Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sending the Kids Off to School (and You into Depression?)

I read this post from Janice D'Arcy of The Washington Post's OnParenting (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-parenting/post/the-first-day-of-schools-profound-impact-on-parents/2011/08/16/gIQA5N5aQJ_blog.html) this morning and it really got me thinking about how the first day of school impacts much more than just students.  As a former teacher, I can assure you that your kids are in good hands, but that doesn't change the fact that starting school can be a big step for parents, too!

In her post, D'Arcy writes about how sending her little One off to Kindergarten for the first time is a gut-wrenching, tear-worthy experience, and I think that's something we don't consider often enough.  She mentions that she feels all sorts of guilt and regret for not packing in more activities and time with her child before the "big send-off".  We often hear about "empty nesters", who send their kids off to college, but how often do we allow moms and dads of 4-, 5- and 6-year olds to wallow in the fact that their "babies" are now, and for the next 15 or so years will be, be school-aged?

While I recognize that I'm in a completely different situation, taking my 21 month old to "school" (read: organized playgroup in a local community center on Friday mornings from 9:30-noon) did stir up a few feelings that I wasn't expecting.  You always hear that you shouldn't blink because your babies will be grown up in that time, and I have to say it seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital.  Now she's old enough to eat snack, play and be without me for hours at a time?!  I'm thankful she's independent enough to do all of this without me, but I can't help but think that maybe I'm a little too disposable.

I'm sure this is more dramatic than it needs to be, but I do like that D'Arcy was brave enough to speak up about her feelings on sending her child to school for the first time.  What do you think? Have you had similar experiences?  Is it hardest when they first go to Kindergarten, or is middle school the kicker? What about high school and sending your kids off to college?


  1. I'm already depressed about when my little one will go to school, and she's only 6 months old! lol. New follower from the hop! (Following back). Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. Thanks for stopping by and following my at Tips for Saving. I am now following you back! We have a couple years before our little one starts school but its something I think about a lot. Thanks for the post!

  3. Hi, thanks for following Momfever. I'm following you back.

  4. Sending my only child to kindergarten was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Felt like I was being ripped into.....seriously!
    It very difficult to let go of him.
    I'm a stay at home mom and had spent 24/7 with him prior to him starting school.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog and following.
    I'm a new follower of yours now too!
    Amy's Life

  5. I just had this talk with my mom the othernday because she is saying I am over dramatic.
    I can not stand to see my kids go to school :( my oldest just started junior high and I and a breakdown
    My youngest is going to preschool program just 9 hours a week bc I didn't think it was right to throw her into kindergarten and never have been away from me (she even comes to work with me.)
    I look forward to lazy days with my kids and I also hate that even those are limited bc aparently in 6th grade you ge 2 hrs of homework a night and projects on the weekend! When is he suppose to make friends and goto karate? It p's me off so bad...
    That's all lol
    Thanks for coming over to mommy2nanny3doggy1