It’s only a few weeks away!!

It’s all you can think about!!

It came faster than you ever expected, and you’re having a difficult time processing it.

You’re scared you’re not going to be able to get through it.

No, it’s not the day when you leave your first baby at college.

It’s the day when you leave your first baby at Kindergarten.

Gah! It’s here! Kindergarten for your firstborn!

Now sit down, grab a cup of coffee, take a deep breath, and pay attention because AHEM! Kindergarten mom class is in session!

Lesson #1: You will miss them terribly, and that’s OK

After the tearful drop off and the “Boo-Hoo Breakfast” at the school, you’re going to drive home with one less body in the car, and it’s going to feel wrong in so many ways. That first day (and probably that entire first month), you’re going to gaze at the clock all day counting hours until pick up, and your heart will actually ache a little (or a lot!)  in your chest because a piece of you is just not with you all day anymore. Missing them that deeply in natural, and will eventually ease up a bit.

Lesson #2: You may not miss them much, and that’s OK

If you’re the only mom at first day drop off who is smiling ear to ear, and eagerly wanting to drive away with one less kid, it doesn’t mean you don’t care, or won’t miss them. It really doesn’t mean anything at all, other than you probably have younger siblings at home and are excited to have less on your plate, or maybe you’re simply looking forward to some well deserved me time. Kudos to you if you’re able to enjoy (guilt free!) the welcome freedom that finally has come your way. It’s ok to NOT be a sobbing mess!

Lesson #3: They will miss you

Do they miss me? Are they crying?  Those thoughts are going to race through your mind All. Day. Long. on that first day. Yes, your little one most certainly misses you, even if they confidently strode into class without a beat you can be assured by lunchtime they’re wondering when they can go home—TO YOU. But dwelling on the thoughts that their missing you is inhibiting their learning (or other classroom activities) is irrational, and something you shouldn’t be worried about in the slightest.

Lesson #4: To you, it’s all scary

The day is long. The classroom is big. The class size is huge. He doesn’t know anyone. He needs a nap. What if he cries all day? What if he doesn’t eat lunch and is starving? The rabbit hole of scary and panicked thoughts like this that you will have that first day is long, deep, and fruitless, so don’t even start to go down it. Why? See #5.

Lesson #5: To them, it’s all exciting

While you’re at home freaking out about the big, bad, unfamiliar classroom, your child is at school looking around at a super awesome, colorful, engaging, fun-filled space full of kids his own age, and seeing it with a much different set of eyes—ones that are excited, not scared. Even if your child takes a few weeks to adjust, just know that they will adjust. Give it time.

Lesson #6—You’ve earned this time to recharge

Do NOT sit home all day and pout. Go out to lunch. Walk around Target for three hours. Drink HOT coffee. Or sit on the couch, watch bad reality TV, and eat all the junk food you want without being asked to share. Promptly extinguish even the slightest feelings of guilt.

Lesson #7—If they’re sad, it won’t last

Right now, there are literally thousands of 18-year-olds are being dropped off at their college freshman dorms, who all cried their entire first month of Kindergarten. I promise you the crying doesn’t last.

Lesson #8—If you’re sad, it won’t last

Still can’t shake the blues, still missing your baby terribly, and spending your days in a lost funk? It will stop by October. You’ll be fine. Hang tough.

Lesson #9—Teachers know what they’re doing

They really do. I know you think you know better, but you don’t. They got this. Give them the space they need to do their job, and they will do it well. Do NOT be in their face daily, emailing daily, calling daily, etc. If there is a problem, they will let you know. If you don’t hear from them, that is a GOOD thing. Please trust them, signed, Kindergarten teachers everywhere.

Lesson #10—Childhood has officially entered warp speed now

If you think the first five years went by fast, buckle up, because once your child crosses the Kindergarten threshold, childhood goes on accelerated autopilot. And let me be the 500th person to tell you this, they’re not going to be driving slowly.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Melissa Fenton

Melissa Fenton is a freelance writer, adjunct librarian, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Awareness Ambassador. She writes at Her writing can be found all over the internet, but her work is mostly on the dinner table.

I Had to Learn to Say “I’m Sorry” to My Kids

In: Kids, Motherhood, Teen, Tween
Mom hugs tween daughter

My two oldest kiddos are at the front end of their teen years. I remember that time in my own life. I was loud, somewhat dramatic, I let my hormones control me, and I never—ever—apologized. This last part was because no one ever really taught me the value of apology or relationship repair. Now, I could do some parent blaming here but let’s be real, if you were a kid whose formative years were scattered between the late ’80s and early ’90s, did you get apologies from your parents? If so, count that blessing! Most parents were still living with...

Keep Reading

5 Things Your Child’s Kindergarten Teacher Wants You To Know

In: Kids, Motherhood
Child raising hand in kindergarten class

I am a teacher. I have committed my life to teaching children. Of course, before I began this career, I had visions of standing in front of a group of eager-eyed children and elaborating on history, science, and math lessons. I couldn’t wait to see the “lightbulb” moments when students finally understood a reading passage or wrote their first paper. And then I had my first day. Children are not cut out of a textbook (shocking, I know) but as a young 23-year-old, it knocked me right off my feet. I was thrown into the lion’s den, better known as...

Keep Reading

To the Extended Family That Shows Up: We Couldn’t Do This Without You

In: Kids, Living, Motherhood
Family visiting new baby in a hospital room

This picture—my heart all but bursts every time I see it.  It was taken five years ago on the day our daughter was born. In it, my husband is giving her her very first bath while our proud extended family looks on. It was a sweet moment on a hugely special day, but gosh–what was captured in this photo is so much more than that. This photo represents everything I could have ever hoped for my kids: That they would have an extended family who shows up in their lives and loves them so deeply.  That they would have grandparents,...

Keep Reading

You’re Almost Grown, But You’re Always Welcome Back Home

In: Kids, Motherhood
Teen in room studying with computer and smartphone

Dear child, In the days before you could walk or talk, there were times when you would wail—when my rocking and shushing and bouncing were seemingly futile—but it didn’t matter. Each day and night, multiple times, I always picked you up and welcomed you back into my arms. As a toddler and a preschooler, you had some pretty epic meltdowns. There were times when you would thrash and scream, and all I could do was stand by and wait for the storm to blow over. Eventually, you would run to me, and I would welcome you back with a warm embrace....

Keep Reading

No One Warned Me About the Last Baby

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood
Mother holding newborn baby, black-and-white photo

No one warned me about the last baby. When I had my first, my second, and my third, those first years were blurry from sleep deprivation and chaos from juggling multiple itty-bitties. But the last baby? There’s a desperation in that newborn fog to soak it up because there won’t be another. No one warned me about the last baby. Selling the baby swing and donating old toys because we wouldn’t need them crushed me. I cried selling our double jogger and thought my heart would split in two when I dropped off newborn clothes. Throwing out pacifiers and bottles...

Keep Reading

Parents Are Terrible Salespeople for Parenting

In: Kids, Motherhood
Tired mother with coffee cup on table, child sitting next to her

As the years of fertility start to wane, many of my childless peers are confronted with the question, “Should I have kids?” With hesitation, they turn to us parents who, frankly, seem overwhelmingly unhappy. They ask sheepishly, “Is it worth it?” We lift our heads up, bedraggled, bags under our eyes, covered in boogers and sweat and spit up, we mutter, “Of course! It’s so fulfilling!” It’s like asking a hostage if they like their captor. Sure, it’s great. We love them. But our eyes are begging for liberation. Save me, please. I haven’t slept through the night in years....

Keep Reading

Soak in the Moments because Babies Don’t Keep

In: Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Roller coaster photo, color photo

I love marking the moments, the ones that count—making a note and storing them for memory. But I often miss out on them when it comes to our oldest. ⁣ ⁣The day he wanted to be baptized, I was at home with another kiddo who was sick. He called me from church excitedly, emphasizing he was ready and didn’t want to wait. I couldn’t argue with that, so I watched him go underwater through videos my husband and sweet friends in the congregation took. ⁣ ⁣On the day of his fifth-grade graduation, we found ourselves at the pediatrician’s office. Instead...

Keep Reading

Sometimes a Kid Just Needs a Sick Day

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy outside, color photo

My middle son stayed home from school today. He said he was sick. I’m not sure that is the truth. I was lucky enough to have a mom who was an amazing caretaker, especially when you were sick. She pulled out all the stops. A cozy clean space to be, a thermos with ice cold juice by your side, Mrs. Grass’s soup, and Days of Our Lives on the screen while she tidied up the house. It was the best feeling in the world to be home and cozy with my mom when I was sick. It felt cozy and...

Keep Reading

Sometimes We Need Someone to Just Sit With Us in Our Struggle

In: Kids, Motherhood
Sad woman sits on floor, black and white image

Early this morning, I told (yelled is more accurate) my sons to get up with the same furious ferocity I use every morning when I realize they should be ready to go, but are still unconsciously snoozing away. One son lazily said, “I’m up, Mom” (even though he was very much not up). The other son, who typically has no problems getting up, had overslept and immediately freaked out, thinking he would be late to school. He proceeded to have a mini-meltdown from the dark recesses of his bedroom. That overflowed into the hallway where I found him lying face-down,...

Keep Reading

Daughter of Mine, Do Not Let the World Extinguish Your Fire

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and young daughter, color photo

Daughter of mine, I see the fire behind your eyes. Do not let it die. Daughter of mine who runs wildly and loves freely and whose anger is always whipping silently just under the surface like a pilot light, ready to ignite with one tiny spark. Do not let it die. RELATED: There is Wild Beauty in This Spirited Child of Mine Daughter of mine, one day you will become a woman, and the world will try to steal you and mold you and tell you who to become. Do not let it. It will try to fit you in...

Keep Reading