So my firstborn is starting kindergarten next week. I know millions of kids have started kindergarten before but our situation and my child is unique. You see, she is my firstborn and is the cleverest, smartest, most awesome kid in the universe. No offense, I’m sure your kid is pretty good too, but I told you we are unique. So no one really knows how I’m feeling entrusting this miracle of nature to someone else’s hands for six hours a day. Every day. The struggle is real.
You couldn’t possibly understand how it feels. See, I had Bisky late in life after thinking I couldn’t have kids, and I put a successful career on hold to be there with her until school starts. No one else has ever gone through this before. For the first time in five years I won’t have her home all day and I don’t know how that will be. One of the hardest parts about parenting is that by the time you figure anything out the little suckers grow up and you don’t know what you’re doing again. I loved this season even with all of its dichotomies. On one hand I had the freedom to go to the park in the middle of the week, or do all the fun stuff during off times when it wasn’t crowded because all school kids were in school. On the other hand, I didn’t really take the opportunity as much as I wish I had because of the time constraints of a consulting business and because twins.
Which brings up another point no one else will understand, which is guilt and regret. Why didn’t I listen to everyone who told me how fast this time would pass and to enjoy every minute? I know, I know, at the time I thought they were sentimentalists who just forgot that every minute isn’t necessarily enjoyable. I mean, twins and a toddler for goodness sake! And threenagers. And oh my gosh the attitude of a four year old who knows EVERYTHING. But still…those days are gone. I don’t regret a single time I didn’t schedule an appointment with a client to play with the kids, but every hour I spent working and not making memories feels like a betrayal of the worst kind.
What do you mean, I’m being dramatic? Like I said, you just don’t understand. Every other Mom has it all dialed in, with everything on the Mommy bucket list checked off as she confidently bundles her baby off to kindergarten knowing she did an amazing job and her kid is prepared in every way. This is not the case for us. My child still needs me. She’s not ready. She still needs me when she gets an owie, or she’s shy. Her teacher won’t understand that when she’s hostile and rude it’s because she feels guilty about her behavior and not that she’s a brat. She won’t understand that she needs extra time for transitions, and doesn’t like socks, or that her drawings need a very long time to explain because of all the details of the back story.
And no one else has younger siblings at home who idolize big sis, who will be by turns devastated that she’s gone all day, and devastated that they’re not big enough for kindergarten too, and maybe a bit relieved to be freed from oppression. This cross I bear, I bear alone. Unfortunately, there is no bright side. My baby is being ripped away from the safety and security of my arms and there’s nothing I can do about it.
But I don’t want to hold her back, and I sense that beneath the anxiety she’s ready for a new challenge.
And she’ll have 8 other girls in her class.
And she will probably do well with some structure.
And she does respond pretty well in social environments.
I just wish there was someone else who has been through this, ever, so I would know that what I’m feeling is normal and that it will turn out okay.
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PS I’ve written, 10 tips on dealing with multiple (conflicting) priorities. If you’d like a free copy just click here!