First Day of School: Why It’s Also Hard for Parents


Look at that face? The excitement is too much. She’s been begging me for weeks to go to school and now the day is here. She very carefully picked out her Barbie shirt because it matched her Barbie backpack and it took a lot of persuading to get her to wear a skirt that was also not COMPLETELY PINK. The parenting gods are laughing at me because I always said I wouldn’t be one of those mothers who’s daughter only wore pink all day. Haha.

I’ve been reading a lot of tweets and posts about anxiety and angst that both parents and kids go through when it comes to the first day of school and leaving each other. So far, Rachel has probably only had about two days where she hasn’t wanted me to leave her. On the one hand I should be happy that she’s confident without me but on the other hand I kind of wish she longed for me like I see other children longing for their parents.

Am I doing something wrong? Something right? Is she not attached to me enough? Or is it more to do with the child and how different they all are and nothing to do with parenting at all?

I was the same as Rachel – dropped at boarding school at age six and in my element. But no two children are the same. And my son may be completely different. All I know is that this parenting thing is often hardest for us parents, not for the kids. Leaving them at school, in the care of someone else, with their new shoes and their shining faces, knowing they are no longer our babies and that they CAN survive without us 24/7 – that’s sometimes the hardest thing of all.

First it’s playgroup, then it’s pre-primary, then it’s big school and before you know it they’re off to university and getting married and having babies themselves. Children make us so very aware of how quickly our own lives are marching on.

So when us parents quietly wipe tears away as we leave our precious babies at the school gate, yes we’re crying for them – but we’re also crying a little for ourselves.


3 thoughts on “First Day of School: Why It’s Also Hard for Parents

  1. Rachel is beautiful and obviously very confident which is a big plus. Mom would have been soooooo proud of her (and you, at doing such a good job at mothering).

  2. Pingback: My Lesson in Parenting: Raising Rachel - Frantastically Fran!

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