I’m Not Ready For School


back to schoolI will say, “I’m not ready for school to start.” I never was and I never will be.

To me, the first day of school is the saddest day of the year. I like having my girls around. I’m not eager to send them off, and I do not look forward to being alone in an empty house.

In fact, I dread this. I dread it so much that the school year is the worst, especially at the beginning of the year. September is my least favorite month.  

My anxiety and depression are at their highest during the school year. I only start to relax during the very short summer break, which I feel is getting shorter and shorter every year.

Of course, I keep it to myself and pretend I’m so excited. They both love school and love being around their friends. There is nothing better than seeing their smiles and hearing their stories at the end of every school day, but I still hate sending them. I feel a big chunk of my heart is ripped out of me when they leave for school every day.

When my first daughter started going to preschool, she immediately fit in and loved it so much that it was hard to convince her to leave at the end of the day. That broke my heart, and I felt the loss.

I knew from that moment on I would keep losing her piece by piece each year she continues to go out into the world. There is nothing I can do about it. Moreover, it will be me who encourages her to venture away to chase her dreams wherever they may take her.

When my second daughter went to kindergarten, I hit rock bottom mentally. “Here is another one I send off to face the world away from me.” I thought. I spiraled in and out of depression. I decided that I wanted another child, someone to take care of so I would not feel alone and useless.

The thought that this third child would soon join the other two into the world and away from me stopped me. I had to reevaluate my priorities and control my emotions. So, I got a cat instead. But it did not make me feel any better.

Then came COVID-19, and it was the scariest, most nerve-wracking time of my life, but I was happy my girls were finally home with me. I loved every bit of it. From struggling to keep a routine to consistently reminding them to finish their work to preparing fancy breakfasts and lunches, I was on top of the world.

Do not get me wrong. I’m not a selfish mom. I keep my emotional struggles to myself. It seems like I’m doing such a great job projecting confidence and encouraging them to chase their dreams, so much so that my older daughter wants to study abroad. She wants to be thousands of miles away from me. I will have to face it in two years, but for now, I’m going to enjoy every second she is around, even when she is moody and cranky.

So, when anyone asks me, “Are you ready for school?” My answer is always, “No.” I’m ready with school supplies, but the truth is I’m not mentally ready to have my girls away from me for six hours every day for nine months every year.

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Donia is a stay-at-home Egyptian archaeologist who majored in Egyptology. Egyptology had always been her passion since childhood. But family is her biggest passion. She lives in Mount Kisco with her husband Ayman, their daughters Dania (2005) and Mirette (2012), their cats Tiger and Drogo, and their German Shepherd Max. She is also a stepmom to two girls Nada (1991) and Malak (1995). When she is not busy taking care of her big family, she enjoys anything Sci-Fi and fantasy, watching cooking and baking competition shows, playing the drums, playing tennis with her husband, video games, and DIY projects. According to her girls, she particularly enjoys event and travel planning for her family and always goes all-out and prepares too much for an event. She is excited to join Westchester County Mom to share her experience as an expat and mom.