This March, our Pia will blow out four candles on her birthday cake. I really can’t believe how quickly time passes.
I remember the day when she was born, when my and my husband’s lives changed tremendously. Even though you think you know what awaits you when you decide to have children, you soon learn that it is all a big surprise. You soon realize that you are now responsible for a tiny human being, who is helpless and depends on you completely. Your attachment grows deeper every day; building incredible bonds that you didn’t even know existed before your child was born.
I was fortunate enough to spend a whole year with my child at home, until it was time to go back to work again. No matter how soon you have to return to work, leaving your child’s side is a hard thing to do… not because you don’t feel like going back to work, but more because you know that you will now have to entrust your child to another person, leave him or her there and go away.
Although you know very well that you will spend time with your family after work, you struggle, at least at the beginning, with having to leave your child elsewhere while you’re working. Luckily, our Pia didn’t have to go to the kindergarten when I had to return to work, since my mother generously offered to babysit her. I’m very thankful to her. It is much easier to leave your child with a person you know, knowing he or she truly is in good hands. Pia stayed with her grandmother for a whole two years, but last year it was time for Pia to take her first steps into the kindergarten world.
I wasn’t worried about how she would fit in the group and amongst other children, as she’s a very sociable and confident girl. I didn’t even think about how big a step this was for her and for myself. When the day arrived, when my husband drove Pia away to the kindergarten for the first time, I felt like the worst mother in the world. I felt guilty even though I knew that it was good for Pia to be among her peers, to have some company and learn how to be independent. I kept wondering what she was doing, whether she liked it there, what they were having for lunch, how she was getting along with others. But after a few days I realized that I had absolutely nothing to worry about, since she managed wonderfully at the kindergarten. As I had expected, she soon took on the role of “the boss” and was ordering everyone else about. Yes, my worries were obviously needless.
Even though you are aware that you won’t be able to be by your children’s side your whole life and that this is how it should be, you can’t help but feel a little sad when you start noticing that children are growing up and becoming more independent. And it is only kindergarten, I wonder what it will be like when they go to school, experience their first love, first job… Well, I guess we will all cross that bridge when we come to it.
What were your feelings when your first born went off to kindergarten? How did you handle going back to work? Did your feelings change the second time around when you welcomed another child into the family?