My life has been ever more hectic since the night my second child was born nearly two years and four months ago. She wasn’t a good sleeper in the beginning and though we did get our nights established relatively quickly, we’ve always struggled here and there in that department. I honestly can’t tell you the last time she took a nap.
So though I no longer need to meet the demands of an infant, I remain a tired mama.
My job as a stay at home mom is an active one. I’m the cook, the chauffeur, the laundry lady, the playmate. Because we don’t live near family, my girls have always been either with me or with my husband (or the two of us) almost exclusively their entire young lives.
Except for school.
The fall that my oldest child was two, she started a part time preschool program at a local Montessori school. Prior to that, the only time we’d been separated was when she would stay in the babysitting room at the gym, which was about 50 feet away from where I was exercising. Or on weekends if I would go out on errands she would stay home with my husband. Or ONE weekend a couple weeks after I had stopped breastfeeding, I went out of town to be in a friend’s wedding. That’s it.
So the decision to enroll her in a preschool program wasn’t one I took lightly. But I decided she needed more than what I could give her by myself, and so began her scholastic journey. On her first day of preschool, I sat in the parking lot for the entire two and a half hours. You know, just in case she needed me. I may have cried. (Just a little.) When I went to get her from her class, she was fine. She had cried a bit, but she was fine and willingly went back the next day.
She was nearly four when we moved back to Houston. I started her at a Montessori school here about a month after we moved, so she had to have another “first day” of school. Though she had only been going four days a week, I enrolled her to attend five days a week at the new school because I was almost seven months pregnant and I knew she’d be better off at school than at home once her sister was born. Again, she was fine.
This fall my youngest — and last — child is two. She will also start a part time preschool program at a local Montessori school. Prior to this, we’ve only been separated on weekends when I run errands, and ONE time when I went out of town for several days because of a death in my family. It’s only been 13 months since I stopped breastfeeding her.
Tomorrow is her first day of preschool. And I’m not ready.
But I can’t sit in the parking lot. I have another child to take care of who doesn’t start school for another two weeks. And I’ve got things to take care of that I simply can’t address with a two year old in tow.
But my heart will be in that parking lot. And may be crying. (Just a little.)