I thought I was ready for Back to school
After a long summer with two kids at home playing and fighting all day long, except when they were asking for food about 20 times a day, or demanding more television time, I was very excited about back to school.
I had everything ready. The back packs, lunch boxes, healthy snacks, uniforms, I labeled everything and I had personalized their transitional books, “Lion heart goes to school”, which we read every day a week before their first day.
I was curious about Dante (3) who had never been away from me, and also about Leon (5) on his first day at a new school.
The big day came along. They were excited, but not nervous, when we left each on their classroom. Dante right away got into play areas and completely forgot about us.
Leon started growing shy as more kids entered his classroom along with their parents. I noticed right away, so I decided to separate a little bit from the crowd, sat with him and told him that I was not going to leave until he felt safe and in peace with his surroundings. It took him about an hour, which is very good for a highly sensitive child as he is.
I left the school with a smile on my face and personal plans on my head. I went home and had my very first coffee without interruptions in a long time and I felt content.
But then I picked them up and something unexpected happened. As soon as we got home I witnessed the biggest meltdown of my 5 year experience as a Mom.
They started screaming and throwing everything around when they realized the food was not what they were expecting. It caught me completely off guard! But if I learned something during our crazy summer break was to breathe and let the storm pass.
So I stayed there, breathing and observing my own emotions rising and passing away.
Once the storm passed and they started to settle, I hugged them and labeled their emotions: madness, frustration, sadness.
Later that night, after I put them to bed, I had my own meltdown. I didn’t throw things around, but I cried because they are growing too fast, because I thought I was ready and I wasn’t, and because, up until the day before, I had spent the last 6 years of my life pregnant, breastfeeding, having one, or both, with me at home, and today I had my first day in an empty house for many hours, and that brought happiness first and then tears.
Motherhood is a constant mixed of emotions.
Fortunately, that same night, navigating online I came across an article written by my favorite parenting expert guru, Lina Acosta Sandaal, where I learned that the transition to school, for kids 7 and under, can last up to 45 days and that the meltdown I experienced after picking them up is completely normal and part of the process.
The next day I got ready!
Before they arrived from school, I prepared an unwinding area with a blanket and pillows in a cozy area of the house with the I-pod and books. As soon as we arrived from school, I took them there and allowed them to play any music they wanted and they picked a book that a read.
Slowly, without any questions asked from my part, they started sharing parts of their day at school and I enjoyed their stories and new adventures away from home.
Once you have kids, you not only get the opportunity to see them grow, if you pay attention, you will also witnessed yourself growing with them.
Happy Back to school, Moms!