So you’re getting ready to send your little bean off to school for the first time. If you’re anything like me when I was in your shoes one year ago, I’d say you’re probably nervous, unsure and may even find yourself spontaneously weeping in the grocery store… just sayin’.

I see how much you love your big kid baby, and I know you’re experiencing all the feels right now. To be honest, I want nothing more than to wrap you up in my arms and tell you how much I understand—and also that it’s going to be okay. But since I can’t, I thought I’d share a few ideas and pieces of advice.

First and foremost—

She’s always going to be your baby. Always.

If you take one thing home from this, I want it to be this—your child is always going to be your baby. And she is always going to need you.

When my daughter started kindergarten last year, it felt like I couldn’t go 30 minutes without someone telling me she was “all grown up now.” And while yes, this is “real” school and yes, she is growing like a weed—she is still very much my little girl.

She still wants to snuggle with me every night, still needs me to make her breakfast, still asks me to kiss her booboos, and you should see how much her face still lights up when I pick her up at the end of the day (you guys, it’s so cute.)

They’re always going to be our babies, mamas. Even when we’re helping them get their children out the door to school. ?

You’re still her expert

With the introduction of teachers comes the start of other people telling you things about your child—and this can feel a bit weird at first. But it’s often really great. Having an experienced professional to talk through concerns and ideas with is wonderful—I learned a lot about my daughter and how to help her grow from her teacher.

But remember that ultimately you are her expert and her champion, and if something at school doesn’t feel right—you are very much allowed to speak up and do what you know needs to be done for your child. ?

Her teacher wants to hear from you

You may be feeling a little reluctant to reach out to your child’s teacher because you know they have a lot of students and are very busy. BUT— communicating with teachers actually makes their job easier and ultimately gives your child a better experience.

So go ahead and send that email explaining what makes your kid unique before school starts. Spend a few extra minutes at pick-up checking in with the teacher. Schedule an extra parent-teacher conference. You and her teacher are a team. ?

You might feel a little disconnected

I say this not to scare you, but just so that if it happens, you know you’re not alone. Kids are not the best at relaying the events of the day.

For example—

Mom: “What did you do today?!”

Child: “Color.”

Mom: “That’s it? You were gone for 6 hours and all you did was color?”

Child: “Yes.”

It can be hard coming to terms with the fact that your child is off having experiences that you don’t know everything about. First, remember that this is normal. Also keep in mind that she is in excellent hands and having a wonderful time. Last, try some new ways of engaging with her. Instead of “what did you do today?” try some of these conversation starter questions. ?️

Create systems

Life is about to get hectic—in a fun way!

But if you can take some time now to put a few systems in place to keep yourself and your kiddo organized, you’ll feel a lot less stressed and will be able to enjoy it all.

Spend 5-10 minutes each evening prepping for the next day—lunch, outfits and backpacks are so much easier to handle the night before. Develop a morning routine that works for you and gets everyone out the door still smiling. Implement a way to sort and store the suitcases worth of artwork that are about to inundate your home, as well as a way to keep track of forms, homework and library books. And of course, declutter! ✨

Get ready for mom friends

If you haven’t already had the pleasure of making some mom friends, this might be your chance!

If it feels awkward, remember that they are probably feeling the same way, too. About halfway through the school year, I was feeling like I really needed some grown-up connections so I mustered up the courage to send an email out to all the moms asking if anyone would want to have a Moms Night Out. Every single one said yes. We had an awesome dinner out (we actually did it several times), and even though some of our kids are off at different schools now, many of us have stayed close.

It’s okay to enjoy the extra time

Afraid to admit that you’re a little (or a lot) excited to have a little more time in the day to yourself? DON’T BE! You have worked HARD over these last years! It’s okay to be excited that you have a quiet house for a few hours a day. Or to be happy that you get to have some one-on-one time with your younger child. Or return to a hobby or job that you maybe put on the back burner for a while. And, it is okay to take a nap. A long, beautiful, glorious nap. ?

Mama, you didn’t think you would survive having a newborn but you did (and beautifully.) You were terrified of having a toddler, but you mastered that with grace and made it look easy. And now you’re here with your “big” kid, unsure of what’s to come. But look back at how well you’ve handled everything else and what a wonderful little human you are raising. I promise you, it’s going to be okay.

Actually, it’s going to be more than okay. It’s going to be awesome. You’ve got this.