By Jennifer Newell
Am I ready? It’s the moment you realize your role as a mother is changing. You’ve seen it before- when the baby starts toddling or when the toddler writes their name for the first time. As mothers our roles and our responsibilities are ever changing. And for me….the next change is a big one. In the next few weeks my ‘nest’ is going to be empty from 8 a.m. Until 3 p.m. My baby is going to kindergarten.
Change is inevitable, but our response is under our control. As my family enters into a new school year and my role changes, I want to make sure I remember the following premises:
Be present. I need to use the time I have with my children wisely. Since I have less actual daytime hours with my children, I need to be present when they are home. I need to put down my devices and focus on them when they are with me.
Be their biggest cheerleader I have always strived to encourage my children, but as they become more independent, encouragement and support take different and sometimes more subtle forms. As they gain independence, their legitimate choices may vary from my preferences for them and I need to keep that in mind. Also, at times the encouragement of a wise and caring adult in the form of a teacher, coach or other adult leader might mean more than mine! To be their biggest cheerleader means I need to take great care to see they have opportunities to experience supportive and positive environments created by other caring adults.
Be prepared to enjoy now. My babies are going into kindergarten and second grade. Years from now the memories of this time will be fleeting. I plan to enjoy this special time that brings its own unique and joyous experiences. How many times will I have the opportunity to be a chaperone for the kindergarten class to Curtis Orchard? Or help out in a classroom when they are watching chicks hatch and to help serve lunch in the school cafeteria? The answer is- not many. So, sign me up.
Babies learn to walk, toddlers learn to go potty, preschoolers go to kindergarten, and grade school children become more and more independent with each passing day. As I face this new stage of my life with an empty house, I’m excited for what’s ahead.
“You’ll miss the best things if you keep your eyes closed”. Dr Suess
Jennifer Newell is a townie, wife, mommy, and devoted Chambanamom. She lives in Savoy with her family and two cats. She looks forward to this new chapter of her life!