Embrace it!