Deep breath. Big girl pants on. It’s time.
When I found out I was pregnant with SB, I never pictured this stage. I could imagine a baby; maybe even stretch to imagining a toddler, but I could never picture us as parents to a pre-schooler.
That’s where we’re at, though. The application deadline is looming and it’s time to apply for SB to start nursery school. I am torn between being totally ready, and being so not ready.
- She needs to be around children her own age. Maybe they’ll do a better job of understanding her random conversations… but she’ll have friends. She was a sociable little thing at nursery and I know she’ll benefit from being around other little ones.
- She’ll be more stimulated – she can practice her writing with teachers who actually know what they’re doing!
- If she gets into the nursery we’re hoping for, she’ll be in an exclusively-Welsh environment, which will really help her skills develop.
- It gives me an opportunity to get a job and, y’know, contribute a bit more.
- If I don’t manage to get a job, I can at least watch Jeremy Kyle rather than Topsy and Tim.
- I’ll be lonely – she’s my little buddy, we spend so much of our day chatting or cuddling or playing, and I really would miss her.
- I need to find a job that either has flexible hours, or would cover the cost of additional childcare. In this era of supposedly flexible working, it’s not as easy as you’d think.
- The constant worries about whether she’s fitting in and making friends or not.
- Washing uniform. I can cope with washing clothes when there isn’t a deadline. Making sure uniform is washed and ready whenever necessary? Scary.
- CLASS PARTIES. Not only do they sound like hell, they’ll also serve as a stark reminder that my child has a better social life than I do.
Ok, it’ll be good for her to go to nursery. I know that. And I know it means that I can get out and meet people who aren’t… well, y’know, two years old and obsessed with Frozen. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but during the week SB is pretty much my only human contact. It’ll be good for that to change.
Still, I can’t shake this feeling of not being ready. I’m not ready for the house to be quiet, even for just a few hours a day. I’m not ready for time on my own. If I can get a full-time job, I know I’ll be grand, but let’s face it – in the current job market, everyone is looking for that.
Normally I wouldn’t voice these feelings, for fear of being labelled selfish, but even parents are entitled to be a little selfish now and then. I’d never stop her going to nursery because I’m not ready for her to go, but I foresee a tough first morning ahead. Not for her – I imagine she’ll skip off quite happily to meet new people and try new things. I’ll be the mum snivelling at the school gates, wondering exactly when her baby grew up.