My daughter started Kindergarten this year and it really caught this Kindergarten Mama off guard. Not the typical feeling of how much I will miss her or how hard it is to not see what’s happening in her day. Maybe that comes from having her in pre-school for the past 2 years and in summer school this past summer. Some of those feelings I worked through already. What really caught me off guard was the weight of how her starting kindergarten impacted me.
The weight of responsibility, protection, communication, routines, and systems was a huge surprise. Setting her up to have a successful year really comes down to how I approach this big transition in her life, and how I support her in this new phase of life. When we started the process of getting her ready for Kindergarten, it slowly started to feel like I was being set up for my next phase as a mother; the Mom of a Kindergartner. Follow me as I share some thoughts from my journal as I process my season as a First Time Kindergarten Mama.
“I wonder how parents who do not have their children in preschool find out how to register their children for school. Thank goodness we had a flyer sent home for Kindergarten night. I know she is so ready, I’m just not sure if I’m ready.”
First of all, I had no idea how or when to register my daughter for Kindergarten. If we did not have her in pre-K I don’t know how I would have found out. Registering with the district happened really early in the year. We had to get a doctor note for vaccinations, her birth certificate and proof of address via a current bill. I was so happy for her to start school and super excited because she is so ready for it. Also inside my heart I was so nervous about how this will change our lives.
Meet the Teacher Night
“We met her teacher tonight and saw her classroom. My first thought was how much I wanted to be with her to watch her learn. The classroom looked so fun and her teacher is fantastic. She has so much enthusiasm and such a caring spirit. I just want to watch.”
My daughter was so ready to meet her teacher and so were we. There was so much information given that night. Routines and expectations discussed kind of felt like I was enrolling into Kindergarten. The kids were taken on a tour of the cafeteria, library, and checked out a school bus, while the parents stayed to listen to the teacher discuss the procedures of her classroom. The weight of what was expected of this Kindergarten Mama was staring to sink in.
First Day Drop Off
“I am so glad he stayed home this morning to be with us on her first day, truly made it a special morning. I was concerned that she would be hesitant but not at all, just super excited.”
For the first day, we dropped her off along with some extra supplies to help out the class. My husband stayed home that morning to make it a special day for her. It was not as hard as I thought it would have been, probably because she was just so excited to go and I felt really comfortable with her teacher. Plus, my husband approved of her teacher as well, which was very important because he is a teacher too.
“She came running off the bus with such a huge smile on her face and a big hug for me. Simply made this Mama’s heart grow.”
We decided for her to ride the bus, really as a convenience thing more than anything. My youngest will be starting pre-school and the timing would be tricky if I took her to school too, so thank goodness for the school bus. I knew this was the right decision for us. Especially after I saw how simply excited she was to get on the bus the next morning. Of all the new phases in these Kindergarten transitions, the bus was the thing I was most concerned about, but she is doing so well with it.
“Whoa, homework? This is kindergarten right? It feels more like parental homework.”
When her teacher went over the “Homework Menu,” I was a little surprised. The reading was expected, but counting each book to keep track was a surprise, for some reason. Oh and the pick 3 on the chart for the week made me feel like I had homework. It is fun stuff and pretty simple. I think it will be a challenge to remember to do them, unless we schedule them into the routine. This is where the heaviness set in. When I realized how much of Kindergarten sits on these Mama shoulders.
Realizing that I had to read books and study site words, keep track of the books I read, and initial 3 boxes once we completed them on top of the daily routines of just getting both girls to and from school, meals made and laundry put away, it just felt heavy. I know I’m not alone in this. Being a first time Kindergarten mama is not just my season, but it’s a season every mama goes through. These were some thoughts I had during this transition and I’m sure there will be many more for me to write about in my journal.
Journaling is how I process new seasons and big transitions.
I need to think through them and give my thoughts a place to sit. We all cope with big life changes differently. This is my way. If you would like to hear more about my journaling journey and join a group of amazing women on their own journaling journeys, I invite you to join the free Facebook group, The Sparkle Journal Sisterhood, where we journal about what we love, even when the season may not be right to do more of what we love.