by Kelli Catana

It’s that time of year when most elementary schools have their Kindergarten information night for all the parents whose children will be attending kindergarten for the first time in September.  As such, I’m hearing lots of comments from anxious parents who can’t believe the time has passed so quickly and who are nervous, anxious and sad that their babies are going to be going to school in September for the first time.

But, not this mother. Nope.

There may be tears in my house on the first day of kindergarten but they won’t be sad tears!  I can practically guarantee you that tears of joy and relief will fall from eyes as I send my last one off into the kindergarten yard.

I think I’m one of the only mothers I know who’s ready to bring my kid to kindergarten now! I mean really, they must have room for one more, right?  I didn’t even go to the kindergarten information night confident in the fact that I might be tempted to try to sign him up right then and there.   You see, my last child, my fourth, will be attending kindergarten next year and while some parents are mourning the loss of their ‘babies’, I’m celebrating the end of babies in my house.

So while I’m anxiously awaiting the start of the next school year before this one is even done, I’m already dreading the inevitable ‘phase in’ schedule.  You know, when you get to send your child for one morning in the month of September to ‘get them ready’ to attend kindergarten all while teasing me with some long awaited alone time.  Where for one day of one week I get to actually send all four of my kids to school at the same time, only to not be able to send two of them again for another week.  Seriously – I truly believe that this phase in period benefits the teachers more than the students, and definitely more than the parents.

When I see those parents who are sad about sending their child off to kindergarten, I can completely empathise with them.  After all I remember my eldest’s first day at school and the pit in my stomach as I sent her off into the playground.  But even then I wasn’t sad – I was excited for her.  I was excited at all the fun things she would get to at school and the new friends she would meet.  And at that time I also had two younger children at home vying for my attention, so I was happy that she was able to go somewhere where she wouldn’t be fighting for my time.

Also, after having four children in give years, next year marks the first time in NINE years that I will have all of my children in school at the same time, for give days a week.  And even though I’ll only have the hours of 8am to 10:30am off, those will be the most magical two and a half hours of my day!

I will not miss having my son home with me.  Rather I will enjoy the time that he’s at school, playing with friends and learning something new.  And I can finally get that gym membership that I’ve been planning on as well some much needed me time.

I will enjoy the fact that he’s growing up and getting ready for new adventures in his little life while getting ready for some new adventures for myself.  Nine years of being home with little ones was amazing, but I am definitely ready for my little guy to start school in September.  Heck I even considered switching to one of those lucky schools that has full day kindergarten.

So I might be the mother crying at the fence of the school yard on the first days of school, but you can bet those won’t be tears of sadness.  Oh no, those will be tears of joy, and I’ll do my best not to dance a jig as I say my goodbye’s and go off to enjoy my well deserved me time.

Kelli Catana is a wife and mother of four who has a healthy obsession with celebrity gossip and coffee.  You can find her imparting her opinion on all things pop culture over at  Follow her on Twitter.


Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of, a leading lifestyle blog for women.


  1. Suzie Salmon Reply

    I only had one child and I was fortunate that half way through kindergarten they kept him for the full day with the grade one kids. I may have cried tears of sadness at first, but upon the switch to the new full day schedule they were tears of joy as well! Half day kindergarten just barely allows a child to settle in before they are sent home. My son loved the full day program!

  2. I popped open the champagne and had mimosa(s) for breakfast! I hear you on the celebration factor – my 3rd and last was born in February, so he was READY to go. Now, I am facing the next stage with my oldest who is headed to middle school next September. Again, I am thrilled and so happy for him to be moving on. Better to celebrate and remember than to keep looking back in regret, I think. Congratulations!!!

  3. My 5 year old is my mellow child. I want to send the 4 year old instead!

  4. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY…OMG SO FREAKING HAPPY…I will be popping champagne next year when my 4th hits JK…This year it’s number 3 so I will just do Sparkling wine…


  5. Kelly Williams Reply

    My fourth is going to preschool for 2.5 hours three days a week in September. I’m excited too. In 2012 when he starts JK our school will be switching to full day. My babe will only be 3 y/o when he goes though, so I’m not thrilled…yet. I’m just starting potty training so give me a week or two and I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune.

    I, like you, have never shed a sad tear while I waved from the fence.


  6. Jill Raines Reply

    Why on earth did you mothers or so called mothers have kids if they are such a burden, you weren’t complaining when you were making those kids, put your big girl panties on and be mommy. I have ONE child, and have had a hysterectomy, mine will be starting kindergarten this coming August and I’ll be sad, I want him to have fun but I’ll miss him being a baby. let’s see if you’re crying tears of joy when they’re 18 and want nothing to do with you!!!!hahahaha

  7. I have one child, had her later in life. Attending preschool soon and I am anxious and sad just thinking bout it. DIDnt think i would be, thought of myself and strong and not sentimetnal, however, this is hitting me hard. She is mine and in a few weeks I release her to the world, albeit the world of preschool yet still the world and things will change, she will change, for the better I hope. Change is hard for humans, our instinct as mothers is to keep them close and nurture them, so i think it is perfectly natural to be sad and anxious and scared when sending your first born into the world. Kids can be mean, life can be hard, this is the start of all that, so yeah it is damn scary, and wonderful, and bittersweet.

  8. THANK YOU! I am sick and tired of so many that seem to think that if we’re not overcome with grief at all the “lasts” with a last baby, we’re some kind of ungrateful, selfish monster. I am so excited to see my last child grow up! I don’t want him to stay little forever, heavens no! I want him to grow and learn and change and become a wonderful, functional human being in his own right. I’ve never felt any twinges about it. My only mixed feelings were joy and gladness. We’re not celebrating selfishness when we put our feet up with that big bowl of ice cream after sending that last one off on the bus, we’re celebrating a JOB WELL DONE! We’re celebrating an independent child who is ready and excited to begin their life and their very own contribution in the world. It’s like a retirement party celebrating and honoring years of service and sacrifice. There is nothing wrong with enjoying and rejoicing over the culmination of what you’ve been working towards all those years, what you’ve been teaching and loving and training your child for all that time!

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