"That mom"…yep, that's me.

Right now, the little guy goes to “school”. I say this in quotations because he actually goes to “daycare” 2 mornings a week. I call it school because it sounds silly for a stay at home mom to send their child to daycare 2 mornings a week. That’s why I stay at home, right? So we don’t have to put him into daycare?! I’m not going to go into why he goes to “school” now, but instead where he will go to school in September.

Preschool.

Yup, preschool. And, it is crazy how serious this is! I am reading status updates on Facebook about other kids who are already registered for preschool. I am reading blogs about how to I need to get cracking on getting my child registered for preschool or else he won’t be going to preschool next fall. Every local parenting periodical has an Open House Guide in it…and I have read them all. I have them highlighted, dogeared, and am putting the dates for Open Houses on my calendar! Last week, I attended the Lake Oswego Preschool Forum to find out more about the preschool options in our area. It was a madhouse! I am not kidding. There were mobs of people talking to the teachers and directors like this was the biggest decision of their life! I actually heard one father say, “Oh yes, I went to Montessori, ” like he is now a better person because he attended a Montessori preschool. Am I a bad person because I did not go to Montessori?!

Here’s my problem. I am stressing out about this! I know, I didn’t think I would be “that mom” stressed about getting their kid into the right preschool. My mom is a preschool teacher for heaven’s sake…I always thought my kids would go to her preschool…she just happens to live in the wrong state (she would say we live in the wrong state)!

It’s not that I am afraid that there is not a good school out there for him. There are plenty of preschools to choose from. I am just afraid that the preschool we want will not have space for him. What if I needed to get on the waitlist before he was born?! What if I forget to call on the registration day? What if the one I want him to go to right now (because it is close and convenient) does not meet my criteria when I go to the open house or to visit? What if the #2 choice doesn’t work out, either? #3? #4?

All I know is that this IS serious stuff. And, I’m going to be stressed about it until he is signed up and guaranteed a spot in the RIGHT preschool! Yes, I am “that mom”. Whatever that means.

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14 thoughts on “"That mom"…yep, that's me.

  1. Megan says:

    Hilarious!! Okay, maybe not for you…. but as the reader I enjoyed a good chuckle:) I am looking from the outside and am amazed at the pressures of choosing a preschool…a preschool!!!! I hear it from many of my friends and it seems the closer to a big city, the more intense the pressure is…. comparable to applying to colleges. Reece, however, will thrive wherever he ends up, because the most important part of his education, he is getting at home, and I am very confident that you and Ryan are doing a great job!!!!

    • Stephany says:

      Megan-
      Yes, there is pressure, but I am only putting it on myself. I am not concerned with getting him into what others might consider the “best” preschool. I am concerned about getting him into the best preschool for him (and us).
      I have a lot of respect for preschools and preschool teachers. My mom has been one for almost 30 years and she has touched hundreds of childrens lives with what (and how) she teaches. The socialization skills and the ability for a child to learn that they can thrive without mommy and daddy around are very important. Have you ever seen how a preschool teacher gets fifteen 3 year olds to sit quietly for a story, perform a song standing up in front of a crowd, or learn a new language? These teachers have a gift and it is one that I cannot give Reece and Lorelai at home.
      I justhope that we can find a supportive, loving, fun, challenging environment where he is able to add to what he learns at home…because we cannot teach him everything! (And, having the preschool close and convenient won’t hurt either!)

  2. kathy says:

    You’ve got your priorities in order… nurturing, fun, etc and close to home… as you know, all the rest isn’t important to you, so you have to focus on only your own priorities… I admire preschool teachers immensely… I could never do what they do and so am very glad they can do it… I’m confident you’ll find a nearby school with teachers that do it well and lovingly. As for the learning part… I remember feeling much comforted while researching learning styles to learn that researchers conclude that it’s really hard to keep a kid from learning! xxoo K-Mom

  3. Aunt Tracy says:

    Since I have put all 3 of my kids in preschool (Will is still there), I will say this!!! I think there are two reasons why this time of year (preschool registration time) is so crazy. First, there are obviously a shortage of good preschools! Second, some parents are nutso and think it really makes a difference. I think the most important thing is for you to make a list of what you want in a preschool. Some people want a really academic preschool where they do worksheets and learn their abcs, kind of like kindergarten. Others want a place where their child can learn social and classroom skills. And there of course all the parents in between.

    I sent Joey to 2 years of preschool but Patrick only went 1 year and he adjusted to kindergarten just fine. Will is only going for 1 year too. So, if the preschool you really want doesn’t have openings for Reece you could consider just keeping him in the “school” he goes to now until next year. Just another option.

    Another thing I wanted was to be a part of the preschool. I wanted to see how my kids were acting in the classroom, how they were interacting with the other kids and see how the teacher was doing. With the 4 years of preschool my kids have done all together, I have had 2 years at each of the 2 co-op preschools we have here and I love it!! Co-op is usually less expensive than the other preschools and you sign up for a job. Mine is science parent so once a month I get to go in and teach science but there are all kinds of jobs out there. I also work as an aide in the classroom on average 2x per month (Will is in 3-day preschool this year). I love that with 1 teacher and 3 parent aides there is a big adult-child ratio. Other benefits of co-op preschool is the social aspect as you get to know all the other parents and their kids well. They even have carpooling and babysitting swaps set up, though I don’t need those this year. Co-op isn’t for everyone and even when parents want to do co-op, sometimes it isn’t good for their kids when their kids get really clingy when they work. But I just wanted to share my experience with it 🙂

    Whatever you choose, I hope that Reece really enjoys it!! Once kindergarten starts, there isn’t as much PLAY as you would expect so I love that preschool (most preschools I guess I should say) really believe that kids learn through play 🙂

    Don’t stress out, just eat chocolate…works for me!
    Tracy

    • Stephany says:

      Tracy-
      Thanks for your input. I am glad that the co-op experience has been a good one for you. I, on the other hand, am avoiding co-op preschools. I went to an open house for one in our area last year and was less than impressed. Also, the mornings that Reece goes to school are my “free” mornings to get errands done and spend one-on-one time with Lorelai. In addition, without family around to watch Lorelai, I would have to get a babysitter on any mornings I would need to volunteer. I know some parents want to be involved in their students preschool experience, but I am not one of them (at least not on a level when I am REQUIRED to participate)! I know my mom’s preschool is NOT a co-op and they still encourage parent involvement. I will be supportive of the preschool and help when needed (and, of course, if Reece would like me to), but I want this to be an experience that he has without mommy and daddy around. So far, he has done well at his current “school” and I hope he will do the same at his new one.
      I have a few picked out based on suggestions from neighbors, attending the LO Preshcool Forum and talking with some of the preschools, some that I have driven by and heard of from other moms, and one that we had Reece registered for last year and decided against because I did not like the set up they had for 2 year olds. So, as long as my 1st choice work out…just kidding…as long as any of them works out we will be set! Not to mention, all of them are 1/2 the price of his current “school” situation, so he WILL be switching to somplace different!
      BTW, my mom’s preschool really works on “extending play” to help the students learn. PLAY is good…so is chocolate!!

  4. Aunt Tracy says:

    Oh, and one more VERY IMPORTANT thing. Check out the girls that Reece will go to school with. Make sure there are some real cuties. Apparantly finding your future wife is big in the preschool years nowadays. Will is already on his second girlfriend/future wife. Yes, Will is quite the ladies man and from everything I have seen and heard about Reece, I bet he will be one too!!
    xo
    Tracy

  5. Rick says:

    And I thought choosing a six pack was complicated! Do I go with the IPA or the porter or the amber lager? Decisions, decisions, decisions!

  6. notJUSTmykidsmom says:

    Mom just up and called me one day to tell me Sasha is enrolled at Lookout Mountain next fall. That’s as much as I’ve thought about it. I’ve let the universe just hook me up and never worried about who would care for Sasha and since she was 6 weeks old she’s been in the best hands imaginable. I realized when I had 2 weeks left of maternity leave that I should probably find someone to take care of my new kid and happened upon a sign in a neighbor’s yard that said “Ruth Anne’s TLC Daycare”, I found her in the yellow pages, called, met with her and it was a done deal. When she up and retired with about 30 seconds notice I looked around again, met with Jimmi (current daycare maven) and again, gut told me it was a good fit. I researched both using some cool public information sites and sneaky internet looking-around and both came out file. Sasha has never cried when being dropped off, she has actually cried when I come to pick her up because she’s having so much fun and doesn’t want to leave. If Mom hadn’t thought about this for me I’m sure I’d be scrambling but I know nothing about raising my own child and as long as I do my due dilligence by making sure where she is and who takes care of her are legit, educated, and give me a good vibe she’ll be in awesome hands. I’ve never had a list of requirements and often have put intuition as my #1 guide-that and connections in law enforcement and the search methods I learned investigating fraudulent claims. You’ll know when it’s the right one or ones, you’ve got the brain to figure out how to get him where he needs to be and you can always sic your salesman husband on the admissions crew to strike up one helluva deal! He’ll be fine, you’ll figure it out, use the resources you have to get around the usual ways of going about this insanity or just ship his butt off to military school like the dogs.

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