02 February 2015

Feeling Distant

I spend tons of time with my kids, obviously, I stay at home with them. But the past few months, I have felt somewhat distant from my oldest son, Bennett. Monday-Thursday, he leaves the house at 12:15pm for school, and doesn't get home until 4pm. That practically FOUR hours every day that, essentially, I have no idea what he's doing. I mean, I love this preschool and his teacher and therapists are fantastic, and I trust that they are great with him. But I often feel so disconnected. He comes home in the early evening and I cannot wait to see him, and ask him about his day, to find out what he was up to all day, and how he's feeling. But It's really hard to get any straight answers out of him, because he's always struggled with communication and being able to express his feelings. So I honestly don't know if he would even be able to tell me if he had a harder day, or even a really good day.

So I think it's a combination of him being just away from me at school + and his struggle to be able to recall and communicate to me, that makes me feel... left out. It's not a good feeling.

The truth is, I miss him while he's gone. I wonder what he's feeling, what he's experiencing. Are kids being nice to him? Is he able to express himself if he's feeling overwhelmed or anxious? Does he miss me while he's gone?

See, I'm still sort of new to being a Mom of a school-aged kid. And he's not even full-on school aged. I realize that soon enough, he will be in school full time and I will see him even less (which, scares me, if I'm being totally honest). So I guess... I'm just sort of entering the stage of being worried all the time. Worried about what's going on while I'm not around. Worried about his sensitive little heart.

I worry about growing apart from him a little bit. I mean, really, it's a big change from being with your kid 24/7, to sending them off 4 days a week, 4 hours a day.

OR maybe it's just me?

I've been in closer communication with his teachers lately, just to feel a little more in the loop. And I might go as far as to see if I can come volunteer in his classroom every now & then.

If I'm already feeling like this with my 5 y/o, how am I going to handle sending him off to grade school? Or high school? Or college? Ooooh heaven help me. Ha ha.

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Samsam Cherie said...

I definitely think that kids go through phases with their parents - coming from personal experience, I remember several times growing up when either my brothers or my sister or even I would be very distant to my parents sometimes. There would be a few weeks when we just rubbed each other wrong for no particular reason. But you work through it, the season changes, and you can move past it, closer than before :)
~ Samantha

Sharlee said...

I only have a one year old so I can only imagine what you're going through! I think volunteering in the classroom might really help!

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Anonymous said...

I don't have kids, so I can't say from experience, but I've studied early childhood education, and I think this is pretty natural! He might feel like he's "grown up" and is getting used to the routine change as well! If I were you, I might ask thought-provoking questions that start discussion instead of something like "so how was your day"/ "what did you do in school today" etc. Maybe that could get him to open up a bit!

keshia porcincula said...

It's not just you!! I feel this way too. Good idea starting up closer communication with the teacher! I do that as well and it's a lot of fun. Sometimes I even surprise Xavier by striking up conversation by listing something that they worked on that day. Also volunteering is SO MUCH FUN!!! I do it twice a month every Friday afternoon for an hour and a half after I get off work. You learn so much about your kiddo. Thanks for this post! It's nice to hear you're not alone in your feelings sometimes!

Kiara Buechler said...

You know, as much as Dane being out of the house a few hours a few times a week is something I desperately need, I totally get this. I often times find myself wishing he had a cell phone so I could text him. I love the idea of volunteering, I may have to do that when he starts full day kindergarten!

Brooke O'Neill said...

Ever consider homeschooling? There are homeschool academies where they only have to go to school two or three days a week.

Jamie F said...

I felt and feel the same way at times, the feelings you're feeling were exactly what I experienced when my son was in preschool. I would ask him questions and I would get, "I don't know" ALOT! I still get it because mostly he's a boy and I guess boys are like that ;) plus it's always been hard for him to communicate as well. his preschool teacher told me boys connect better "side by side," so she suggested I talk with him in bed at night laying beside him. He loves that time because it prolongs his bedtime a little and I love it because I get to know his "school life" a little more! So it's a win win!!

Sarah Coggins said...

Oh I get it. I felt that way when I first put my son (then 3.5yo) into daycare/preschool as I returned to working. Now I'm home again with the baby, but my son (now 5yo) is in kindergarten. Part of it I think is the age. It's amazing how he can recall vivid details about something months ago, but can't tell us what he did in school that day or ate for lunch.