Letting Go of Firsts: Lessons for Mommies

Yesterday was the first day in my son’s life that he didn’t eat lunch with me. He ate lunch with his friends in the cafeteria with the other first graders. I did not have to set out his plate, pour his milk or find his favorite fork. What I did instead was pack and label a snack and lunch and hope that he ate the right one at the right time. Today he’s buying lunch on his own for the first time and won’t be eating mommy’s cooking. I have to trust that he will make healthy lunch choices. And isn’t that what letting go is all about?

We teach them right from wrong, truth from lie, good from bad, healthy from unhealthy. We give them a gentle nudge out of the nest and hope they’ve absorbed all lessons, big and small.
* Part of me worries that he won’t eat lunch or won’t eat enough.
* I wonder if he will find a friend to sit with and if they will find something to chat about and still eat their lunches.
* I hope he will eats his snack and drinks enough water.

I will miss having lunch with my little buddy, the hours we’ve spent together, his little laugh and his abundance of affection. What I don’t feel sad about is that I have not missed any “firsts” in his life. I am lucky that I was able to stay home with him in these first important years, to teach and guide him, to enjoy his company and to witness each first his life. I guess missing his first lunch at school is the first of many small and big events in his life that I will miss.

Firsts for Moms

For the first time……there are so many ways to finish this sentence. What should moms do when their only or last little one has entered the world of full-day school? Sure you’ll still miss yours, but here are some ways to feel better about it:

1. Go back to work
– The best time to start looking for work is when your child starts school. This gives you the perfect way to explain away any “gap” on your resume. Maybe your two months of maternity leave turned into two years or six years. Now is the time to jump back into your career or at least back into part-time work.

2. Make a list of mom activities – Compile a list of all the things you have not done in the last few years and treat yourself. It could be something as simple as seeing an R-rate movie or having an extended lunch with friends who do not have children in tow. Your social time can be extended beyond play dates now.

3. Rearrange your schedule – The child who was accustomed to having mom all day will be missing her after a long day of school. Take care of bill paying, laundry, cooking, errands and chores on your time. This will give you more time to devote to your little student when he or she returns from school.

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