Everything you've experienced in the wild journey through motherhood has prepared you for this moment- sending your child off to school. Make no mistake, the universe (call it what you will) has intentionally led you hear, through metaphors, trials, physical and emotional bumps and bruises, endless teaching moments, missed opportunities, sleepless nights dealing with uncertainty and self-judgment, and persistent evidence that your child is their own being separate from you. All. Of. IT! This is a new level in the rite-of-passage of Motherhood, and we are bathed again in the waters of a new unknown.
Our children slowly “separate” from us since the moment they're born. Getting ready to send them to school is unique in that we are offering them a new opportunity to learn from someone other than ourselves. At least that’s what we're thinking. Its what we tell ourselves, along with “its going to be okay,” when we get a pang of anxiety anticipating the life changing effects this school experience will have on us. And that's fine! But its not all ...
There’s more bellow the surface, Mama.
Our children are little mini reflections into our past and future. As they move forward in life and develop into themselves, they force us to reflect on all of our own ... shit. Each one of them comes equipped to rock our worlds at the drop of a hat. And if we aren’t self-aware, we can miss an opportunity to heal our past and undo personal and familial patterns that no longer serve us and wont serve them.
Why does our child’s first day of school feel so emotional? Because we know that their big life story is about to begin.
Reflect on this: Where did you experience your biggest life lessons? Where did you go through deep life-trails such as rejection, heartbreak, longing, awkwardness, stage fright, and peer-pressure? Where did you first discover your body as it transformed – awkwardly- before your eyes? Where did life start to get really real, wonderful, and hard? Where did your search for personal identity begin? School! It all happened while you were in school.
School was a constant setting in the story of your youth.
This is heavy stuff! Its bigger than just being prepared with the perfect lunchbox, pencils, and notebook!
When we send our babies off on that first day, there is much deeper meaning than what’s just on the surface. We are being invited to reflect back onto our own experiences in order to help our children have theirs. The more self-aware we are, the more we can empower our kids when their life story gets interesting.
You may want to ask yourself:
What are you doing to get ready for this moment?
Are you attending to your many emotions?
Are you able to reflect back on your life story during your school years?
What do you remember about YOUR first day of school? Positive or negative?
And finally: Do you have a village or support system in place to help you deal?
I encourage you to create the village of support you need, Mama. If you’ve got sisters, friends, family you trust, tell them to actively become your source of support leading up to and on that big day. Have a group of Mama’s who you vibe with? Gather them up and make a conscious choice to intentionally walk down this path together. If you don’t have the village- create it!
For those living in or near Durham NC, I have created a unique support group for mothers called: FLOW MAMA. We will explore life transitions important to mothers using creativity, ritual, and deep listening in a safe and empathetic environment. All are welcome! No artistic experience necessary.
We will be having our first gathering to address this First Day of School rite-of-passage and you are welcome to join us! Contact me for more details.