Anxiety on the first day of school
Rowe started preschool this week – we’ve been talking to him lots about it in the lead up to the big day and he seemed as cool as a cucumber about it. We had a home visit from his teachers and they were lovely, we did a settling in session which he really enjoyed.
The night before the first day, as we were ironing on his name labels and packing his school bag I started to get the stirrings of anxiety about how it was going to go when we dropped him off.
In the past I’d have given myself a private screening on a loop, in my head, of the worst case scenario possible. The heartbreaking “please don’t leave me mummy” looking up at me with his sad little eyes, pulling at my clothes, tears streaming down his face and mine…
I’d have run through this scenario in my head, probably weeks before, definitely the night before, tossing and turning and not able to get to sleep, the whole time while getting him ready and the whole journey there. I’d have felt sick to my stomach and like I was about to vom.
Now it’s different and the relief is HUGE. I’m in control of my thoughts, my thoughts aren’t controlling me. I don’t give anxiety any power over me anymore and that feels AMAZING. I don’t let worry ruin my experiences or talk me out of taking part or showing up. I have the tools and the techniques to navigate the inevitable day to day challenges of life as a Mum and I’m enjoying it more, LOADS more.
Of course it was emotional because there he was, in his little uniform which is a size too big for him, with his little book bag and no longer a baby, baby. I had a little cry on the way back to the car, but I wasn’t plagued by anxiety and worry.
I could experience this milestone with excitement, instead of everything being over shadowed and over complicated with worry and anxiety.
I could be calm for me and for him. I could be confident for me and for him and that felt AMAZING too. Rowe has always been a huge motivator to get my anxiety under control, I didn’t want my anxiety, fear or worry to influence or impact him in any way.
When we walked him into his classroom, he put is bag on his peg and his water bottle on the special shelf like he’d been there loads of times before and walked over to where some other children were painting.
“I want to do some painting too” he said. We put his apron on for him while the teachers were welcoming other children and then we said that we were going, he didn’t even look up! “Ok bye” and cracked on with his painting.
We walked out to the school gate and stopped to look at him through the window before we left, he was just sitting painting where we’d left him, chatting to a little boy, without a care in the world!
He ran out at the end of the day, clothes covered in his lunch and paint, carrying a very interesting looking craft creation… I said “how was your first day Rowey, what did you do?”, his response “don’t worry Mummy, I didn’t say bloody or shit”. Oh good… 🤣 #proudmoment
PS. If you’re struggling with anxiety and you’d like to find out more about working with me, you can book a free call by clicking here.