The Trouble with Kindergarten

Being away from each other all day is not new. Since he was three months old, Eddie has been in someone else’s care other than mine.

Yet I miss him more this year than I ever have.

Kindergarten is way tougher on me and him than I thought it would be. Way.

I think about him all day. I pray for him all night. I wring my hands.

This isn’t how I thought it was going to be.  I figured he would have an adjustment period. In fact, I knew that even though he was used to be gone all day and used to being busy, it would still be a big change. He would have to make new friends and learn a new routine and get used to a new set of rules and expectations.

But I had all the confidence in the world that he would be just fine. He would thrive. He would struggle with being tired, but he would make friends quickly. He’s a natural leader and so kind to everyone.

I wasn’t wrong about his kindness and ability to make friends.

I wasn’t wrong about being confident.

I didn’t expect the tummy-aches and the worrying from him.

Every day at pick up he tells me he had a great day, and he proceeds to talk my ear off the entire ride home. Every night at bedtime he confesses he doesn’t want to go to school in the morning, and he proceeds to cry out his fears and anxieties.

He is going through the adjustment period that I knew he would. This is all normal stuff. I thought I was prepared.

But I didn’t realize how much it would all hurt my heart.

About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.


  1. Oh, I know this feeling. Rachel and Claire had a really hard time adjusting to kindergarten. It took about 3 full weeks. They never really claimed to “love” it (they regularly said they wares to go back to preschool, where they could play all day), but they did adjust, and at the end of the year they cried because they were going to miss their teachers so much. And they really seem to love 1st grade. Big hugs, mama.

  2. (((())))

  3. We are going through a similar scenario here, hon. Love to yous as we muscle(and cry) through this stage. xoxoxo

  4. Awwww. Eddie. And you.
    I hope the adjustment period is short, and that he will love everything about kindy. xoxo

  5. My daughter did the same thing 🙁 And then she did it in first grade, too. 🙁 You probably don’t want to hear that, do you? I wish I could give you sage advice, but we just had to ride it out. My heart broke damn near every day. Hugs.

  6. I am there with you, and what I hate most is how I feel like I shouldn’t be feeling this way, like get over it already. He’s been in daycare since he was an infant. He’s been to camps and different care centers. He’s been at this school two years already. And yet. He cries every day. Not at drop off or pickup or even at bedtime. But he tells me when he’s relaying his day. And it hurts. And while I would like to quit my job and stay with him, I know that’s not best for etiher of us and I know we’ll ALL be ok, you and me, Eddie and Z, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

  7. As Landon is 6-years-old, he is SO ready for this. But me? I’m still learning. Landon is doing so great and taking this transition in stride. I kinda knew he would. When he comes home I am asking him 1,000 questions and he’s like, “Uh, mom? Stop asking me so many questions.” LOL. I do miss him terribly! I totally get it.

  8. Oh, honey.

    Jack was like that, too. FINE during the day. Bright and curious and excited and ohmygoshstoptalking but then at night, all the anxiety would rise to the surface.

    He was a deep thinker. A serious little man. And I wouldn’t have him any other way, but I wish it could be easier. The good news is that Eddie is sharing it with you. For REAL that is good news. It means he knows you’re a safe place to be honest; he knows he can work out his feelings with his mama.

    Of course this makes things harder on you, the knowing and the sharing of his hard thoughts.
    But he’s learning how to cope. And who better to teach him? To love him?

    I wish I could tell you that you’ll get past this and never spend a night worrying again but you know better. Yes, you WILL get past this stage but then new ones come. It’s the carousel of parenting, a cycle of going around and around and around and you feel so much love for your children you want to suck out all the fear for them.

    You can’t, of course. But Eddie knows you would if you could; and that you’re there for him always.
    That’s what makes all the difference.

  9. I am going through the same thing right now with my new kindergartner. It’s enough to break a mama’s heart. I keep telling myself the same thing I tell him: “these things take time, but before you know it this will feel like your place.”

    Good luck to you, and to Eddie!

  10. My youngest continues to be on edge for the first few weeks of every school year. She’s terrified of doing something wrong (she’s extremely conscientious). This is the first year I haven’t written a note to her teacher letting them know “who” she is — I think it’s my way of feeling like I’m helping or have some control of the situation. But I do think teachers need to know who the more “sensitive” kids are. As a teacher, you know that some kids need a 2×4 to the head (figuratively speaking, of course) to “comply”. While others, it just takes a glance or a whisper. But once my daughter gets to know the teacher and vice versa, all is good. Good luck to you and Eddie.

  11. It’s tough. And it breaks a mama’s heart. 🙁

  12. Kelsey Posma says

    will continue to pray for you both!! we are struggling over here too a bit. I feel you, it hurts. Holler if we can help. with anything. ever.

    so much love sweet friend. you are a treasure.

  13. *hugs*

    Both of mine are still in preschool. But the preschool, this year, is an afternoon program . . . so, before, when I would drop my kids off before class, every day, someone else takes them to class. And someone else picks them up from class. And I’m having a lot of trouble adjusting to this.

    Next year, when CJ is going to kindergarten? Well, it’s difficult to think about. And it’s a year away.