Uh. That’s all I can say. Today is Wednesday, August 28. Does it mean anything that I started writing “Monday” because it seems like every day lately seems like a Monday? Here in Wisconsin, it is feeling like Fall. There’s something I love about the Fall. It’s time to open the windows and air out the house, wear almost anything in your closet, make soup. There are so many things about Fall that I love. I won’t be listing pumpkin spice because I am really not a fan (gasp… I know). It sounds like I like fall, right? So, what am I in a funk about?
This year is really the first year my kids will be in school. Both of them! My son will be in 3K just twice a week but on the days I don’t work so I will get a couple hours all to myself in the mornings for the first time since I had kids and it will be delightful. This year is also the year my daughter is going into 5K. This week we found out who her teacher is, who is in her class and information about her bus. It was a biggie. She has a great teacher but that teacher will also be on maternity leave for a couple weeks in the beginning of the year which means my daughter, who already takes a long time to warm up to people, will have to adjust to her substitute and then also her teacher once she’s back. Substitutes don’t have to have any experience or qualifications other than have graduated college so I am also concerned about that person being qualified to assist my daughter in developing peer relationships but also getting her class started out on the right foot regarding reading which is a big focus of this year. Uh. Again. I saw the class list and none of my daughter’s friends are in her class. AND I found out she is the first one to get on the bus (an hour before school starts) and the last one off after which makes for a very long day for a young 5Ker.
Clearly I am anxious. Adjustments and long days are already hard for her but then adding on all these other things on top of it is sending ME over the edge. I haven’t really said much to my daughter because I don’t want my anxiety rubbing off on her. Everything she has been told is framed in a positive way with the caveat of “Let’s see how it goes and if it’s too hard, well figure out something.” It’s not the best strategy but it’s what I’m flying with now.
The reality is, the good old MOM GUILT is kinda creeping in. I am wishing that I could do something different for her or better, but I can’t. Because I am feeling anxious about all of this, my mind has already decided it’s going to be hard for her and this year is already going to suck. You know how you do that when you’re anxious? Anticipatory anxiety and catastrophic thinking is what it’s called. You believe the worst case scenario will happen and then you start reacting to it before it even happens. Because of my job and the knowledge I have, in general, I can label it and work through it well on the occasions it pops up. I have been coping by telling everyone who will listen about it (I am sure my husband and friends are ready for me to stop by now) and reminding myself that it will be fine. Really, everything always is. I once heard someone say “If it isn’t fine, it isn’t over.” I believe that. We will work this out until it is fine. I am also reminding myself that I know it’ll go better than I am assuming it will and that once the first day is over and we have all survived, I will feel a ton better.
But Mamas (and Dads if you are out there), the feelings are real this year. And here’s another reminder, if you are feeling any of this alongside me, you are not alone. It is normal. It is okay and it will pass.