Countdown to Kindergarten

It's a mom milestone the moment your youngest child boards to bus to full-day school. MomSpeaker Erin Flynn Jay's prepping to send her second to Kindergarten right now — and reflects on the everything the marker will mean for her family.

It was bittersweet to watch my 5-year-old daughter complete her homework packet for Kindergarten. She's the baby and will remain so. Is she ready? You betcha! I'm preparing for the transition as well.

As we speed into August, I’m looking ahead to the school year for my two: marking teacher conferences on the calendar, reviewing what we need for the meetings and, of course, uniform and school-supply shopping.  

It’s nice to be at this point (the kids will be at the same school in September), but it’s also a realization that our baby is growing up.

When my oldest started Kindergarten two years ago, it felt like such an accomplishment for her and myself. I’ll feel the same way when I drop the youngest off in September. 

Do you have a child headed for Kindergarten? If the child is your “baby” or only child, it will be even more poignant. Just look back at how far you’ve come. You are past breastfeeding, diapers, potty training — the early stages of life.

And it does get easier. What a transformation it is from 5 to 7 years old! They learn to bathe themselves, take more care in picking out outfits, clean up more around the house and can even make a small meal when hungry. 

You’ll have to prepare your child for heading off to school — is their homework packet complete by the due date and have you reviewed sight words with them? You also may have to prepare yourself mentally for the “baby” or only child leaving for school.

This might not affect your situation, but many moms will have more time during the day once they have a child in grammar school. It’s a good time to review your career stage and ponder: Should I return to work full-time? Or work part-time and line up after-school activities for the kids? Continue the current business or start a new one?

What is best for your family’s financial situation, your career as well as your child’s growth? Talk it over with your spouse if you need to. You’re in this together, after all.  

Remember to take lots of pictures and a video capturing their first day. It only happens once.

Erin Flynn Jay is a Philadelphia writer, public relations executive and mom of two young girls. Check out her blog, Mastering the Mommy Track.

Categories: MomSpeak