Most parents agree that it doesn't matter how old their child is, they'll always be their baby. After carrying their bundle of joy for nine months and spending every day with them, grooming them to be a self-sufficient, independent little person, it makes it harder to see them leave the nest.
Now, some folks see parents getting upset over their little one leaving the house as dramatic, but it's all a part of parenthood. Going to daycare, preschool, elementary school, and beyond is a normal part of life for many families. An education is the best thing a parent can give their little one, but that doesn't mean it's easy for mom and dad.
After spending practically every hour together, watching them head off on their first day of school can be heavy. Most parents have a hard time with the separation. Then again, there are an equal amount of parents who have been waiting for the first day of school since their child was born; more "me" time for mama! There's no right way to feel as their little one heads off to school, but it's clear equal amounts of moms embrace it as much as they worry about it.
Let's start with the 10 moms who had a hard time with it...
20 Not Understanding Happy Moms
The earliest parents send their baby off to daycare is typically six weeks. Then, when preschool rolls around, the child is usually around 3 years old. What follows next is kindergarten, first grade, etc... So when you think about it, mom and dad have plenty of one-on-one time with their child before the school year starts — especially in the summers. But for some, the time they spend with their child is never enough.
One mom expressed her confusion with parents being happy when their kids head off to school for the first time. "I’m conflicted with all of these happy moms kicking their kids out for someone else to deal with," she told Reddit. "If you can’t stand one-three of your own kids at home, how do you think me as a teacher, with 25-30 kids feels?"
19 Your Love For Them Is Overpowering
Having a child is a deeply personal experience that can't necessarily be explained to someone who doesn't have kids themselves. Being upset that your little bundle of joy is now old enough to go to school just proves how fast time is going by.
While expressing what it means to love someone so much it hurts, this mom explained why it's hard for her to see her little one head off to school. She sees this tiny vulnerable version of her partner and herself, going off unknowingly into a dangerous world. "This person, you would literally give your life to without zero hesitation to protect," she says. "Now cast that individual out into the world for eight hours and assume that he/she will come back safe and whole. That's the best I can describe for you a parent's love for their child. It's very hard to explain to a non-parent."
18 Going To School Can Be Pricey
Sometimes it's not about the fact that your little one is growing older that makes the first day of school hard to deal with, it's the fact that the school year can bring about a bunch of random expenses. On Reddit, a mom explained why her school day routine can be quite tiresome; "Kids go to school 30 minutes away with no busses. One kid has to be picked up 2.5 hours earlier than the other. I usually pick one kid up first and then pick up the other kid later. My son and his friends usually walk to a closer spot so I can pick them up, but it is still a decent amount of driving. Lots of gas money."
That much time driving can make any parent groan in bed when the alarm clock goes off.
17 Not Understanding Those Who Love The First Day Of School
The drop-off area of an elementary school parking lot must be a mess. Some parents are standing there tearing up as they watch their little one go to school, while others are simply jumping for joy, ready for the next adventure. However, one mom simply doesn't understand the "happy" moms. "I never understand them. She looks so excited to have them out of the way but I always liked having my kids around. Summer is the best time because we can do whatever we want and don't have to worry about them being tired." After going from a jam-packed summer with the kiddos, the house gets quiet when they're gone...
16 They Have To Look After Themselves Now
Most parents do their homework on the school district before choosing to send their child there. They want to be confident in the establishment first, and then worry about preparing their kid second. However, preparation doesn't always make it easier for the big day. "I am nervous for my son. I know he is ready, but he will no longer be in the small, nurturing preschool environment. He will have to look after himself in a big playground and negotiate the ups and downs of new friendships," a mom expressed to ABC. And as frighting as that thought is, it's all about growing up.
15 They're Growing Up Way Too Fast
One of the strangest things about seeing your little ones get ready for school is seeing them grow up. All of a sudden, they're picking out their own clothes, brushing their teeth, and reading on their own time. When did this start! It seems like they were born just yesterday, and now they're starting school? It can be too much to handle for some. “I wasn't nervous until last night!" a mother told PG Everyday about her kid's first day of school. "Then, it hit me that my daughter is growing up! She is still my baby, but everyone keeps saying how kindergarten is the start of big kid school! It almost sounds as though once they step into that classroom, they aren't little anymore.”
14 More Emotional Than Expected
Seeing your child get ready for their first day of school can bring about a lot of unexpected emotions. This is when it's hard to keep your emotions in check because you don't want to worry your little one. "I am excited about all the amazing opportunities that are ahead and proud of the wonderful person my son is becoming," a mom told ABC. "But I am sad too and in a sense grieving the end of his early childhood: those crazy, sleep-deprived baby days and snuggles in the middle of the day and the night; his toddlerhood, belly laughs, wobbly little legs and first explorations; and his preschool years, when he suddenly went from a baby to a smart, funny, adventurous little boy."
I suppose it's not just your child you need to prep for school, it's yourself, as well.
13 When They're More Ready Than You
Funny enough, sometimes kids are more prepared for school than the adults! “It was very difficult for me when my oldest went to kindergarten last year. He's always been my baby, and the thought of him being gone all day [was very hard for] me," a mom vented to PG Everyday. After being born with some health complications, this mom worries about bullying, but it was clear her son wasn't. "I worried about him making friends. I worried about him being so small and having to carry his lunch tray. But he was excited about school, and that's really all that mattered."
When that first day of school did roll around, she saw her son's inner strength which eventually helped her. "I hung around for 10 minutes, making sure he wasn't going to get upset. He finally told me, ‘You can go, Mama. I'm fine.’"
12 When The Parent Experiences Separation Anxiety
It appears that most moms have a hard time with the fact that their little one won't be on their hip all day, every day once they start school. They've come to love their endless hours with one another. “Since I am a stay-at-home mom, I have been anxious for weeks about my first experience being away from my daughter and her being in the care of someone other than my husband or mom," one mom vented. "When we dropped her off, I was still nervous and anxious for her, and sad to see my baby growing up." In the back of this mom's mind though, she knows she's just setting up her little girl for the best future possible.
11 You Can't Always Trust Other People
The world can be a dark place. We can't always trust the people we meet or see; however, this is a lesson we learn later in life. After learning, seeing, and hearing more, we eventually learn we can't trust every stranger that speaks to us. And that was this mom's concern; it's not that she didn't trust her kid, she just didn't trust any other adults. "It's tough to send off someone you love into the hands of others. Parents are the champion worriers in the world, and if you think getting anxious while your child is sleeping in the next room is bad, wait until you send that child off for hours every day."
And here are 10 moms who welcomed the first day of school...
10 More Freedom As A Person
Now it's time to talk about the parents who welcomed the first day of school with open arms!
"In years past, I jumped with joy on that first day of school. I didn’t understand the parents who said they cried as they watched their kids start school. When I was a kid, freedom was synonymous with the first day of summer break. As an adult, I’ve considered freedom to be synonymous with the first day of school," a mom told Home Maid Simple. If any of the prior 10 moms read this post, they'd probably say the same misunderstandings about them!
9 You're Happy That They're Happy
As a child, you know when your parents are genuinely happy for you or if they're worried. You can sense what they're feeling even without them saying anything. So the fact that this mom was super happy for the first day of school, all because their daughter was happy, shows the unwavering support some parents have. As she told ABC "It's extremely exciting, we can't believe where the last five years have gone, so that's a little bit sad and I will miss her immensly in the beginning, but it's a whole new world for her and she's going to love it and so will we." And she knows the pressure the first day of school can bring. "We get one shot at it; one first day at school, one first school bus, and one first athletics carnival, so we are just going to savor it and enjoy the ride," she said.
8 Actually Enjoying School Activities
As a child to had many after-school activities, I never once thought about if my parents enjoyed doing it as well. They were always there supporting my efforts but I never even questioned if they also liked what I liked! Thankfully, we have one mom who told Life 360 that's what she's most excited for, come her child's first day of school.
"I’m one of those very weird moms who actually look forward to a lot of school activities. I enjoy volunteering; the fall carnival, field trips to the pumpkin patch, assemblies, Halloween parades, and all of it. I enjoy spending those moments with my kids and I look forward to a whole new year full of those moments."
7 A Quiet Work Day
Looking at this list, it's funny because there are some parents who are upset by the stillness in their home once school starts, but there are other parents who welcome it. As a woman who works from home, she was accustomed to both working and caring for her child from home. That's typically what other parents call a win-win, and this mom knows it. "I suppose this can vary from parent to parent depending on whether they work out of the home, in the home, or as volunteers at school and run a household. For me, a mom who works from home, I can certainly appreciate the return of a quiet workday with no distractions."
6 Earlier Bedtime Means More Mommy Time
I used to love summer vacation because I got to stay up a little later and sleep in. I still had a timeframe where my parents liked me in bed, but summer was too busy with us enjoying time off at home with our siblings and pals. For this mom, however, once school starts, she can finally have some peace for herself. She gets a small break from "negotiating" with her children throughout the day. She says "No longer will I have to declare that it’s bedtime only to hear the counter-argument for 'Just another half hour. After all, it’s summertime!'" Once summer ends, they have no choice but to head off to bed and give mom her space.
5 Watching Them Spread Their Wings
If there was one word a mom used to describe her child's first day of school, it would be pride. It's not just a big day for her little one, it's a big day for herself, as well; a day she welcomes! “I've worked hard to instill my moral values and principles into a child, and to watch that little embodiment of healthy self-esteem and confidence, a love of learning, endless curiosity, and empathy step away from me and onto a bus was truly a proud and liberating moment for me. Makes me almost want another. Almost," she told PG Everyday. It's nice to see hard work paying off for someone you brought into this world.
4 Reconnecting With Adults Again
Once my best friend had her baby girl, the one thing she missed most was an adult conversation. She missed getting dolled up once in a while and getting a cup of coffee without her baby getting antsy. When her baby gets older though, she can have more time with other adults. Feeling similarly, a mom told Life 360 "With the exception of the occasional play date or get together with friends, there has not been a whole lot of grown-up conversation for me the last couple of months. I really look forward to reconnecting with my other mom friends at my kids’ school and enjoying some grown-up conversation on a daily basis again."
3 Able To Drink A Cup Of Tea Alone
Parenthood can change you in a number of ways; you're exhausted both mentally and physically. At the end of every day, you simply throw yourself into bed and pass out in an instant. If you're a stay-at-home mom and your child just started school, though, your time at home without them just got a little... well, quieter. “I remember it being so weird that I could drink a whole cup of tea and no one was going to ask me to wipe their bottom. It’s traumatic and emotional — but it can also be a wonderful next stage in your life," a mom told the Huffington Post. This mom reminds us to appreciate the small things in life.
2 The Vacation Starts When School Starts
There are a ton of things that change once a child begins school. In fact, this mom went as far to say it was "magical" to Madamenoire. "When the magical first day of school rolls around and my daughter is knee-deep in homework, my vacation will start," she jokes. In preparation for her new found freedom, she compiled a list of things to celebrate once that first day of school comes around: "Stop the marathon grocery shopping trips" (kids who are home a lot, eat a lot), "get my television back" (goodbye, Disney Channel), and "conserve gas." I mean, she's got a point!
1 Summer Isn't Always A Vacation
Summer vacation is a vacation for kids, but is it the same for parents? "I'm pretty pumped that school starts soon," a mom told Reddit. "Summer is a great time for kids to be kids — to run, play, swim, eat ice cream, and sleep in. But having to fill each long summer day with activities to satisfy two active, demanding children takes a lot of effort," For parents who work part-time or full-time can appreciate this struggle wholeheartedly. When you're working, there doesn't seem to be enough hours in a day to adhere to all the demands life throws our way! Having kids in school lessens the workloads at times.