To the Mom at Preschool Drop Off {…weeks after the first day of school}

I know what’s going on in your head, Preschool Mom. Everyone told you to just give it time, that it would get a little easier each day, and soon enough, drop off would be painless.

But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

You’re wondering why it isn’t getting easier. You’re wondering why there are still tears {both yours and the little one}, and you’re failing to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ve been there. I survived, and so will you. It gets easier. It WILL get better. I promise. I’ve finally made my way to the other side of the fence, and you will, too.

My toddler cried every single morning at drop off from August until the week leading up to winter break, and of course, started right back up after winter break as well. My heart ached each morning on the way to school, knowing what I was about to be faced with. Her teachers assured me that she stopped crying within seconds of me leaving, but I still felt awful. I felt guilty that I had to leave her when she was upset. I felt terrible that her teachers were the ones calming her down, and not me. But really? I felt as if I was doing something wrong. How come my child was still crying at drop off, and the other kids would skip happily into class? Even though the teachers tried to reassure me that it wasn’t a big deal, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I had failed my daughter. Had I coddled her too much? Was it a mistake to keep her out of uncomfortable situations? Was she too attached to me? Would she ever be independent enough to enjoy school?

And then I had an epiphany. Wouldn’t it be worse if my daughter, my own flesh and blood, were eager to leave me? Wouldn’t I feel worse if she didn’t prefer her mother to the teachers she was {not so} randomly assigned?

So Mom, when you’re feeling down, and fighting back tears weeks after the school year started, just know you aren’t alone. Stop comparing your morning to the ones you’re seeing posted on your Facebook newsfeed. You know the ones where so-and-so is bragging about how much little {insert loving nickname here} just loves school and is soooo amazingly independent.

“Don’t compare your behind the scenes to someone else’s highlight reel.” – Steve Furtik

Your little one won’t remember crying at preschool drop off, but he will remember always loving school and feeling so comfortable at a place that embraced him with open arms from the very beginning.

My advice to you? Stick with it. Don’t give in, and more importantly, don’t feel guilty. This too, shall pass.

Tears and all.

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