First Day Jitters: Sending My Baby to Kindergarten During a Pandemic

baby in rocking chair
Wasn’t this just yesterday?
Photo by Vintage Rain Photography

It wasn’t that long ago that I first found out I was pregnant with her. Not that long ago that the doctor told us, “You have to have this baby today.” Not that long ago that I stared into the baby bassinet in the hospital room overwhelmed with love and sleep deprivation. Not that long ago that I brought all 7 pounds, 7 ounces of her home. Kindergarten was the furthest thing from my mind. Instead, I was wrapped up in worries about baby-proofing, bottles, diapers…

But just like that, she’s five. And she’s ready to start kindergarten this year. And we’ve had our share of jitters just thinking about it.

Will she cry during drop off? Will she make friends easily? Will she like her teacher? What if she’s hungry because she doesn’t like the lunch? And many more questions that just played on repeat through my head at the beginning of the year.

Until mid-March when schools closed. And now, with about 3 weeks to go until she starts kindergarten, the questions have changed drastically.

Should I just pull her and homeschool her? But then she would lose her spot at her school.

Should I choose virtual? How is that going to work? Wasn’t virtual learning by-and-large considered a failure at the end of last year?

Should I send her face-to-face? What if she gets Covid? What if we get Covid? If I send her, does that mean that we need to keep our distance from her grandparents…again? For the entirety of the school year?

school supply shopping with a mask on
This is not how I imagined going school supply shopping.

What if I send her and there’s an outbreak in her school, and we go to virtual learning anyways? That seems like a lot of emotional upheaval for no reason. What about her mental health?

Do I make her wear a mask? She doesn’t have to but should I anyways? How will she learn wearing a mask? 

How will school be fun with social distancing in place in the classroom? I’m a former educator – high school, granted, but even there…all of the activities that are the most effective and fun would not work with distancing in place. How much more would this be true in a kindergarten classroom?

How will she get all of her wiggles out if she has to sit in the same classroom all day long without even a walk to the cafeteria? How will this effect her mood and behavior?

Will this cause her to hate school? Because we have a lot of school ahead of us … I really want her to like going to school. 

never imagined I would be sending my baby to kindergarten during a pandemic. I know that I am not alone…that millions of other parents are facing all of these same questions.

How do you choose the best option when none of the options seem too good? But ready or not, kindergarten … here she comes. 

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Sarah Vorhies is a self-proclaimed foodie who has been married to her husband Justin for ten years. Sarah and Justin have two beautiful children, Lillian and Judah. Sarah stayed close to home and got her degree in English Education from Southeastern Louisiana University. She can honestly say she is never bored thanks to one of the most fun jobs ever - teaching 11th grade American Literature. She enjoys traveling, reading, finding new recipes on Pinterest, and spending quality time with her family.

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