Maybe they were new, had a rough teacher, got in trouble, were put in the lowest reading group. Maybe they couldn’t remember a math fact, sat alone at lunch or got picked last at recess.

Maybe they are weird or slow or shy or awkward. Maybe they wore the wrong clothes or old shoes or got a bad haircut a few days ago that couldn’t be fixed. Maybe they just always struggle.

Maybe they couldn’t find their classes or felt invisible. Maybe they didn’t feel excited but instead overwhelmed, unsure, anxious or inadequate.

Maybe they are working through death, sickness, mental illness or divorce and barely have energy to get by.

Maybe their friends dropped them over the summer or they chose to go separate ways. Maybe they were the butt of jokes, walked through the halls alone, didn’t make the team, or felt rejected at every turn. Maybe it’s even their own fault.

I don’t have answers or advice or a “how to” on making it all better, but you should know you are not alone, they are not alone. Every kid doesn’t ROCK the first day/week/year of school.

Our problems and disappointments are different, but all our mama hearts ache when any of these things happen to the little and sometimes big people we love unconditionally. So many of us hold our breath every morning and pray all day for something good to happen, for someone to notice, for kids to just be kind.

Cerebrally we know it is building resilience, refining them and teaching them empathy and crucial life lessons that will create better people in the long run. We know others have it harder, and that our kids really are okay, but that doesn’t make it hurt any less.

So if the first week of school hasn’t been the best ever and you’re not sure when things will improve; if you find your heart breaking every day; if you were unprepared for how much it hurts to watch your child suffer, take comfort in knowing that thousands of mothers are feeling those same things.

You are not crying or worrying alone. We are in this together. We are all praying for our babies and hoping we do and say the right thing without making it all worse. We know they will rise and come out on the other side with scars that deepen their humanity and with a voice that can change their corner of the world.

So keep loving, keep caring, keep hoping. Show a little extra kindness to everyone you meet. It will get better. And remember, you are Never Alone.