I’m Happy, I’m Sad, I’m Scared: My 0-to-60 Mama Moments

We call Isla “0 to 60” because she can go from being completely giggly one minute to a ball of tears the next. But I think that moniker is more suited for me. It’s funny how being a mom can bring out every single emotion you’ve ever experienced all in one day. I remember saying to my husband after Isla was born, “I’m surprised at how calm I can be one minute and frustrated I get the next.”

These days I don’t get as nervous or scared when Isla is having a fit, but I still manage to go from a giggly, heart-melting mommy to a biting-my-tongue-not-to-scream mommy in a matter of hours and sometimes seconds. And my erratic range of emotions doesn’t just have to do with Isla’s behavior, nor do they only include happiness and irritation. Like every mother I’ve ever met there is also fear when you hear of an Amber alert, sorrow after the Sandy Hook tragedy, pride when they do something for the first time and pure, gushing love when they say, “hi mommy” in their sweet, innocent voice.

I certainly don’t have all of the hormones raging through me like I did when I was pregnant and post-partum but when thinking about certain milestones, scary situations and anything having to do with Isla getting older I find myself riding that roller coaster of emotion more than I ever imagined I would. This happened to me last week when I signed Isla up for preschool.


I’m not going to lie. I’ve been waiting for this day since the fall. Right after the holidays I started researching Crossroad Church’s Kingdom Kids registration process and got so excited about the thought of Isla going to school for a few days a week I couldn’t stop grinning.

Sure, I’m excited about the break a few days a week, but I am also excited for her to start something that I know she’s ready for and will love (more on that when she starts). As I filled out the registration form, I was thrilled. YES! Preschool! I didn’t for a second think about how sad it would be to drop her off that first day or how lonely I might feel when she’s not by my side all day long. Instead, I was busy planning out my mornings and thinking about how I’d be able to get my work done so much faster without a toddler asking for Cheerios, “Mickey House” and replacing a torn off diaper every five minutes.

In the midst of my mommy bliss I conveniently forgot to check the box for what days of the week I wanted her to attend. I had been going back and forth about which days would be better for both of us but wasn’t 100% sure what we should do. I decided I’d let my husband be the deciding factor and left it blank so I could further discuss with him.

As you all can understand life got in the way and it slipped my mind. The next thing I knew I was sliding Isla’s registration form under the director’s door at the church on Sunday. As I look back, I realize maybe my cognitive slip wasn’t a slip at all but my subconscious telling me I wasn’t quite ready to let her go as I thought I was.

On Tuesday we got a call asking which days we preferred, M, W, F or M – F. At this point I was already leaning towards M, W, F so without hesitation I proclaimed with confidence, “M, W, F!” As I hung up the phone, I started wondering if she’d better benefit from a M-F class. And then suddenly, out of nowhere I was sad. Very, very sad. It had just happened. Elation to tears in a matter of minutes. I was surprised and a little embarrassed at how emotional I felt over PRESCHOOL. I mean it’s not like it is Kindergarten. Come on, Jena!

But the fact of the matter is I’ve spent almost every single waking moment with Isla since she was born. And while that fact drives me crazy at times it has also made me realize how true the cliché, “they grow up so fast” really is and how sad that makes me. What’s going to happen to me when she actually starts kindergarten or performs in her first play, or (and this thought makes me cringe) starts dating?! Stay tuned for more of my 0 to 60 mama moments.

How emotional were you when your kids started preschool?


Jena Pugh
Jena Pugh is a stay-at-home working mom, a wife to her adoring husband Paul, and mama to two spunky girls. She currently writes daily blogs for Entertainment Benefits Group, a travel company that sells discounted tickets to Orlando theme parks (BestofOrlando.com, OrlandoFunTickets.com) and Las Vegas (BestofVegas.com) shows and attractions. Her blogs include happenings in both Vegas and Orlando as well as celebrity sightings in Sin City. Jena also teaches group fitness classes with Jacksonville Stroller Strength and is certified as a nutrition coach.


  1. I shed some tears when my first went to preschool, but I’m sure its nothing compared to this Fall when she will start kindergarten. As I tour the schools this month I can’t picture my little Lyla in these big big schools! She’s still my baby!

  2. I cant imagine right now Jena, keep us posted on how it goes. She is going to do great and be a strong leader.

  3. Jena…you will love it at KK….i can give you lots of info on her new teacher. Great post…..remember those days and going through it all over again with J switching schools this year. Will we ever get a grip??


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