I’ve been putting it off and then putting it off some more.
Yesterday, I finally did it.
I called the school and put Freya’s name down for nursery. I had it in my mind that she would start next January, maybe a couple of half days a week, but the receptionist said she could actually start in September.
And that they “encourage” children to go five days a week, either mornings or afternoons – even though she will only just be three the week before term starts.
I know it’s months away. And I’m sure she will be more than ready to go by then – given that every time we walk past the school she asks to go in – and that many of her friends have been going to nursery since they were tiny without issue. But, it just seems soon. Like, really soon. And she’s still a baby. My baby.
When she was four months and her reflux was reaching its peak (meaning she cried most of the day and only slept in chunks of between 10 and 45 minutes all night) I remember thinking: “That’s it. I’m done. I can’t cope any more. I’m going to have to put her in daycare and go back to work full time to pay for it.”
I looked into it, spoke to those friends who had children in lovely nurseries where they were thriving but in the end I couldn’t give up the dream of being at home with her…even if at that point it was more of a nightmare.
And I’m glad I didn’t. Now.
I waited a long time for Freya to come along and as an ‘older mum’ with a far from easy pregnancy history, I knew in the back of my mind (far far back) that she would probably be my only one. I wanted to make the most of her and we had got our lives into a place where I only had to work part-time (With thanks to my parents who volunteered to look after her twice a week. I know! So lucky.) to be able to do it.
The dream v reality was very different in those early months but somewhere along the way (maybe at around nine months) things started to get a bit easier and I began to think “maybe I don’t entirely suck at this parenting thing”.
Obviously we still have our off days but most of the time now we have a lot of fun – normally at the expense of a clean house – but now it feels like we’re on borrowed time, even though nursery and then school was always going to come eventually.
I just hadn’t really thought that far ahead.
I know it will be good for her to be around other children in a learning environment. That I’m lucky to have had her with me for this long. That there is only so much I can teach her in an academic sense (and certainly no maths).
I know all of that. It just seems like one minute I was wishing those baby months away and now they are gone I want time to stand still in this moment.
Mark asked her last night whether she wanted to go to nursery and she said: “No thank you, I have to stay at home with my mummy.”
He looked at me and said: “You’re going to well-up any minute, aren’t you?”
I had dust in my eye from the aforementioned lack of housework, that’s all.
23 thoughts on “Applying for nursery – my baby is growing up.”
The tipping point for me was when they said that boys would go into different classes once they had settled. Managed to remain smiley whilst in the school and descended into great snorted sobs walking home!
I’m welling up and they are not even my children! Did they get on ok?
They did. They were put in classes next to each other and the doors were kept open so they could check on each other.
Aww that’s nice.
Big boys now, who walk to school on their own
Oh no! I remember doing the same with my last pregnancy, wished it away and was so unprepared and mournful the evening before my ‘C’ section. Ah bless you lovely, it will be different for you both but I bet you are amazed how quick the time that she is at school goes xx
So many people told me “make the most of those baby months they’ll be gone in a flash” and while I don’t wish for those back, I’d like to keep her as she is for a while longer 🙂 Yes, I’ll probably love having a few hours to myself once we get used to it. Thanks for commenting 🙂
I remember it well even though it was years ago and it was school rather than nursery. Even though they both went to playgroup, that didn’t bother me the same as school. Same with my grandson, really felt for the little man starting school. Half a day though – it soon passes, no sooner dropped off than you’re picking them up again. I am sure she will love it there 🙂
I really hope she’ll like it. I hated school so perhaps that’s part of the fear but she’s much more sociable than I was, according to my mum. And you’re right, it’s only a couple of hours at first. Maybe that’s the way I should look at it 🙂 Thank you!
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If you are in a position to do so, go with what feels right. She doesn’t have to do 5 half days to begin with. And schools have changed, I think. I was very unhappy at school from day one, but my very quiet, not particularly confident daughter was well looked after and real effort was made to understand her. And (last and) it keeps going quickly, so quickly. That quiet little girl of mine is in her last year of uni, and she was a baby just yesterday. Enjoy what the bits you can. and remember that the hard bits are just moments when you look back on them.
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Thank you, Caz. I do think five half days is a lot. I will see how she is by then. For now I am going to bury my head in the sand and pretend it’s not happening 🙂 I hope you’re ok.
Oh Tara I feel all my memories and life with babies flooding back when I read your posts. You have been fortunate to build axstrong bond with Freya because of the time and trials and joys of spending time together. It is sad whe they frow up little bit by bit. We can enjoy wach stage if their frowing but with each stage comes a loosening of the apron strings. It takes time for all to adjust to each change (and it does come so awfully fast). But we don’t raise our children to ‘need’ – everything we do with them is to help them grow into confident, happy, independent adults. There will be tears as Freya starts school, and that is fine. I think a gradual introduction to school is a good plan. And it is important also that you get some down time for yourelf, while she is in nursery school. You will be surprised how quickly the nursery school hours go. Somedays you think you have only just dropped her off and then you gave a cuppa with a friend, do a bit of work and suddenly it is time to pick her up again.
I keep telling myself it’s only for a few hours and that it will be really good for her. I just have to start believing it now 🙂 Yes, I really think five mornings or afternoons straight off is a bit harsh, although maybe she will love it? Have to see.
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You will be able to judge that when she starts. Are you building up to 5 days over 5 weeks? Or 5 days Bam…. in one go?
* word omitted from above comment. … I meant: we don’t raise our children to “need” us. – Sorry… I really shouldn’t type on this ridiculously small phone keypad and with auto correct!!!
Aww such a precious comment from Freya! I can’t offer much advice from a parental view but my niece and nephew really enjoy nursery and have made lots of lovely friends through it! xxx
I hope she will be the same. She loves playgroup and hardly looks for me at all so maybe she will be fine and it will only be me who struggles 🙂
My friend said her kid was fine and she was in floods around the corner! Kids are so robust compared to us adults aren’t they? Freya strikes me as someone who will not struggle to make friends, that smile is a winner!
Awwwww. *passes the tissues* ~Tara
Thank you. I have a feeling I’m going to need a lot of them!
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A friend of mine is struggling with the idea of sending her little boy to nursery for the five days, and when you look at him (and Freya) you think their so tiny! I suppose you just have to see how it goes and how she gets on, but yes, I’d be gutted too and completely get the ‘dust in your eyes’ 😉