What I Wish I Had Known Before My Child Started Preschool

Sending your child to school for the first time can be difficult. You're filled with so many emotions that change on an hourly basis. One minute, you're worried about your child and how they'll navigate their new independent life away from you. The next minute, you feel excited to finally get a little break. But no matter what, you'll also feel a little nostalgic for the old times — times when your child was just a baby, taking their first steps, and saying "mama" for the first time. But there is one thing that I wish I'd known before sending my son to school for the very first time: worry less and trust the teachers more.

As a mother who taught for nine years, I'm not sure why I didn't trust my son's teachers right away. When I taught, that's all I wanted from parents, but as soon as the school year started, my worry consumed me. Would my son make any friends? Would he do OK academically? Would he behave? Would other kids bully him? And instead of trusting that the teachers would let me know if there was ever a problem, I let it all eat away at me.

I turned into the neurotic mother who sent weekly emails to my son's teacher asking how things were going. Thankfully, my son's teacher, who knew I was experiencing this all for the first time, handled me with such grace. She always answered my emails promptly and stayed after class to chat with me. She comforted me and calmed my nerves. Unlike me, this school year wasn't her first rodeo. And my son? He was doing just fine. He made friends, learned right on pace, and behaved well with his classmates. I stressed myself out so much for nothing.

Moms, I know it's hard to send your child off to school for the first time. But trust that they'll be OK. And after a little time, you'll be OK, too. Your child's teachers are invested in them and have their best interest at heart. They will nurture your child, help them grow, and encourage them in their days away from home. Let them.