I wanted to start a new series called Mom Truth Monday and talk about things that we deal with as moms (or dads!) that can be tricky, hard, humbling and more.
Remember when I was excited that Jadyn was starting preschool a few weeks ago? Well, three weeks into the school year and I have come to the realization that preschool is hard. Like really hard. More for me than for her, I think.
I’ll be the first to admit that right after her first official day, I walked down the steps to the café by her school, opened up my laptop to start my work day, all while silently crying to myself like that mom. I had to be strong in front of my kid. I didn’t want to cry in front of Jadyn because that would make her really upset and have her transition into preschool life be that much harder. She’d also likely cry with me.
Let me back up here for a brief moment.
Thinking about my daughter as a little person instead of the baby she was not too long ago, my husband and I came to the conclusion that we’d be doing her a huge disservice by not enrolling her in some sort of program before the age of two. She’s such a social butterfly outside of the house; she loves playing with kids, going on adventures, being outside and just loves living life. We decided to enroll her in the local JCC Preschool program, which caters to development versus a curriculum (although, they have a curriculum they do follow pretty loosely).
Jadyn is one of the youngest in her class–she’s only 20 months. This whole transition thing is really hard on her, especially since she’s in a “mommy, mommy, mommy!” stage and separation anxiety is real. Since I have been with her every second of every day (perks of working from home for Red Tricycle), I knew this would be hard, but I didn’t know how often my heartstrings would be pulled every drop off.
While I don’t really believe in astrology, I do think it provides a good sense of personality traits–at least from what I can observe about myself, my daughter and my husband. My daughter is pretty spot on with her Capricorn traits:
- She’s persistent
- Not comfortable with drastic change (read: sensitive)
- Practical (I mean, she’s a toddler so how true is this right now, amiright?)
Preschool is a drastic change for her and others her age. Think about it: these little humans don’t have the robust vocabulary or the ability to form thoughtful sentences to articulate what they want. The “bye-bye mama” or “no, no” sentences we get is all 20-month-old toddlers can really form. Unless your little has been in daycare since early babyhood (more power to ya, if so!), then this is total chaos for their brains.
One thing that’s really helped us has been sticking to a morning routine during preschool drop offs. Here’s how our morning goes:
- Wake up, have breakfast, get ready and we’re in the car by 8:50 a.m. since preschool starts at 9 a.m. Luckily, the preschool is a 5 minute drive from our home.
- On the way to school, I always ask who Jadyn is going to see that day and mention some of her classmates. I always make sure to mention her teachers, as well.
- Once we arrive, we walk into the lobby area and say good morning to the fish in the fish tank for about two minutes, then head to her classroom.
- Upon entering Jadyn’s classroom we say good morning to her teachers and the kids who are already there, put her lunchbox in her cubby and I always ask her where she washes her hands. After we wash our hands, I let Jadyn either pick out two books for me to read to her or we do a puzzle. Once those books are read or puzzle is completed, I always say “okay, mommy has to go to work now, but she’ll be back right after lunch! I love you.”
- This is when the separation anxiety kicks right back in for my little and where I struggle to actually leave. A few times over the last three weeks I’ve had to hand my crying child to her teacher and head out the door. Not my favorite thing.
While I know the tears are only short-term (at least I hope they are), I know this is a drastic change for Jadyn. I have no doubt that within a couple more weeks, she’ll be fine and really excited to go to school and see her friends. Still though, this whole process doesn’t make it easier.
How’d you cope with sending your mini off to preschool? Leave a comment below.