Toddler Years Are Lightning Fast
As I gaze upon my growing 5-year-old daughter, and hold on tight for dear life, the memories I’m trying to store in my head, I think to myself – how did we get here so fast? Have you ever tried to stop and think about your fondest memories of your toddler being a baby? Or have you ever scrolled through every single photo of her infant stage knowing good and well you’ve done it a hundred times? And, thanks to Snapchat memories, I feel the butterflies in my stomach every time I play old videos of her wiggling around my tummy while I was pregnant. I’m basically an emotional train wreck because she will be entering Kindergarten in the fall.
Team No Regrets
We made the decision to place my eldest in preschool when she was 3 years-old because we were excited for her to get an early jumpstart to her education. She was ready, I was ready and we had ZERO regrets – I didn’t even question preschool. The #firstdayofschool photos were all smiles and I still remember asking her if she wanted me to stay a bit. She giggled and said “bye, mom.” Her words gave me confidence. It was the right decision. She was incredibly happy.
Now that I’m preparing my body, mind and spirit for Kinder, I can’t make sense of why my feelings are going a bit out of whack. Why now, that she’s been in school for 2 years, do I suddenly want to say, no more school just stay home and cuddle with me every morning? Meanwhile, she talks about Kinder daily as we are approaching just the last few weeks of school. Her face lights up knowing she’ll be on the “big playground now.” How she’ll soon be reading and writing notes to her friends. Then, just a few days ago, she said “and I’ll be a great big sister at school, mom.” Yes, that’s the cherry on top. Not only do I have a soon-to-be Kindergartner…we also have a soon-to-be 3-year-old who has been begging to go to school ever since she first walked hand-in-hand to drop her big sister off at class.
Hello Kinder, Hello Preschool
I didn’t cry the day my 3-year-old went to preschool, but if anyone would like to bet on waterworks the first day I have TWO kids walking into school, well, odds are highly in your favor. Wow, I just got a few tears in my eyes just typing this. If you’re thinking why don’t I just keep her…it’s tough, mama! And, I haven’t made up my mind on it 100%. You see, I’m very thankful for a flexible job but anyone who works from home at any capacity while trying to care for a toddler knows how that goes. I go back and forth a lot – am I being selfish to keep her, should I ignore her desire to go to school? OMG, am I being a BAD mom?
Here’s the skinny – she’s ready. I’m not (yet). But I do know an early start helped our eldest daughter and she had such a great time. I have a handful of mom friends who sent their kiddos to pre-k and gave it 2-thumbs up AND I have friends who skipped Pre-K and gave that 2-thumbs up.
Here are my 3 thoughts as we decide on preschool:
- How will I be the best mom I can be? I’m talking about work balance, life balance, small business balance, and whatever else I have going on. I’m jotting it all down.
- How can our family benefit from the decision we make? I’m making a list of all the benefits of BOTH. No negatives on this list – it’s not my thing.
- If it doesn’t feel right, what can I do or what would be the next steps? If I let her try it out and we both decide it’s not working yet (every child is different), we will happily take a break. I’m deciding that now so I don’t have to stress about what to do later. I also feel more confident in that decision if I have a plan for it now.
We all know our children best and what works for our family. While I’ll miss eating breakfast in our favorite sunny nook of the house, our morning tea parties, or our mid-day outdoor adventures in the backyard looking for bugs or jumping on the trampoline, I know our mommy-daughter adventures won’t stop here.