What I Learned When It Was Time For My Toddler To Start Preschool

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start preschoolRecently I made the leap from stay-at-home/work-from-home mom to working outside the house. I also decided it was time for my daughter to start preschool. She is 2 years old, full of energy, and bored of being at home. This wasn’t an easy decision for me. I had been debating it for months. I thought long and hard about when the “perfect” time would be.

When would we be the most ready for her to start preschool?

However I had put it off. Full of fear of the what if’s that could happen by being cared for by someone else. What if someone hurts her? What if she’s abused and can’t tell me? My daughter still isn’t speaking sentences so I felt like I wouldn’t be able to know. That was my biggest fear.

Smaller fears lived in my head too.

What if she’s not social and doesn’t like it? What if I miss her? What if I am not ready to let go over her babyhood? 

Full of fear of the what if’s that could happen by being cared for by someone else.

 

So I debated back and forth.

Putting it to my husband that it was an expense we didn’t need. After all my writing wasn’t making me much, and I was available to be with her. “She’s only little so long,” I said.

I looked at two preschools and neither seemed like a good fit.

One had a long wait list and maybe a little too hippy dippy for our parenting style. The other seemed too focused on religion and closed minded about bilingual households. I thought I’d wait until we felt we really needed her to start preschool. All the while her tantrums increased, our days felt long, and I felt exhausted by trying to keep her entertained. 

And then a work opportunity popped up.

An online friend who did content creation was looking for an assistant. Someone who was creative, liked writing, liked styling (a former job of mine), and was flexible with part time hours. I had to reach out. I couldn’t let a job that seemingly fit me so well just pass me by. 

So I did. And within 24 hours I had an interview, got the job, and was now in the position of needing to find a preschool ASAP. So I put out a call to my online mama friends. They never seem to fail me. I quickly got a recommendation for a school by me.

I thought long and hard about when the “perfect” time would be.

We went to visit that day. They didn’t mind at all that we had to bring our daughter (unlike the other schools). An open floor plan made it so you could see every corner – nowhere to hide and hurt anyone. A huge outdoor area and a big tree over the playground felt so welcoming. The director/owner had been there for 30 years, and little to no complaints (and believe me we checked). We could start her as soon as Monday. The director was bilingual and knew all about bilingual children with 75% of their kids in bilingual households. It seemed again as if it was too perfect of an opportunity to pass by. Who am I to argue with fate? 

So she started preschool.

And life changed again. It has felt like life has been moving at the speed of light. I went from being home with her 24/7 trying to arrange to see other adults through play dates to managing school drop offs and my new work goals.

And this school drop off and commute thing is no joke!

All the mamas I know out there working full time with kiddos at school, my hats off to you because I’m not full time and it’s still hard. Stay-at-home mom, work-from-home mom, work-and-then-come-home mom. All momming is hard in different but equal ways. 

Truthfully what I’ve learned is, it’s all hard.  

I do miss my daughter. I do see her growing. I see her talking more every day. I see her socializing with other kids more. I see her becoming more confident and independent. I see her tantrums everyday still because she is adjusting. I am still tired. I am learning to manage my time. Prioritize my work and goals in different ways.

But I think having her start preschool was the right step for us. So I guess we were ready. And I’m sure any day now I’ll take another leap. I’ll change everything all over again. Because life is change. And change is good. 

 

start preschoo,

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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