You know what nobody tells you when you become a mom? Among other things, nobody tells you that once you have kids, you will question EVERY. SINGLE. DECISION. you make from here on out. You’ll spend hours agonizing over what they’re eating, how well they’re sleeping, what they watch, what’s safe and what’s not, and a plethora of other things that you never dreamt of worrying about.
The list is never-ending.
One thing I never realized would weigh so heavily on me though, was when to start my child in Kindergarten.
When enrollment came around last spring, my husband and I had an important decision to make. Should we start our oldest son, a 5-year-old with a spring birthday and a VERY tender heart in Kindergarten or Pre-K?
To some, this might not sound like much of a dilemma, but for us (well, really for me), it kept me up at night. You see… I used to teach preschool. I know first-hand how formative the first few years of school are and how they can make or break a child’s school success later on in life.
I knew in my heart that my son was absolutely “smart enough” to start Kindergarten and that he would flourish academically, but I also know how easily he gets his feelings hurt and how much of a perfectionist he is and how easily he gets embarrassed when he doesn’t do something perfectly on the first try- he gets this trait from his mother, unfortunately.
We’re both working on it.
The other thing nobody tells you when you become a mom is that EVERYONE is going to have an opinion on what you do.
Even when you don’t ask for their opinion. Friends and family questioned why we would have him be the oldest in his class. They wondered if it was for sports purposes. They told me how bored they thought he’d be in the classroom.
Even though I know my child better than anyone else will ever know him, I struggled with these comments and STILL second-guessed myself up until a few weeks ago. I let those comments & self-doubt creep in even when I knew better.
We ultimately decided to put him in PreK, and let me just say, it was the best decision.
We had parent-teacher conferences last week, and his sweet teacher further confirmed that our decision was the right one. She said that he absolutely excels in everything they do academically in the classroom and has from the start, but that his level of confidence has soared. He is a leader in the class, and his friends look up to him, which gives him a lot of satisfaction (hello, future enneagram 3).
I almost cried sitting there at that tiny table as she justified our choice to give him an extra year.
Mamas, nobody knows what’s best for your babies better than you do. Not their pediatricians, not their teachers, not other family members. YOU. Here’s your reminder that those things you worry about constantly aren’t for nothing, and that you don’t need validation from anyone else about the decisions you make.
But it sure is nice when it does happen.