Letting Go - Kids Starting School

Love, Family

Having a child start school can be exciting and sad at the same time.

For me, I thought I was ready. I had lots of plans for all the things I was going to finally be able to get done.

At first, it was all about her and making sure she was settled and happy, but when she cried and didn't want to go that made me question if she was ready, or better yet if I was ready. I put a lot of effort into getting her prepared, we got all the supplies, talked with her about what to expect and made sure that she was able to do all the things that she would have to do at school by herself.

Then she started school and everything else seemed to fade away. It was like there was nothing else going on in the world at all, I think I even forgot to shower some days. When she didn't want to go it made it a hundred times harder to let her go.

Lots of people were saying things like “Its fine. Your just making it harder for her by putting your anxiety on her” this made me feel like an even worse mom than I was already feeling like. I felt alone and like nobody understood what I was going through.

Was I the only one?

Then we made it to month two and things were starting to get easier for her and she actually started to look forward to school and be excited about what to expect. That made it easier to be happy for her but somehow made it worse for me. If she was so happy and adapting to school why was I still feeling the same way? Its been over a month now, so it’s time to move on and start my life again, right?

This was still a struggle for me and sometimes I didn't want to talk to anyone about it because I just felt judged for being so emotional, so I kept trying to push myself. I had commitments and friends and family that needed to be tended to but every time I would go to plan something the guilt would kick in and I would think, “No, I should be here with her when she is not at school”, so I would turn invites and commitments away.

Finally, I just cut back my commitments and did hardly any at all. For me, this meant missing a lot of yoga. I had been going every morning 5 days a week before school started, but now that my little one was in school I felt selfish taking that time away from her and my guilt said that I needed to be a “good mom” who makes breakfast and packs lunch for their kids and sends them off with a hug and a kiss every morning. And seeing how yoga didn't’t fit into this ideal I stopped going as much, sometimes missing weeks at a time.

This made me feel even worse mentally and physically. This was a great wake up call for me that I needed to start listening to my body and intuition. So I started making time for yoga again and slowly I started to lean on my trusted friends more and open up to them to let them know what was real for me. Once I was able to distinguish the things that were feeding me from the things that were draining me I was more receptive to allowing myself some space and time to get myself sorted.

I am still working on this and its the middle of November now, but the guilt now shows up with less power and less frequency. By getting curious and using practices from my coach and therapist I was able to not get lost in my feelings but to use them as a place to learn from. Each day is different and some are harder than others and I will feel like I slipped back into the daze from before but now I able to bounce back faster and with more gratitude for myself and the journey of being human.

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