Kindergarten Blues:When Your Youngest Leaves

It’s never easy for a stay-at-home mom to send a child off to kindergarten. It’s scary not being in control of their environment. What if someone picks on them? What if they get hurt? What if they’re sad and you’re not there to make them feel better?

But what is really different about a child going to kindergarten versus your youngest going to kindergarten….A LOT. I can safely say that as a mother of four, as I’m sitting here at 4am the night before school starts wide awake and crying my eyes out. It’s different because it affects you now and not just your child. You are now transitioning into a different phase of life. And what is that phase? For some it’s going back to work. For others it’s learning to be at home or going to a store without any children.

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Frankly, I’ve loved having a child with me. During the week Target can be a quiet place to shop with most people in work or school. That was “our” time. Our time for popcorn and icee’s. Our time to look at all the neat Halloween or Christmas decorations that were coming out. Or to get a special treat her brothers and sisters weren’t enjoying because they were in school. And that time is gone. Yes, there will be times for “our” time still. But it’s different.

Having four children I work very hard to give each child their own individual time alone with mom. For my youngest that was our time every day, so she got the most. Now that time will be a lot less with school taking up her schedule and the nights dividing with siblings. But not just that. She’s getting older. Sending your child off to school is the start of growing up. She’ll start to have her own friends and then want to do her own thing. I see my 13 year old daughter and see exactly where this is headed. Moody teenager. I know it sounds crazy. But we’re just starting kindergarten?! But it’s that fast. You blink and they’re grown. And that’s why it’s so eternally more difficult to send your youngest off, because you know that things start to move even faster now.

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Maybe I’m just not ready for the silence. Maybe I’m just not ready for “me” time. Maybe I like spending my day with a little girl dressed as her favorite princess. Maybe I like trips to the Children’s Museum on a Tuesday at 10am. Maybe I’m just not ready to give up cartoons and play doh all over the floor. Maybe I just wanted to keep her little a little while longer….

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To all the moms out there sending their children to kindergarten, I know how you’re feeling. From everything I’ve been feeling, I think it’s extremely important to give yourself some time to really grieve. It’s okay to feel that loss. All you can do is be thankfully for all the time you did get to have with them, and then allow them to spread their wings and fly. Hugs to all the Mommies feeling the stress of kindergarten!

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