Taking The Leap: When Is It Time For Preschool?


How do you know when to take the leap and send your child to preschool? Can someone tell me if it’s time? Make this decision for me? Because I’ve got some mom guilt in my house for not being able to keep up with my toddler.

Mom guilt. We’ve all felt it.

Sometimes, it’s just one thing someone has said,

Oh she’s not talking yet? My son started talking so much once he was in preschool. And he already had SOME words by her age. Oh we never watch TV at home. We only do Montessori-approved activities. 

Okay Linda I get it, my kid isn’t as good as yours and I’m not as good of a mom.

Of course Linda never meant it that way (or maybe she did, it’s hard to tell) but that’s how you felt it. That’s how I’ve been feeling it. Like I’m not measuring up. This is mostly because I’ve been running low on things to do to keep my daughter entertained at home lately. Add to that she isn’t talking. The doctor says it’s normal for a child in a multilingual household.  Now trust me I know she is fine, I’m so very proud of her. Juniper is just over one and a half years old and she is a firecracker. I like to say she’s equally sweet and spicy.  

I’m trying my best.

I’ve been on Pinterest. I’ve gotten her a tiny kitchen, play table, books, art easel, and she’s got her best friends our two dogs Bullwinkle and Berdoo to keep her company. But we both are bored and irritated by the end of almost every day and watching far too much TV. And the meltdowns, oh the meltdowns! I like to think it’s because she’s very bright, but isn’t that what every parent thinks?

Oh yes my child is ADVANCED.  


So I’ve begun to think about preschool that maybe it’s time for a professional to be in the scene.

I mean it be great if her skill set went beyond demanding things in some language I’ve never heard before and escaping gated areas. Even bigger plus if I’m not the one who has to do it. 

Getting ready for preschool.

I’ve started to search and there seems to be an abundance of choices. But most want her to be 2 which is super lame since I was kinda hoping she could start sometime around yesterday? Like more specifically right before that huge tantrum she had over not being allowed to color on the floor. I thought I didn’t have that many opinions on preschools but it turns out I kind of do. Like I’d like it to be a diverse group of children and teachers. I’d like if she had plenty of free play but also has directed activities so she could learn to listen. I would love if they had Mandarin lessons (that’s what her Dad speaks to her) or even better if it was an immersion school. What if they did yoga and painting? Wouldn’t it be great if it was very nature based?!

I know, I know. I’m dreaming big.

But really the biggest thing I think about is will she get the right amount of attention and will she be safe? 

Will she be safe.

Will she be safe.

Will she be safe.

It repeats over and over in my mind.

That’s the scariest part right? For all of us? Especially after reading the millions of terrible headlines out there about children being abused by caretakers. 



So am I ready for preschool now? How do I know?

I know we could use the break, and she could use the interaction with other kids and adults. Studies show children that go to preschool do better throughout their lives. One of the main things I struggle with is getting both her and I enough socialization even with play dates. It’s something that tons of moms of preschoolers think about regularly. Will she love her teachers at preschool as much as she loves being with me? I’d both hope she does and doesn’t. But I know how valuable these teachers really are. 

So tomorrow I’ll go to my second tour of a school.

The first one was really quite nice but I feel like I should compare and contrast before making a decision. Neither has an immersion program sadly but they are both diverse and super close by. I have so many questions and options and that can be overwhelming. Why does every one keep talking about STEM? Why do I need to fill out an application about her personal strengths when she’s not even two yet? How many goals could she really have conquered before entering preschool? Why are there waiting lists? What is an appropriate time to mention that she hates sharing and sometimes kicks? And most of all, is this the right choice for our family? Am I doing the right thing? Are we ready to take that leap? Somehow I don’t feel like anyone but my husband and myself can answer those last few questions.

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Liz McTan is an entrepreneur, blogger, singer/songwriter and above all a mom. On her blog The Redheaded Rambling Mama she focuses on the necessity of connection and establishing our own village. Liz also writes about maintaining a sense of self after children, and beating the illusion of perfect parenting we see throughout social media and keeping a sense of humor to stay sane. She is a proponent of traveling, protesting, and even attending festivals with your kids. Through her battle with post-partum depression and anxiety she has found a new sense of self and purpose in her writing and music with her band Echo Hill. You can read more of her work at www.redheadedramblingmama.blog or on her social media pages www.facebook.com/redheadedramblingmama and www.instagram.com/redheadedramblingmama