Children growing up and the change that comes with that is hard! It is past midnight the night before my first child starts first grade and I am bawling uncontrollably with the wake of change rapidly approaching. Disbelief fills my mind as I question, where has the time gone? Have I taught her everything she needs to know? What will happen if her feelings get hurt at school? I won’t be there! I’m sure there are other mothers out there staring at the ceiling the night before school starts wondering the same thing.
Undoubtedly, there are also the parents that can’t wait for school to begin- I hope they get a restful sleep! Believe me, I have my moments when the kids are driving me up the wall and I wish for school sooner. But tonight, as I packed my daughter’s new Elsa lunchbox, tears streamed down my face and I wondered what the future holds for my little girl. In an effort to cope with the emotional hot-mess mama I am right now, here are the six wonderful reasons why growing up is okay:
- Grocery shopping hassle free. If you have other kids at home- then you can almost shop hassle free with one less kid to drag along.
- Free time. Suddenly there is one less kid to worry about so- do something for yourself! Don’t go crazy and do everything all in one day, start with a small task (so you don’t go into shock) like: take a nap, go to the bathroom without little fingers clawing at you, or take a nap? –Can you tell I’m sleep deprived?
- Getting up early means, getting a start on the day. I personally dread the early morning hours (mostly because I go to bed too late) but getting up early also means- lots of things will get done before noon. Like working out and getting into shape- or getting a fresh chocolaty doughnut from the bakery because it’s early!—Okay now that I see this written down, I agree that this is a major plus!
- Sweet end-of-the-day reunion. One of my favorite parts of the day is when my daughter gets off the bus, sees me standing at the corner of the street and runs to me usually with a smile. Oh man, I love hearing about her day, and the exciting things she is doing and learning in school.
- We can’t fly off to Neverland. As much as I would like to freeze these little people from changing and growing, I know that I can’t- so I must enjoy the journey instead of dreading it. Document the growth and celebrate the change instead. If you want to be super trendy to document their grade and ambitions, but don’t have adorable handwriting- save yourself the hassle of making it yourself and use our adorable printable here.
- Lastly, you need this book: “If I Could Keep You Little” by Marianne Richmond.– I came across this book on accident last year when I was getting ready to sign my daughter up for Kindergarten (again, a very tear-filled day). This precious little board book packed a strong message that struck a chord in me that day: wishing for your child to stop growing up and experience life on their own means you will miss out on all of the amazing things they are meant to do and be in this world!
And so my dear friends- love the now, cherish the hardships of parenthood and the good times because before you know it- your little ones will be headed to all-day school, off to college, careers, and marriage all too soon. I don’t think I ever leave the grocery store with my gaggle of kids without an elderly person exclaiming in some form, “Children grow too quickly, enjoy this while you can.”
Although I am honestly dreading the “big day” tomorrow, I cannot and will not squish my daughter’s excitement to go to school like the big kids. I will hold my little girl’s hand as we walk to her classroom and get her settled in her seat, watch her face glow with excitement of a new year of friends, learning and adventure. And when its time for me to leave my daughter for the whole day, I will wave goodbye and smile through my tears. I know that my little one is growing up to be the best person she is meant to be and that she and I- will be okay with this change.
New mamas and veteran mamas alike: I know it gets easier in time, and especially with each child you send to school, but I’m curious- what “perks” of sending your kids off to school would you add to my list?
Until next time,