Mama’s Thoughts on Second Child Starting Preschool

Mama’s Thoughts on Second Child Starting Preschool

A couple of weeks ago, we dropped Leo off for his first day of preschool. It was an eventful morning for sure!

New preschooler holding toy lion while posing with letter board by playground.

FIRST DAY EMOTIONS

We got together as a family and my hubby and I dropped Ryan and Leo off at school together for the first time. Usually I’m dropping the boys off and then Leo comes home with me, so his big brother was super excited to have Leo stay!

Ryan is in his fourth quarter of preschool. while Leo is in his first, so their classes will not be together but it’s comforting having them in the same school.

We got there around 8:30 on day one and spent some time taking photos and getting little Leo acclimated. He was a bit hesitant, but also relaxed being familiar with an environment he’s regularly hanging at with his big brother.

Mama and son walking to preschool for his first day.
Mama having an intimate moment with her son on his first day of preschool.
Daddy and son walking to preschool for his first day.

But, when I was handing Leo off to his teacher, he said, “I want to go back to Mommy.” That broke my heart, of course, but I held it together for Leo. And, I had to pull out the card I knew I would have to at some point (although I didn’t know it would be his first day). I asked the school’s director if I could take Leo to Ryan’s class, since Leo’s always comfortable there and wants to stay and play with his brother. When I left, I suggested they could maybe move Leo to his proper classroom after he was more situated and having a good time.

I surprisingly only cried one time during these first few weeks. It was at pickup after Leo wrapped up day one. I hugged him so tight when we greeted, and I couldn’t hold back the tears! I felt him feel safe in my arms and the comfort he felt in knowing Mommy came back. It was his first big day and he did so well, I was just so proud!  

The experience of taking your second child to their first day of school is so different from the first! I was way more emotional and nervous with Ryan and just wanted everything to be so perfect.

THINKING BACK ON RYAN’S FIRST DAY

When Ryan started school it was such an emotional time for me. I couldn’t fathom letting him go. I had this mama-bear-like feel with him that I had to just protect him and keep him sheltered from the outside. I didn’t cry the first day, and Ryan’s just like me so he didn’t cry either. But I definitely had tears follow in the first few weeks, and I heard from Ryan’s teachers that he would have crying spells where he would think of me and ask for me to come back. 

This time around, I felt so much more comfortable. Having been through it with Ryan, I was already experienced and like dropping them off. I’m comfortable with the school and I know the staff, so choosing the same school really helped a lot. And of course knowing that Leo’s big brother will be at school with him so if he has a tough day the teachers can take him to his brother for some extra love is comforting for me and Leo both. 

Mama holding son on his first day of preschool.

Leo is also such a different child. He isn’t as sensitive as Ryan and he’s very outgoing. He is a mama’s boy, but not as much as Ryan is. I feel like Leo’s more of a chameleon: he will blend into any situation and just kind of take charge, whereas Ryan takes a little bit longer to get comfortable in a situation.

A SMOOTH ADJUSTMENT

I think the school's morning schedule, which allows the boys to have some playtime together right after drop off, has been helping Leo a lot. He does whine and reach for me or his dad (whoever is doing drop-off) every morning, but then I'm told he's fine for the rest of the day and doesn't cry and has fun learning and playing. The boys get to play for 30 minutes before they split off into their own classes, and then they see each other again at lunch time which is super sweet!

Brothers hugging in preschool classroom on little brother’s first day.

Earlier this week, one of the aids told me the sweetest story! Ryan's class wraps up lunch before Leo's, and when Ryan was leaving the lunch area, Leo yelled out, "Ryan, I love you!" and Ryan said "I love you back!" My heart melted! I loved hearing that story, it made me feel like things are how they're supposed to be and the boys are happy which is all I want for them. Ryan likes having his little brother at school too because he never feels like he’s missing out on fun at home like he did when it was just him in school and Leo got to spend his days at home with Mama.

I pick up Leo after lunch and Ryan stays longer as a full-time preschooler. Leo always asks to stay with his big brother or wants Ryan to come home with us. I try to pick up both boys early after lunch on Fridays so we can all have time together.

Leo smiling and holding toy lion, excited for his first day of preschool.

PROUD OF MY BOYS

So this Mama’s emotions are feeling good right now! I felt a lot stronger saying goodbye to Leo the first time than I did with Ryan. The comfort of knowing he has his brother, it’s the same school, having been through it already, and just knowing Leo’s character and personality made this a much easier process. I’m really happy that we got to experience this big milestone with Leo as a family, and I’m really excited for him. I know he’s going to develop in so many ways at the school and I can’t wait to see it. 

Brothers posing with letter board in front of tree on first day of preschool.
Brothers posing with letter board in front of preschool playground.

Mamas of multiple kids: did you find it different dropping off your second child at school for the first time than it was with your first? How so?

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