I was expecting our third baby any day and had a 13 month old and 2.5 year old at home. I was so exhausted, and knew from experience, that adding a newborn to the mix was not going to help with my sleep situation. How was I supposed to do fun things like go to the park and finger paint and expand Yianna’s horizons when I could barely keep my kids alive?? Drum roll please…. SCHOOL!
While I had some solid Mom guilt about putting my 2.5 year old in preschool, I knew it was what was best for her and for us at that time. I agonized over where to send her and interrogated – ahem, interviewed – everyone I knew. We ended up sending her to a preschool that was a 15 min drive away. She went on Tues/Thurs from 8:30-11:30. She loved it. She finally had a place where she had her own identity apart from her brother and sister. She got to do super fun activities and make friends. I, on the other hand, was driving an hour a day to take her to three hours of school – with a 13 month old and newborn in tow. It took me almost twice as long to get everyone in the car and walk and check her in as it did to make the drive there.
I watched Moms drop their youngest child off at preschool in their cute work out clothes with smiles of freedom on their faces trying to decide where to meet for coffee or long walks during the three hour reprieve. I just schlepped the two little ones back in the car and drove home and tried to play with Kiki while wearing George in the sling. Then loaded them back up and did the 30 min round trip drive all over again.
This lasted another year before I realized that there are so many amazing preschools filled with loving, dedicated, and passionate teachers who would take fantastic care of my daughter. We found another preschool that was only a 3 min drive from our house and it revolutionized my life!
Fast forward five years, and I’m getting ready to send George to kindergarten. I cheered sighs of relief when sending my kids to school in the past because it was such a relief to have someone else nurture, enlighten, and care for my child for a few hours while I could focus on the younger ones – but this time, there are no younger ones to go home to.
It will be the first time in my eight year reign as a mom that I have all three kids in school at the same time. I might start practicing law again or I might take up yoga and get more massages. Leaning towards the latter.
Whether it’s a sigh of relief or sadness, breathe deep Mama (and Dad), it’s back to school time!