Am I the only one who seems to be having a hard time keeping my emotions in check lately?! Seriously, this age of having growing children is throwing me emotional curveballs I wasn’t expecting.

Did I cry in the recent kid’s movie I watched? Yes. Did I cry during a commercial about babies and diapers? Maybe. What is going on?!

Today, the emotions snuck up when I really wasn’t expecting them; back to school for the 3rd grader.

I’ll be 100% honest here: I’m not usually the mom who dreads back to school. I am the mom who skips home knowing my kids will be having a great school day while I will be having a much needed “mental health day.” Trust me, I’m a better mom when my kids are in school and my nerves aren’t fried. I admit it!!

Don’t get me wrong, I knew this was going to be a hard week. I knew my tiniest of dancers was starting Kindergarten and ending my 6 year long streak of preschool drop offs. I already have a plan to try and keep the tears in when he hops on the bus tomorrow afternoon, and how I will drown my tears in a chai tea latte afterwards. I know this. What I didn’t know was seeing my 3rd grader, bright eyed and a bit nervous at 7am would cause a whole new slew of emotions to take over.

She’s an old pro.

She’s done this first day thing the last few years at the same school. I’ve only cried once, okay maybe twice, on her first days. This year seems to add a whole new element for my mommy emotions: fear. Fear that she won’t be accepted as her cool and authentic self. 3rd graders aren’t all bubbly and sweet like I feel the kids have been in the years prior. Is this the age “mean girls” begin?! (Ugh, maybe we won’t have to ever deal with this?!). Is this the year someone crushes her spirit? My anxious mind isn’t having such an easy time with this change.

Just when I thought I’d be able to keep it together, I came downstairs and saw the sweetest and most unexpected thing on the kitchen table. A note from the husband made out to our first born. Cue the tears. Cue the heart flutter. Cue all of the emotions.

I lost it. Tears started flowing, I might have even sobbed a tiny bit.

In that very moment I knew a few things. 1). I married not only the best person for me, but the best person for my children to be able to call dad. 2). No matter what happens outside these walls, I know my daughter has an amazing environment to come home to and that’s all I can do. 3). I need to start having caffeine way earlier in the mornings! (It’s true!)

To all the moms, dads, kids and to all the people who are sending their hearts away to school, just know we are all a bit of an emotional hot mess. Some of us wear it on our sleeves and some of us hide it better. Here’s to a great school year and to another year of self discovery.