Saturday, July 19, 2008



My Dilemma.

I have been reluctant to blog this, knowing there will be a collective eye roll around the blogging world of all you much more experienced mothers. I have been a mom for 5 years now, enough time to know that I know nothing about parenting, to know that it's much more challenging and rewarding than I could have ever imagined when I began this journey at 20, and enough time to feel a bit more relaxed about my children. I no longer rush the children to the doctor at the first sniffle, I cringe when I remember how much I stressed about EVERY aspect of Ethan's first year. I don't hover and have learned to relax. It's made being a mother so much more enjoyable and I like to believe that it helps the boys be more confidant and self-reliant.

Well, take that whole last paragraph and throw it out the window. Throw it out the window, burn it, and throw the ashes in the ocean! Because as of late I have broken every one of my parenting philosophies. I am not relaxing - I AM STRESSING and BIG TIME!!!

How do you moms do it? How do you send them to Kindergarten?

Ethan turned 5 this summer and is eligible for Kindergarten in August. Just in case you forgot -it is July. What month follows July? August! That means my first born, my baby, little Ethan should be going to school in a month. AHHHHHHH! I am struggling with this for many reasons. If I thought that he was completely unready I would just hold him back, let him wait for next year. But in many ways he is ready. He is a smart boy with a very active mind and imagination and I really think he's getting bored here with Tyler and I. He's ready for something new and challenging and for those of you who know him he is SO ready for the art or "crafts" as he calls them, that Kindergarten has to offer. But he is terrified. He REFUSES to even talk about school and has cried a few times when I bring it up. This little boy cried every day for the first three months of preschool(review the story here) and preschool was just a few friends that he was very familiar with. He has been in primary for 18 months and has yet to sing in sacrament meeting...most children jump at their chance to sing. So I worry how he is going to handle it and if I will even be able to get him in the classroom.

I also feel so nervous just sending him out into "wilderness." I know, I know, Kindergarten isn't Babylon, but for a mom who has spent every day for the last 5 years with this little guy it's going to be a big adjustment for me. Once you go to school there's no going back. He'll go to school every remaining year until he's grown, then there'll be college, mission, wedding, children, and next thing you know I will be an old lady with cats who shows all her neighbors the photos of her boy who never visits. OK, I may be getting slightly carried away but Ethan has been with me almost EVERY day of my adult life and it's hard to turn him over to someone else - someone I barely know.

I was hoping some of you would have some AWESOME ADVICE for me. I was hoping some of you will give me the magic formula to make my 5 year old stop growing up - that my biggest concern will be teething and getting him to sleep through the night - that you will reassure me that this decision won't determine his happiness forever and that if I make the wrong choice he won't be destined for misery...

11 comments:

Rachel Chick said...

So, Andrea --- I don't know if you remember me, but I've been blogger stalking you for a while now! :) This is Rachel Chick - a good friend of the Straders - I met you a few times up in Rexburg and I think that your blog is so great! I hope you don't mind! :)

Anyway, I read through this entry and almost started crying!! I feel your pain! :) Hazel doesn't turn five until September - so she will barely miss the cutoff date for this Fall. At first I was disappointed, now I feel such immense (and ridiculous) relief. I've been stressing about "this next phase" for quite some time now. -- I have no good advice - just know that you are not alone!! :)

lizS said...

i, too, have no advice because i'm going through this as well. my oldest will be starting kindergarten in a month, and i haven't even registered her yet! (i blame this on moving and such though) she did better with pre-school though, so i'm not really worried about her adjusting, just me!!

kellyfamily4 said...

Hey Andrea, Sorry no advice but i defiantly feel your pain, my little Savannah is going to Pre-k in aug and here in OK its at the elementary school and its everyday half days!!! I am stressing way more than she is, she is so excited, anyway....That's so awesome about the book release party!!! Tell me how it goes!!

Michelle said...

Andrea, you are such a sweet mother and I know you will make the right decision for you and your cute little boy.

I just wanted to say thank you for the reminder of how fleeting this time with our little ones really is . . . we are moving and I have had SO much frustration with my two year old, but he is 2 so what did I expect?! Really, I wouldn't change him even if I could.

On the other hand, I can hardly believe that he is already 2 and I will be facing a similar dilemma in a few short years . . .

uh... said...

i know your pain. i am going through the same thing with carlos.

ericandjanine said...

I feel for you...Maryn is just about to start preschool and I'm freaking out. I'm sure kindergarten will be much worse! I can't LOOK at Maryn in Primary(I'm the pianist) because I just start balling. I'm a real sucker. My only advice is try to hold the tears back until you're out of earshot on the first day of school...that may be a little embarrassing for him!

G-Ma Mitchell said...

Take him to school, cry a few tears (maybe for several days), then it will be OK. Pretty soon it will be OH!! He is going to be a Cub Scout, How Fun!!Wow--he is in Jr High!! He is so smart!! He'll be Graduating soon--does he have his Eagle Project done?? Does he have all the classes he needs?? It will be GREAT!! Life is so fun!
G-Ma Mitchell

Brandon and Emily Dorman said...

I don't have any advice yet, I still have a couple more years before I have to go through this, so I will have to check back on everyone else's advice. I think I will have a hard time than Sam. He is so excited to turn five and go to school, mainly because he gets a "packpack." Good luck.

Charlotte said...

I was so scared on my first day of Kindergarten that I puked repeatedly that morning and ended up staying home. But then I went the next day and it didn't seem like such a big deal.

I don't have any advice as a mother, but as a kid who was probably somewhat like Ethan- I survived just fine and Ethan probably will, too.

(This is coming from the mom who cried when she left her kid in the nursery for the first time...)

Good luck!

Elise said...

I remember many days of worrying about Ryan starting kindergarten. Prepare yourself for tears (from you and from Ethan.) My advice, try meeting Ethan’s teacher ahead of time. Try to schedule a one on one meeting. If nothing else, set up a day that Ethan can see the classroom and walk around. Kindergarteners usually have a meet and greet . it’s only for kindergarten parents and kids, so there is no pressure from the other older kids. Plus, you know the other parents are all in the same boat. The teachers are there to answer all questions, and you usually can see the classroom. I would call the school too and find out when this is going on. Some teachers are great about spending a few extra minutes showing kids the cubbies, and telling them about school. Show him where the bathrooms are, the lunchroom, the nurse, and the office. Plan to spend at least an hour with him on the first day. He may surprise you and say he is fine, but if not, you can have this time. I also gave Ryan a picture of his family to carry so when he was sad and missing us, he could look at it during the day. It seemed to help. I hope this helps you.

bensey said...

m'lady,

i am no help. i looked at caleb sleeping peacefully today and started to choke up knowing he only has TWO YEARS left until he goes. two years. i'm a mess.