Focus on your ‘me’ time
Since the moment you found out you were expecting, all of your attention (and your time, energy, love, sweat, tears) have been hyper-focused on your baby. Guess what? That baby is now a full-fledged duckling, heading off to start exploring the world outside of your home for the first time. And now, with extra hours on your hands between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., you can turn your attention inwards, for the first time in a long time. “You can now have more personal time to take care of yourself and catch up on things and people that you didn’t have time for before,” explains Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D, a Los-Angeles based psychologist. “You need to realize that by letting your child progress developmentally in kindergarten, you can have time to be more than just a ‘mom’ and may even become a better mom because you’re leading a more balanced life.”
Encourage your child’s independence
We won’t lie to you, throughout your kiddo’s first year of school, you’ll watch them change. They’ll become more confident, come home telling you stories from the classroom and increasingly sprout their independent wings. And while you’ll be thrilled to see them soar high, you’ll also struggle to accept they’re not your super-dependent baby anymore. “Parents are more likely to struggle with this adjustment when they deny that their own role as mom or dad is also changing. Not only is the child’s world evolving as they grow, but the parent’s world is also changing. Accepting this reality is key,” Dr. Pletter says. Remember, mama, your tough gal and your sweet boy will only continue to explore new worlds, have adventures, and expand their minds. But no matter where they roam—even those not-so-scary elementary school hallways—they’ll always love their mom.