Such a Bittersweet Thing; The First Day of Preschool

One week ago, my baby started preschool.

Wait. Where has the time gone? It seems like just yesterday that Andrew was learning how to walk and saying short words like, “Mo mo.” That was his way of saying more, just in case you were wondering.

Now he’s half my size, can speak like an adult (where did he learn all those words from!?), and is growing faster than I want him to.

Can I just stop time for a moment and soak it in?

That statement is probably what all Moms and Dads, like myself and Scott say. And, those Moms and Dads that are now Grandmas and Grandpas are probably saying, “See, I told you that you needed to just slow down and spend every waking second with them because you never get this time back.”

Yes, the wise Grandmas and Grandpas.

But it’s oh so hard to sometimes stop and take the moment in when every day seems like weeks put together of a never-ending, up and down roller coaster of emotions that you just want to get off of, but you know you just have to ride it out. Where it seems like most of the days you just want them to end so you can have a little bit of your sanity back and just take a moment to breathe for yourself. Where it seems like every thing is a fight, struggle, and nothing ever seems to go easy. Where you are just waiting and hoping for that day that you find a good school for your toddler so he can learn, grow, and interact with someone besides you; and you hold onto that because for you, that is the light at the end of tunnel; a moment of peace; a moment of quiet time to just breathe.

But then, that moment comes.

You find a good school, you take the tour, you get excited. You receive the registration papers, sit down to fill it out with your husband and then, panic sets in. That moment that you have been wanting for so long suddenly becomes overtaken by a huge wave of emotions; you don’t want to let go. You pump the breaks and question if you’re doing the right thing. “Does he really need to go to school?” you question to yourself. Questions and thoughts flood your mind and that light at the end of the tunnel suddenly seems dark.

You consult in your husband, and being the incredible husband and father he is, he comforts you. He gently takes you out of that Mama Bear role and lets you see it as a new light. He gives you security, he reassures that you are, in fact, doing the right thing– not just for you, but for your child as well. He also reminds you that it’s only 3 days a week, 3 hours at a time. “That’s not so bad,” you remind yourself.

You’re acting as if he’s leaving the nest and you’ll never see him again. You can’t help it though, you’re a Mom and that’s what Moms do.

A week goes by and you’re having one of those hard parenting weeks. You’re looking forward to those few hours a week you get to yourself.

And then, you find yourself at the school with your husband and child in tow. You’re at the meet the teacher day. Children are buzzing through the classroom, the room is loud and filled with laughter, cries, and chattering, and for a moment you’re not sure if this is reality. Your child is shy, a bit overwhelmed and carefully observing everything around him because this is a new setting for him.

“Am I really doing this?”

Two days later, the first day of preschool. The start of a new chapter in yours and your child’s life. At this moment, it seems like the most bittersweet chapter of all. Your baby is entering a new phase and becoming a “big boy.” You’re nervous for him. You’re nervous that you’re not sure if you’re doing the right thing. You ask yourself if you should just skip this all and homeschool.

You enter the classroom with your son and husband and are greeted with comforting smiles from the teacher. You can tell your son is hesitant. You tell yourself you’re not going to cry, that you’re going to be strong for both of you. You wait and then you see your husband get up and signal it’s time to go. You expect the worse. You tell your child that you’re going to go bye-bye and you’ll see him later. He clings onto you like he never has before in his life. The teacher gently grabs him and you tell him you love him, and walk out with crying in the background.

That strong person that you told yourself you’d be, breaks down hysterically with a wave of emotions. But, you know it will be okay and you know that he will have fun and you will enjoy those moments that you can just breathe. And when all the emotions finally die down, you remember that you forgot to take a good picture for his first day of preschool and instead you got this one.

Such a bittersweet thing; the first day of preschool.


Similar Posts


  1. “You’re acting as if he’s leaving the nest and you’ll never see him again. You can’t help it though, you’re a Mom and that’s what Moms do.” <3

    This entire piece resonates with me, as our almost 3 year old recently started preschool, too. A total FLOOD of emotions.

    I'm sure he's having a blast…and yes, now you can enjoy a few hours each week of 'YOU' time. I believe that you have earned it, however bittersweet it is. <3

  2. I enjoyed this story. I have soon to be 5 year old twins. They have been in daycare for at least 3 our of 5 days a week since they were 5 months old, due to our work schedules. We have decided to keep them out of kindergarten until next year, age 6. But even though they go to daycare/preschool already, for the entire day, for 2 days a week…I am dreading “real” school aka kindergarten. I am going to be a mess! I just know it. Strong on the outside, like you, but then just a blubbering pile of mommy jelly on the ground (or in the seat of the truck). I think it’s just a product of the fact that these milestones mark them growing up…and eventually away, from us.
    We are certainly some lucky mommies 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *