I thought the days of peer pressure were over. I mean, high school was a LONG time ago, and I’m really over the whole “everyone else is doing it” thing. I never would have suspected that I’d be getting peer pressure as a mom. But that’s what it feels like.
The kids are three. And every time I run into someone I haven’t seen for a while the first question they have is “So did the kids start preschool?” And they look at me with shock when I tell them we’re not sending them to preschool. There are several reasons. One of which (and the easiest to offer to people to get them to drop it, usually) is financial. With only one income, we just don’t have the money to send two kids to preschool. But really, the main reason is that I want them with me. Is that so wrong?
Why is it that so many parents these days can’t wait to get their kids into school? I have stay-at-home-mom friends that enrolled their kids in preschool two days a week before they were even two! Seriously? They say it is so they can have a break and get things done without the kids. Do I occasionally need a break? Sure. But two or three days a week? I would miss my kids! Yes, that week of VBS I am apart from them for a few hours 5 days in a row. But I volunteer, so I’m busy the whole time we’re apart. I don’t know what I’d do with myself. Everyone keeps saying “Oh, you’ll find stuff to do!” But it’s not like I’m incapable of going to the grocery store with my kids, or finding someone to watch them while I go to a doctor’s appointment. Why do I need preschool to be able to do that?
The worst, though, are the ones that look at me like I’m depriving my kids. “They love school.” “It’s so good for them.” or “At the kindergarten curriculum meeting…” Blah, blah, blah. Look, it’s not like I stick them in a room and let them pick their noses all day long. I teach my kids. I socialize my kids. I’m not in any way, shape, or form concerned about their academic or social readiness for kindergarten when that time comes (which, people look at me funny when I say I will be waiting until they are 6 for THAT!). My kids already know more than a lot of kids their age. They are three, people!
Why do we need to push them away from us so early? Why can I not enjoy the time I have with them, when I am their teacher, and I am the one they look up to, and I am the one they ask when they want to learn more? What is so wrong with that?
There is only one area that I have any concern about, and that is their speech. So in August I called our local school district and talked to them about getting them both evaluated. Today I spoke to the Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) at our local elementary school and have been emailing with her this afternoon. We will be talking more tomorrow afternoon. I’m hoping we can get them evaluated soon so that if they qualify we can get them started in Speech Therapy as soon as possible. And even this makes me nervous. I know it would be good for them and I have no doubt that they would love it. But I hate not being a part of it. Does that make sense? Every time I’m away from them, I feel like I’m missing a chunk of their life. Maybe it comes from having to miss out on so much when they were gestating, I don’t know. But I want to miss as little as possible for as long as I can. Is that so wrong?