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5 Things No One Told Me About Kindergarten

My oldest daughter started kindergarten last week, and now after a whopping week as a school mom, I've discovered that there are several things no one told me about having a child in school.

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1. The "everyone else is ... " starts immediately

We hadn't even made it from the gate back to the car on the first day of pick-up before my daughter was mentioning that SIX other girls had Elsa backpacks and could she possibly have one, too? (No).

2. You will spend the whole day watching the clock

My girls haven't done a lot of preschool, so this was a new experience for me to spend every morning checking my watch to make sure we got her there on time, and then glancing at the clock all afternoon to make sure I didn't let the time get away from me and end up missing pick-up.

3. You are out of the loop

For the last five years, I've been intensely involved in my child's life (and I say that as a definite non-helicopter parent). I knew all her friends and basically how she spent almost every minute of her day. Now when she tells me about a friend or something her teacher said or asks for clarification about an instrument the music teacher used, I have absolutely no idea. I don't know the other students in her class, who their parents are, what exactly they are doing all day in class, and it feels weird.

4. You'll desperately want their teacher to like them

In the past, as I've contemplated my daughter's education, I've hoped for a teacher that is good at her job, for classmates that are well-behaved, smart and good influences, and a school that's top-notch. But now that I send my oldest child to spend huge chunks of her day in the care of other adults, all I really want is for them to like her and take good care of her.

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5. You'll feel like you're playing pretend

It is absolutely surreal to drop my little child off at the school and then drive away. Every day when I pick her up, I see all these other parents and think, "THEY look like real parents. I'm just a kid pretending to be a parent."

What's surprised you about kindergarten?

Image via Janssen Bradshaw

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