Whether you’ve been a stay at home mom, work from home mom, or a full time working mom, preparing to send your baby off to their first year of school can be tough on your mama heart. You’ve spent the better part of the last 3-4 years helping them with tasks, playing with them, teaching them, guiding them & helping to shape their sweet little personalities. Now it’s time to send them off to preschool to allow another teacher/teachers to play the role of mom while they are in their care for the better part of the school day.
Sure, they have probably attended daycare, MDO programs or been in the care of a family member/nanny before, but there’s just something different about them starting school. You may be wondering what in the world you’re going to do with yourself all day while worrying about how they’re surviving at school, and you might be wondering how in the world they will survive without their mama by their side. Here are a few tips to help ease the transition to preschool for both you and your child.
1. ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE
You’ve heard it before – kids thrive off of a routine. I’m sure you have a great routine at home that works for your family, but having a consistent morning routine will make transitioning to school much easier on both you and your child. Having a consistent wake-up time, a healthy breakfast and a short time for the kids to spend calmly reading or playing quietly can be so helpful in easing you both into your busy days. Making sure you get to school on time every day and not having excessive absences helps to maintain the routine as well.
2. PLAN SOME TIME FOR YOURSELF
Grab a calendar or that adorable planner that’s probably been collecting dust on your desk and get to planning. Call your friends to set up lunch/coffee dates you’ve been talking about for the last 3-4 years. Schedule yourself a much-needed pedicure or massage. Plan meetings for work. Schedule important phone calls that you’ve been putting off because it’s hard to have conversations with kids around. Whatever it is you’ve been needing to get done, but may have struggled to get to because you’ve been “momming” so hard, PLAN it. This will help make your days go by a little faster, and help keep your mind off wondering how your kiddos are surviving the school day.
3. TALK SCHOOL UP AS IF IT IS THE BEST THING ON THE PLANET
Most likely, it actually will be. Your child is going to form so many new friendships, learn how to explore their environment, become a contributing member of society and learn more than you can imagine, and they are going to do the majority of this through play. One of the best parts of preschool is they don’t even realize they’re learning because they spend their days immersed in intentional play, which is the very BEST way in which kids learn.
The transition to school is not only intimidating to a child, but also to the parents. This is likely because you’re watching your child grow and mature and be taken care of and loved on by someone else. I once had a parent send me a note on Mother’s Day (before I had my own kids) and she thanked me for being her child’s mom away from home.
Rest assured that your kiddos are being loved on, cared for and in environments set up for them to thrive. And look forward to those moments they hop into the car after school and are SO excited to tell you about who they played with, what they learned and what they made that day. Rest your hearts, mamas. Your babies (and you) are going to be just fine!