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.