My Love Hate Relationship With Preschool

A little over a year ago I stopped working full time. This was partially my choice and partially due to the fact I had been laid off and my husband and I decided it was not the best time for our family to have me away from home. My children had been attending daycare since they were 3 months old and other than the typical mom guilt, it worked out great. Drop the kids off, give them a hug- put bottles away, etc. Off to work: In and Out. I never put much thought into that process other than I knew they were being well cared for.

Enter preschool. Last fall, both my children started two and three day a week programs. These are 4 hours a day, and I only have 2 mornings without both children, but honestly, that time saves my life, not to mention, they love it. That being said, after almost a full school year I’ve become sort of a curmudgeon about this whole preschool thing. I’m usually miss super positive, so this feels a bit foreign. I mean I should be happy we have the luxury of sending our children to preschool at all. Maybe it’s the fact we’re a year into a 15 month home remodel, I have other outlets aside from motherhood that require time and energy, maybe it’s because I’m a very low maintenance Mom and could care less about some of this “high maintenance” stuff, perhaps my hormones are just wonky because I’m pregnant with my third child and need some rest, or maybe, these are typical feelings for any mother of a preschool student and I’m not alone. I mean…

There are soooo many holidays and teacher in service days. Oh my goodness, I think with daycare there were major holidays and maybe one in service a year. When your child only goes to school two days a week, it’s rough when one of those days is squandered.

I’m sure this has to do with the state of Texas, but it’s still rather frustrating. Not to mention, when there are 3 holidays in a month, I’m still paying full tuition.

My four year old has dress code regulations. These weren’t formally given to us at orientation or discussed at any point, however, on more than one occasion, my daughter has been put in a new outfit- typically boys clothing, because her dress was a little short. This just seems ridiculous at the age of four. Especially given that forty years ago it was completely normal for girls to wear skirts that hit just below their bottoms to middle and high school. I guess that was a very long time ago, but I’m obviously not old fashioned in this arena and am still holding a grudge against my private high school for making me change out of that super cute daisy print A-line dress because my legs were longer than the other girls who wore it.

Did you know preschools have their own version of a PTA? Yes, they do. I understand the need for this, given all the events and activities that go on throughout the year, but I’m not ready to be involved that intensely in my children’s school just yet. There are other Moms who have been waiting to volunteer their time to this cause, and for that I am thankful.

Last year my daughter was able to secure a spot at her current preschool in February, so she started a little into the second semester. I would sign her in and say goodbye. This year, now that she’s a year older, I sign her in, walk her into the classroom, watch her wash her hands, make sure she signs herself in and then give her one last hug before darting for the nearest exit. Some days this process can take up to 10 minutes given the amount of kids in line at the sink. Her teacher tells us we should embrace this time, but given she’s a year older it seems she should not be regressing, yet rather becoming more independent, as she’s always been in the past.

My four year old informed me a few weeks ago that she needed to hydrate…. Something that I’m positive has been drilled into her little head at school. At our house we drink water or sparkling water. Occasionally milk is requested, but rarely, which means, we’re all pretty well hydrated. At school the kids have water bottles and if I remember them  we’ll take them out with us to run errands, etc. I completely believe in the importance of drinking water regularly, but I also think my kids should be able to deal with not having a beverage any time they want. There are sometimes when that’s just not possible and I really don’t want to deal with the dramatics of “I need to hydrate!”

I just want to drop off, pick up and donate to the cause if need be to maintain my sanity!

When I sit back and think about these complaints, they seem so petty in the grand scheme of their preschool experience as a whole. Truth is, I wouldn’t change a thing. They attend a wonderful school, full of precious parents and students. My kids absolutely adore their teachers, who are extremely invested in their lives and make every day they attend an adventure. Their excitement and joy as they run to their classrooms makes my heart so happy. I know that while they aren’t spending time with me that they are in a safe, loving environment filled with sweet friends. Their minds are being expanded with new lessons and experiments; they’re wearing out on the playground and getting their “glitter” out in the classroom, rather than all over our living room. (That last point should really be the number one reason to send your kids to school!)

And sadly, I know that one day, not too far from now, they’ll start kindergarten and I’ll look back on preschool and wish things were as simple as they used to be.


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