It’s the day every mother dreads - the emotional tsunami of bidding your mini BFF goodbye as they head off to big school. So how to you get through that first hard day?
Remember The Feeling Won’t Last
Whether it is your child’s uncontrollable tears on their first day or yours as you bid them goodbye, it’s good to know that this feeling of sadness and loss is only temporary. The likelihood is that while you’re still ugly-crying your way back to the car, or doorstep, your fickle offspring will already be wiping away their tears and getting super excited about the art utensils in their new classroom. Chances are your little one will come home raving about their big day and you’ll soon be embracing your new life adventure too.
Lean On A Mom Friend
Do not suffer in silence that first day. Call a Mom friend who is going through the same thing. Chat on the phone or arrange a play date slash counseling session if you have younger siblings still at home. If your youngest just headed off to school then grab the opportunity for a proper grown-up lunch. Child’s menu? What child’s menu? That’s right, you get to enjoy a bona fide, grown-up lunch, eat without disruption and even drink wine! Twenty minutes of indecision over the dessert menu? Knock yourself out! No sticky fingers plunging into your tiramisu! How awesome is that?
Vocalize Your Concerns
Is your mind going into overdrive thinking about all the big and small catastrophes that could happen to your child at school? What if something bad happens? How secure is the school? How do they deal with bullying? Will the teachers be nice to my baby if he cries? It’s very normal for parents to have worries about safety and their child’s personal wellbeing. If you are concerned don’t suffer in silence, make an appointment with the school principal or your child’s teacher. Rest assured they will have heard these questions many times before and will be happy to answer them. Being fully informed will make you feel more in control and comforted that your child is in good hands.
Plan A Special Evening Meal
If you’re missing your child it will comfort you to do something nice for them. Maybe make them their favorite food for dinner or surprise them with a sticker book for doing ‘so well’ on their first day of school. Encourage them to tell you all about their day and share their enthusiasm for all the new friends and learning they are discovering.
Remember That Weekends Exist
It is tempting to beat yourself up dwelling on all the things you haven’t done with your child now they are ‘all grown up’ (sob!). Easy Momma, those college years are still a long way away. Your little one might be at school but now weekends are extra special. Make every one count with some awesome family time and activities together.
Charlotte Ward is a British writer, tree hugger and toddler entertainer. She is based in California where she can be found enjoying the outdoor life with her husband, son and hyperactive dog-child.