We see it all over our social media — friends posting about how sad they are their youngest is going to kindergarten and how their baby is growing up way too fast.
My youngest is starting kindergarten this fall. And although it is a little bittersweet, I otherwise don’t share the same feelings. In fact, I am very happy that my youngest is starting school!
I know this might make others think I’m a “bad mom.” Or other moms might feel that way about themselves. But I will tell you, it’s ok to be happy your youngest is starting school.
I have some anxieties about her starting kindergarten, of course. I wonder if she will like school, if she will develop good friendships, and feel that she can work hard and be herself.
Despite those normal worries, I am still so delighted for her to start kindergarten. Here’s why.
Her Independence Will Grow
Starting school is a huge deal! Kids are expected to be more independent. And I know my daughter is so ready for this challenge, which makes me excited for her.
I’m looking forward to watching her grow and learn outside of our home.
Milestones Are a Great Thing
The milestones my children hit as the get older bring me joy, not sadness.
I love watching their personalities grow as they discover new interests.
I Enjoy the Older Stages
I’ll admit it; I like the stages of my kids being older better than the little stages.
I’ve obviously always loved my kids and at times miss the baby cuddles. But I enjoy being able to have actual conversations, taking them places and having them actually enjoy it, and all of the freedoms for myself that come with the older stages.
I think my kids are becoming more fun as they grow. And I also feel it is easier to find things we all enjoy as a family, making life more and more enjoyable.
At this stage in my life, I’m perfectly happy cuddling with my friends babies and going home to my older children when I’m done.
I’ll Have More Time for Myself
This sort of goes along with my last point. As kids get older, us moms will get a little more time for our own self-care.
I am very lucky to work part-time, and I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to having a few days at home alone!
I’ll be able to work out at home without needing to break up fights, be able to vacuum without someone getting mad that they can’t hear the TV, and even be able to go to Costco by myself. I might even have more time to read a book or listen to my favorite podcasts (but we all know those few precious hours by yourself go by fast!).
More freedom for them, and for me.
After my days being all about the kids for the last eight years, I’m ready for a little bit of “me time.” And with all of the hard work I’ve put in, I feel like I’ve earned it.
No More Daycare Bills (Or Less Anyway)
I almost feel bad admitting I’m excited about no longer needing to pay for daycare.
And we have been so blessed to have great care for our children, but I am ready for us to move on to the next stage.
We know that daycare is a necessary expense, and can be a big one at that. And although my kids have only gone to daycare part-time and will still being attending the after-school program a few days a week, it will be nice to be spending less on childcare.
I’m ready to put that money toward other fun things for my kids and our family!
My Youngest Is Ready
I think this is one of the biggest reasons why I’m excited for her to start kindergarten.
She is so ready and so excited! Nobody enjoys sending their kids off to something they don’t want to do, but the fact she can’t wait to start school makes things so much easier.
There Is Life after Kids Go to School
It’s ok to grieve your youngest starting school.
Although I’m excited for my daughter to start, I know I will still go through a little bit of that process. And I have found the easiest way for me to get through it is to focus on all we have to look forward to.
And while I’m certainly not wishing the years away, I am excited to see my kids grow up. I can’t wait to watch them develop as people, cultivate their own interests, and gain more independence in the process.
So no, I am not sad about my youngest starting kindergarten. At times it makes me wonder if I’m a cold or hardened mom, but then I remember all of the reasons I’m happy for her.
The excitement I have for both her and our family’s future outweigh the bittersweet nostalgia of looking back to her younger days.