Well, it’s officially back-to-school season again! Is your Facebook feed as filled with cute photos of kids and their signs as mine is? Seeing all of these posts got me thinking that I wanted to do a follow-up to the “preschool pressure” post I shared at this time last year.
If you read last year’s post, you know we decided to hold Zelda back from starting preschool with the main reason being her speech. Developmentally she just wasn’t where we would have preferred her to be before sending her to preschool. It’s extremely important to me that Zelda be able to come home and tell me about her day. Both for her safety and so I can still feel connected to how she’s spending the majority of her time.
I also just struggle with sending my child to school at such a tender age. These young years are so precious and I feel like kids have so many years of structured school days and that our time with them as parents is already so limited.
After taking both of these things (and a few others mentioned in last year’s post) into consideration, I decided to follow my motherly instincts—she just wasn’t ready. So, instead, Zelda spent this past year with our nanny, Mia. Mia was an incredible, wonderful part of our family, but has since moved on to her next family because of our move to Colorado. (BTW, if you’re looking for a nanny, I laid out some of my best tips in this post.)
Anyway, this was definitely the right choice for our family and Zelda. She’s spent time doing gymnastics, tap, piano, playing at the park, traveling with Spiro and I, etc.. We did a little bit of everything, which I think is what kids need at this age. I think as long as you’re providing a positive, stimulating environment, that’s what really matters. Kids can learn a lot from you and simply being in the world. Never forget that as parents!
So with our move, I’ve also transitioned from business owner/entrepreneur/boss to being a full-time stay at home mom. It’s been a very crazy year but things are starting to settle down. And with the dust finally settling, it kind of dawned on me recently that Zelda is going to start preschool very soon.
To prepare for this, I decided to start her in a summer day camp. I really wanted time to practice the whole “drop off” scenario and just feel out the situation. What I thought would be a very emotional and dramatic moment for Zelda actually ended up being a piece of cake. On the first day (side note—this is the same place she’s been going to for gymnastics so it wasn’t a completely new and strange environment), I pulled in to drop her off and prepared myself, ready for tears. Instead, she planted a giant fish lip kiss on me, hugged me and said “See you at 3!” and took off. It was in this moment that I realized she’s now truly ready. My decision to wait for preschool last year really was validated. And I can’t tell you how good it felt to know she was emotionally and developmentally ready for this next adventure.
Zelda will officially begin preschool in mid-October after we get moved out to Aspen and take a long trip to Greece. I plan on really documenting the whole process and sharing how it goes both for her and me, so don’t worry, I’ll definitely be sharing more on her transition (and mine).
With all of this said, I want to leave you with this: The only right way to raise your kids is the right way for your family. And Zelda starting this year is what is right for us. Don’t let anyone put unnecessary pressure on you. Even when people looked at me like I was crazy last year, I didn’t let that obstruct our path for our child.
I hope this gives you some inspiration if you find yourself in a similar situation. Just remember that the time that’s right is when you, as a parent, feel it’s right.