Again. I woke up again with a heavy heart and a pit in my stomach. It is a familiar feeling I have and I know it isn't common. I'm that mom. I'm the mom that is emotionally compromised when school starts. With all the exciting feelings from parents and kids, I feel like my emotions take over and I watch them in slow motion with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat. I don't know that there is a reason for my sentimentality. I don't know if I can sum it up by saying that I really love my time with my kids and it's hard to let go because probably all moms would say that they love their time with their kids. I can't explain it - I just know that I am a bit of a wreck at the start of each school year.
When I sent my oldest to Kindergarten, I cried for a week solid. And that's not counting all the times six months before school began when I'd start crying at the thought of sending him to school. You would think that I would be solid by now. I'm an old pro. I'm sending my oldest to 7th grade and my youngest two to 2nd grade. That's plenty of experience in knowing that they'll do great, that I'll be okay and that teachers are looking out for my kids. I hand my heart over and I'm grateful for teachers who have inspired, supported, and helped my kids achieve great things. Sure, some years have been easier than others but this year, for whatever reason, it is hard. And I want others to know that I feel ya.
You may be sending your first to school or you may be sending your youngest to high school but if you have those pangs of sadness, I want you to know that it is okay. Yes, you may be surrounded by moms who are overjoyed to be sending the kids to school but you should know that there are others in your tribe. We may be the minority but there are those that understand how you're feeling. And if even if you don't have a friend who can't exactly empathize, chances are you have a friend who will still bring you a jar of Nutella to get you through the week.
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If you are one of those moms who has an emotional reaction, don't be embarrassed or hide it. Feel it. You shouldn't be embarrassed to shed a tear. I'm open about my mourning when my kids start school and I have, by now, many people who know that I just need a little time to feel sad. I can't change it and I am so happy for them to take on their new challenges. I'm also not going to rain on their parade. When my son started 2nd grade, I had an awful feeling about the classroom that he was placed in. Knowing that he would be influenced by my opinion, I put on a good face during our meet-the-teacher. By the time we got home, I whispered to my husband to take over, and sent myself to my room. Once alone, I cried my eyes out. And after that, I put on my big-girl pants and told my son that he would have a great year.
Luckily, I'm busy. I work from home and summer break is a test of endurance, patience, and cramming in work late at night and weekends. So when my kids go back to school, it's go time. I'm back to a regular schedule and that's good. If you don't have other things to fill up your time after they go back to school, find something. Go out to lunch with a friend you want to catch up with. Take your toddler on an adventure and enjoy the one-on-one time. Eat your feelings. But save some of those treats for when they get home. And when you are done, reach out to your kids' teachers and offer to volunteer as you're available and make a lunch date with your child during the first week.
To the mom that is sad that her kids are going back to school. I get it. I totally get it.