Truth be told: 10 Back-to-school nightmares I dread every year
Tomorrow, my daughters start back to school. I can't believe it's back-to-school already. Last year at this time, I was having a really hard time wrapping my heart around the idea of my littlest one leaving me for the day. I even tried to convince her to go to half day kindergarten but she wasn't having it. Apparently her sister is much cooler than me so she'd prefer to spend her days with her. She is my baby. It was so hard to let go; almost as hard as letting go of the first child. It felt like someone was ripping my child from my hands only it was my heart.
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I walked her into school and held my breath the entire way. Part of me was excited to be starting this new chapter in our lives where I would have a few hours to myself, but part of me was terrified because what do I do with myself? Who am I? How do you fill the void left by the absence of a child? It felt impossible. Eventually, I got over it. It only took seeing how happy she was to be at school with her sister and friends and the pride she took in every new thing she learned and relayed to me to make it all better. It didn't hurt having teachers that I trusted implicitly and volunteering to be room mom. I do my letting go in baby steps.
Somehow, I've become one of those moms who are ecstatic that their kids are going back to school. I am ready to throw a party because I am so excited about getting back to our normal routine. Don't get me wrong--I will miss my girls being around all day long. My heart will ache for the first few days in the absence of random hugs and kisses that accompany my daily distractions. But whether you are dreading the first day of school or are planning a day of dancing around in your undies playing air guitar while eating Bon Bons, there are certain things that are true for every back-to-school year:
- Purchasing all the items on the school supply list is like a going scavenger hunt for the holy educational grail. It's exhausting, exasperating and you will most likely not find the last item on the list.
- Abruptly dragging kids off the beach to go school clothes shopping is like trying to take a carb starved model away from cake.
- Trying to wake a kid (who's been sleeping in all summer) for school is like trying to lose ten pounds on the chocolate shake diet.
- Walking away from your child on the first day of kindergarten is emotionally harder than 13 hours of transition labor.
- The first time you leave your child in the care of someone else you will cry and feel overwhelming guilt. You are not a bad mommy. Unfortunately, guilt is the benchmark of a great mommy.
- For the younger sibling of a kindergartener, every morning is like sending the kindergartener off to war and every pick-up is like the return from the war; safe and victorious.
- Watching your child struggle in social situations is like watching them try to learn how to walk for the first time. You stand back, see what happens and then you give them gentle nudges in the right direction, if all else fails, you grab them by the hands and show them how it's done.
- In all things concerning your child's well being, trust your mommy gut. It's not there just for decoration.
- The first week of school will be exhausting, overwhelming, and frustrating. It won't be a picnic for the kids either.
- Back-to-school is more than checklists, new clothes and a new school year. Back-to-school is letting go and growing up. More often than not, back-to-school will leave you in a pool of your own snot and tears. Kindergarten drop off will make a grown man cry.
Image via Debi Cruz