School starts next week for most of us in Minnesota! It seems like just yesterday my son was a newborn and that kindergarten would never come because it was so far off in the future. Well, it is approaching rather quickly and I am not ready for him to go. He is so excited to go to a new school, but I get a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat thinking about it. My baby boy, who has relied on his mom and dad (mostly dad—he has been a daddy’s boy since age one) for everything, is going off to kindergarten.
He will be exposed to things that are out of our control. Someone will probably tell him there is no Santa, and I will have to explain that there is, and that people who do not believe do not get presents. He will say he believes me when he really doesn’t—ugh, my heart is shattering already.
Since I know nothing about sending a child to school for the first time, I reached out to three experienced moms who have done this. Here is the advice they have to offer to moms sending their kids to kindergarten for the first time:
Kyle F., Chanhassen, MN
Kyle is a practical and easy-going mom who loves to have fun with her family. She is my cousin/best friend too—lucky her. Kyle is a mom of two kids; her oldest will be entering first grade. Kyle said the hardest part was adjusting to a schedule where you have to be on time. When school starts, you no longer have a window of time. She recommends getting everything ready the night before, such as backpacks packed, lunches made, clothes picked out, and shoes by the front door. Another time-saving tip she suggests is to have your child get dressed right when they wake up. They think they are being a big help—it makes them so proud—and it helps get the morning moving on the right track.
Rena B., Baxter, MN
Rena has sent three of her four kids to kindergarten and is an expert at all things mom- and kid-related. The advice Rena gave me was helpful: she said that sending your first to kindergarten is very emotional, but once you get in the groove of a new routine it gets really fun—and keeping that routine is key because they get so tired. She also suggested for moms and parents to get involved in PTO (parent teach organization) and volunteer in the classroom—both are great ways to stay connected and be part of their kindergarten journey.
Bri J., Chaska, MN
Bri is a working mom of three boys who has the work/life balance down. We used to be colleagues a few short years ago and have stayed in touch. Bri gave some great advice on a way to get involved with the kindergarten class. She suggested volunteering by going on a field trip with the kids and teacher. She said seeing the kids interact with their classmates is a memory worth making. Kids love when their parents attend events while they are little. As they get older, they become less about mom and more about their pals.
Thank you to these wonderful moms who have given me great advice for my first back-to-school experience. Transitioning into a new phase in life is always bittersweet. Like most moms, I know I will cry the first day of kindergarten. What advice do other moms have? Drop a line in the comments.