I took my first child to her first day of pre-school this week. I had been so excited for her to meet new people, learn new things, and be challenged intellectually, that I forgot about the hard part of school- letting go. Jayne did not want me to leave her there in the new environment, and I didn’t realize it at the time, but I really didn’t want to leave her there, either.
1. It means my little girl is a big girl now. Big enough to have adventures independent of me and my plans. Big enough to have responsibilities, even if they are minimal. Big enough to get into trouble.
2. It means she is going to make friends, including a best friend. Jayne and I have always been very close, and while I’m not always up for the challenges she poses, she has been my buddy for 3 years. And in the past, Jayne’s friends were those children I picked out for her, the children of my friends. Now she gets to make her own choices in people, to choose her own friends.
3. It means that someone else will be telling her what is right and what is wrong. Is three short years a long enough time for my daughter to develop a set of morals? Granted, my husband and I are sending her to a Catholic pre-school, so the standard should be the same as they are in our home (unless we falter a bit), but will my daughter have the courage and insight to stand up against the child who does something inappropriate? Will she be the inappropriate child?
In addition to now worrying about my daughter’s appearence (combed hair, clean and pressed clothes, smudgless face), I also have to worry about how others will perceive her, and how she will see herself.
Pretty big overload for a mommy who can barely get the house clean, the laundry done, a lunch packed for herself, and remember a sweater before she leaves for work in the morning. Now I have to remember a lunch for Jayne, a her change of clothes, make sure she is wearing shoes, and make sure that we both have all the paperwork we need for school every day.
To add to the pulsating vault of locked up emotion, Josh started a new job last week, and the university started classes this week, meaning that my workload tripled. I find myself lacking concentration on anything: my work, my converstations, television, everything. And while I have plenty of tools for coping with stress and keeping me organized, I feel like I’m running on fumes, the mommy zombie moving from one thing to the next trying to keep things sane and hopefully keep the kiddos happy (or at least from crying).
My hope is that, eventually, the craziness will subside a bit, and I’ll get to spend time actually enjoying my family again. The frantic nature of our mornings can surely be turned into an enjoyable process, where no one fights and everyone turns out ready for the day. And maybe, by Chirstmas, I’ll have adjusted to the thought of my little girl being a big girl, and school being the schedule we need.