I’ll be honest: I’m kinda petrified about my son starting junior kindergarten. With D-Day just a few weeks away, I’m already panicked about the first day, if he’ll fit in, how he’ll do riding solo on the school bus, and if his teacher will judge me based on the contents of his lunch box. And I’m not the only one. Turns out all moms feel angst about sending their little one to school.


Here are some tidbits from moms who’ve been there, done that, and wish they’d acted differently:

“I wish I wasn’t such a worry wart. I was so stressed about whether or not he’d put up a fuss on the bus, if he would have tears, and if he was going to enjoy the first day that it overshadowed what a big moment it was in our lives. Turns out that he did incredibly well in all areas and to this day LOVES everything to do with school. Such a relief!” – Teresa


“I wish I could have prepared my son for mean kids. He came home from his first day saying his best friend was teasing him, but that it was okay because his friend was just joking. When I asked what happened and found out what the boy had done and said, it was obvious that he wasn’t someone I wanted my son to be around. The problem is, how do you explain that to a four-year-old? To this day, he still talks about the boy as his ‘best friend’.” – Laura


“I wish I’d kept my anxious feelings to myself. When the bus rolled up my daughter and I were both nervous and excited, and while I did my best to contain my tears, I choked up at the end. Her face went from an ear-to-ear grin to a full out wail when she saw me bawling. It set a sad tone for the day and was definitely not the way I’d envisioned it going.” – Wanda


“It’s easy to get caught up in believing your opinions count and that teachers will do whatever it takes to satisfy you and your child. The truth is, unlike pre-schools or daycares where you pay the teacher’s salary, when you graduate to the big leagues (read: mainstream schools), your kid is really just one of many. I wish I’d known that going in.” – Dana


“How hard it would be to leave his class. My son was very clingy in the months leading up to his first day, and after I hugged and kissed him goodbye, he held on to my arm for dear life. Nothing I said would convince him to let go until I thought to give him my necklace to hold onto. It convinced him that I wasn’t leaving him forever, and would be back for him later.” – Megan


“I wish someone had prepared me for how much she’d like it. I was ready for meltdowns, I was ready for tears, but there were neither – in the morning, at least. When I came to pick her up and she realized the day was over, she freaked out, screamed at the top of her lungs that she didn’t want to go home, and weaved her tiny four-year-old hands around the monkey bars in outright refusal to leave. It was nowhere near the reaction I’d expected.” – Jennifer


“During my daughter’s first day, a little boy decided he wanted all the girls off the swings during recess and threw sand at them to keep them away. When I picked her up that afternoon, she mentioned her eye was hurting and when I checked it, saw dirt was lodged in her lid. Looking back, I would have made sure she knew she could talk to her teacher about those kinds of issues, and that she didn’t have to wait to tell me when the day was over.” – Amanda


“I wish I’d known to keep my eyes on my own kid. I did the drop-off, gave my son a hug and kiss and was on my way out the door when I spotted another mom and son crying. That set me off and I started blubbering like a baby.” – Carolyn