Monday, September 29, 2008

growing pains

So here's the deal.

I just figured it out.

Less than a month in to it and we've discovered this whole school schedule is really tough and wearing us out. The level of effort that is required to get the children up and dressed and lunches made and breakfast prepared and teeth brushed and out of the house by 8:30, just so that we can drive 20+ minutes and drop them off and then drive 20+ minutes to work or home, and then drive 20+ minutes and pick them up less than three hours later and drive 20+ minutes home again ... is a lot.

Especially since as soon as we get them home, we are getting them ready for their nap. And then, we're trying to coordinate four children going to sleep at the same time. This is entirely hit or miss. It frequently happens that three go down just as one is waking up or vice versa.

Having a helper seems to make sense just to take off some of the burden from that late-afternoon crunch, right around the time I need to prepare dinner. Right around that time my energy stores are low - the children's energy stores are high - I want to lay down and take a snooze - and they want to dump the contents of their dressers.

What if we just coughed up the extra $100.00 per month per child and sent them to school from 9 until 3, as opposed to 9 until noon? Would those three extra hours a day be everything that I need? Or, would it just take my babies children away from me for that much longer everyday?

I'm planning to put our children in various sport programs through the Y. And oh my gosh, all of a sudden, they would be gone from 8:30 in the morning until possibly 5:30 at night and they are way too young for that.

And you know, I really miss them. Even though they're only gone for three hours a day, I feel like this whole school schedule has put a major wrench in the daily routine that we had.

Besides, I actually think it was less exhausting when they were under my care the whole day.


  1. The preschool years are difficult because your day is chopped up into very small segments where you can't really accomplish much - dropping off and picking up every few hours.

    Do you have time in the evening to make lunches for the next day? I found that made our mornings much smoother - to at least have the lunches ready to go.

  2. I'm with you. We started preschool too. 2 go 8:30 to 3 and one is 8:30 to 11:30. I have a 10 month old too. I only live 2 blocks from the school but 20 minutes from any shopping (even grocery store). My life is running from one thing to another and hurrying up so I'm not late to pick them up. After I get Ethan at 11:30 he and baby have to sleep at 1:00 cause then I have to wake them (unheard of) at 2:50 to get the kids. Reese only gets 2 hours of napping in the morning too because I have to wake her at 11 in order for her to go back to sleep at 1. In the meantime I feel like I am running around all crazy and never really getting anything done. I don't have an answer but just feel your pain! I love preschool but it also is a pain too.

  3. Just wanting you to know I remember what those chopped-up days are like and it is hard. I can't tell you how many times I had to abandon a cart at the grocery or Target because I wasn't going to have time to stand in the checkout line and make the preschool pickup time.

    Now my kiddos are in school, although their schedules do vary a bit. Next year I will have one in high, one in middle and one in elementary. Life is crazy busy, all the time. And I wouldn't trade or change a thing.

  4. I know what you mean... my 3 year old started a 2 day a week half day preschool this year. We are having quite a difficult time getting into a good routine. I can only imagine how much harder it will be when my trio is ready for preschool!?! Yikes.

  5. Maybe they will let you do just 2 or 3 long days. I know that's not the Montessori way, but considering your situation, maybe they can be flexible.

    Another thing you can do is get to know the area around the school - parks, stores. And stay in the area when they are at school (instead of driving home) when you don't have to work, playing or getting things done.

  6. I would pay the extra $100 and leave them there till 3. They'll love it and you won't have to worry about hiring someone.

    The girl you had over isn't the right one anyway. I've had three mother's helpers and you can tell right away. The second one I hired was a dud. I met her in the driveway with her money and told her to never come back. And I had four under the age of 2. She was THAT BAD!

    The driving back and forth and getting out the door is exhausting. I am wiped out by the end of the week. This is why I made sure our preschool is only 10 minutes from the house.

    So I would definitely extend their day. Do they nap them there? If they are asleep when they get home, are you really losing that much more time?

  7. could you do all day 2 or 3 days a week as opposed to 5 1/2 days? 3 hours isn't long enough when you are driving almost an hour of it...

    and for 100$ a month more I think you'd see benefit from it, however, I am not sure that 5 full days is what they (or you) would be ready for so young.

    i will be in your shoes next year deciding where, when and how to put my child(ren) in school and it is already freaking me out! so sorry!!

    oh yeah, make their lunches the night before and all you have to do is grab them out of the frig in the morning on the way out hte for us! :)

  8. try making the lunches at night. it so cuts down on the morning rush. :)

  9. As a preschool teacher I love having my kids with me until 3. We have so much fun playing all morning together and learning different things. They all take a nap and when mommy or daddy comes to pick up you should see their faces.
    From a teachers perspective let them stay till 3 and when you pick them up go do something fun. Can you pick them up at 2:30? Fall is approaching you can starting doing some crock pot meals that just need warming up when you return home. Roast in the crock pot is yummy!!!!! Hope this helps.

  10. my daughter stays at her school until 4 because she takes a nap so well there. she is 3.5 and just lays down and naps for her teacher but not at home. It is just likeclean up. An awesome skill she learned at school.

    Fwiw, my daughter goes five full days because she likes it so much. My son, 8 months, goes 2-3 full days be ause we were both miserable with 5 half days.