Preschool. Is it even considered school? Personally, I don't think so... but it's something. A milestone. A start of another phase. A way to score free time for yourself in the name of expanding your toddler's horizons. I've been lucky to be a work-from-home (mostly) mom and able to keep both of my girls with me until the age of three. After two years of preschool, my older daughter will now start 'real school' in the fall (see my most recent findings about the secret stuff Kindergarten teachers want our kids to know... to my shock and awe it blew up my social media). My younger daughter will now begin her first year of preschool. (Score! More free time!)
For all the soon-to-be preschool moms, heed this warning: You might flip out and freak a bit... even if you aren't the flip out and freak a bit type of mom. I'm just sayin.'
I'll back my own experience up for you. Since my brand new mom days, I've been surprisingly cool and collected when it came to leaving my babies with sitters. "Keep the kids alive" I'd say... and that was that. (I still say this to sitters.) I made the choice early on to keep my kids home from consistent day care situations and/or preschools until the age of three. It was just a decision I made... mostly because I was home anyways, and I just figured 'I'm not going to get these years back.'
So when it came time for preschool, I was ready. Like, READY. My daughter was ready. We were excited. Our preschool is literally one block from our house (hello, that's one of the main reasons why I picked it... in addition to the nice staff and great reputation it had in our community, of course). At the orientation, I remember the staff taking a few minutes to talk to us newbie parents about dropping off our kids for the first time. "Dropping off the first time is hard. Prepare yourself for it."
Oh please, I thought with my big attitude. I'm not like other parents. I'm not a wimp who has issues with being away from my kid.
Boy, did I get schooled on that first day. I found this video I did, immediately returning to my car with my then one year old after we dropped off her big sister, back in 2013. Watch and laugh (or, cry):
Thanks to my experience with my first daughter, I'm now prepared about how I might react when dropping my second baby off for the first time in a few weeks. My advice to you? Be strong (moms everywhere have done this). Don't cry in front of your kid (it will only make them upset). Do it quickly (dragging on a long goodbye isn't good for anyone... teachers included). And know that it's ok to cry in your car (you will look back and smile with tears in your eyes later).
Are you ready for preschool?