Monday morning drop-offs. There's no amount of caffeine, uplifting kids tunes or Pinterest-worthy lunch menu items that can stave away the case of the drop-off blues. You get into the weekend flow with slow mornings and leisurely activities then BAM! back to Monday.
I've just reintroduced the drop-off routine with my second and it is tough. I know that nearly 10 minutes after I'm gone her tears have dried and she is dancing around and eating berries (proof in text pictures), but the drop-off is HARD. To wrap myself in comfort on the car ride away, I have come up with a few mama mantras to conjure a positive spin on my day. Here they are:
Photo by Sai De Silva on Unsplash
1. "We've got to share our love. We share so much love together, now it's time to love others too. Baby, love makes the world a better place so let's spread it around."
I believe in this so much. The love between a mother and child is so sacred. Allowing your child to love others and for you to do the same can deepen your appreciation for one another. My son started pre-school at three and found his soulmate, aside from me, a blonde-haired, glasses-clad boy named Samuel. They have been best friend for four years now. Though they've been in seperate school for most of their friendship, we stay connected via mom texts, postcards, play dates and a deep internal appreciation for one another and imaginative stories that no one else understands. We have visited Samuel in Switzerland and driven hours to celebrate his birthday in the desert. I love seeing my son light up in this friendship. My admiration for him has grown by witnessing the love he has for others.
2. "What will we learn? The most beautiful part of life is learning and growing, we can do that together by learning more while we are apart. Let's learn together, my love."
I know how to take turns; I know how to pass the milk; I know the ABCs. But my daughter is learning those things. What will she learn in grasping early childhood concepts? Experiential learning through relationships is incredibly important for children. Melborne Child Psyschology states, "Experiential learning is collaborative and enables children to work out their own unique strategy (with some support), rather than following a set formula to arrive at an answer. They will be more likely to think creatively in the future..." Allowing your child to have the opportunity to learn with others is a beautiful gift.
Not to mention, mamas, we need to learn too. "It [learning] is a core need for psychological well being. Learning can help us build confidence and a sense of self-efficacy. It can also be a way of connecting with others too." say Vanessa King, positive psychology expert (Psychologies, 2015). Giving yourself the space and capacity to learn and connect with others, whether it is 5 or 40 hours a week, is a gift to yourself and your child.
3. "I want to show you my strength and give you the opportunity to build yours."
Working in the home or outside of the home is empowering. The confidence gained by contributing to your household and community in a meaningful way is sure to reflect into your children's views of work and life, thus influencing their future life decisions. The New York Times (2015) sites a study finding daughters of working mothers are more likely to achieve higher education and supervisory roles and sons more likely to take on more childcare and housework responsibilities. I talk to my kids about going to work a few days a week and making the sacrifice of working until midnight (or later) most nights. I tell them about the people I influence and support; they can hear my pride and I know it shapes the way they view work. My husband works a lot but thoroughly enjoys what he does, his company and work family. Opening the door to work and allowing our children to see it as a positive contribution to our lives, outside of its financial benefits, will help shape the workforce of our future.
Drop off will continue to be tear-filled, drenched in guilt but when we shake that off a bit, I hope these mantras will help you to feel good about the rest of your day, leaving you happier when you return to your kids. Do good work, mama.