When You Want Your Mom

My daughter, Quinn, started kindergarten a few weeks ago. Like most kids making this challenging transition, we’ve had some rough days. And we’ve had some that were downright awful. Like today.

While my husband and I tried to get her dressed – forced her, really – she was kicking, screaming, hitting, crying. Finally, I just left the house – without shoes, the real sticking point – and carried her the six blocks to school. We were late, of course. Sylvia, our crossing guard, noticed. “Bad day?” she asked, as I led Quinn across the street, her arms folded tightly against her chest. When we arrived in her classroom the teacher noticed, too. “Hi Quinn!” she said, in her cheery way, and came over and put her arm around Quinn’s shoulders. As I walked home I fought tears. I know lots of people go through this, but I felt alone and at a loss. I worried that Quinn needs help I am not able to give her. I worried she will anxiously move through her day, like I did through so much of school. Walking back toward Sylvia, I determined to maintain my composure, to not let her see how hard this is.

And then, halfway home, I let the tears fall. There’s a feeling I get when things go sideways, and I didn’t push that away either. I wanted to talk to my mom, wanted hear her reassure me in a motherly way that it’s all going to be okay. Knowing I’d never be able to do that made me feel even more alone. Rather than wallowing in my misery, as I usually do, I decided to do the healthy thing instead: I called my sister. And my sister suggested something else I’d been trying to avoid: she suggested I ask for help, that I tell the teacher what’s going on and enlist her aid. So, reluctantly but hopefully, I did. Kicking and screaming, but I did.

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4 thoughts on “When You Want Your Mom”

  1. How funny! My son just started Kindergarten this year, too. My wife shed tears the first day. He’s our only child so letting go feels a bit more extreme.

    Does your daughter’s teacher offer incentives or rewards for small victories in class? We’ve challenged my son that we will reward him at home if he’s really attentive at school. So far it has helped him engage his classmates. However, our issue has been that he is a complete bear once he gets home. I don’t know which is harder?

    Sorry to hear about this struggle and your feelings are valid. I pray you find wisdom and clarity in this situation.

    1. Hey Michael! Thanks for your your insight. It’s hard to believe we’re here…pretty soon we’ll be pulling away and leaving them at college!!!

      We’ve tried charts, with sticker rewards and that seems to be working. I also just have had to let go of things that I think are really important – like wearing shorts under her dresses, she just won’t do it. How important is it? Oh well…

      I hope your son continues to do well!

  2. Aww. That’s so hard 😦 I wish I could have given you a big hug. Mothering (and letting go) is rough stuff 😦 I think it’s good that you just let yourself feel that and then dealt with it- I too often push things away (like! I still haven’t cried about getting laid off, because I’ve been too busy letting me fill my tank with all the stuff I have to get done now!). I keep telling myself it gets easier (and it does, sometimes), but moments like that remind you that it’s all a really tough process. But I truly hope it gets easier!

    1. Aww, thanks Beth! You got laid off? That totally blows. But maybe we can hang out! I’ll follow up on that, because I would love that.

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