Peer Pressure

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?

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6 Comments

Filed under Communication, money, Parenting, preschoolers, socializing, stress

6 responses to “Peer Pressure

  1. Lori Shugart

    I see nothing wrong with your feelings here. I think we rush kids to grow up too fast so much of the time. I am glad you are keeping them with you.

  2. I feel the same way! We are a one income household so I thought preschool would be out of the question financially until I found a really cheap 2 day program. They have only gone twice and both times I missed them like crazy! Everyone pushed for me to do 3 day or even 5 and I refused. The whole point of me being home this year was to be with them so no way was I letting them go more than 2 days. They do like it but it still. Annoys me when people push me about them “only” going two days.

  3. Do not believe the hype! and IF the SLP tells you to enroll them for their ‘speech’ do not believe that either!

    You are doing the right thing! and do not even get me started on ‘socialization’…

  4. I could have written this same post. I am not sending my kids to preschool and I am tired of people trying to talk me into it or make me feel bad. If I did send them to preschool it would be one year of it anyway not 2 or 3 years of preschool. I love being home with my kids and I will never get these days back. Sure kids have fun in preschool but they have fun at home with mom too. In 15 years when my son is going off to college I’ll be happy I spent every second I could with him 🙂

  5. Cathy

    Your children are a VERY special gift and you should enjoy and treasure each moment of each day. Your children have already been allowed to explore more of their own creativity than they would ever have in pre-school,
    The decisions you and Nathan have made are Right for you two and that is all that matters. You are also correct to follow your instincts about speech. Just smile and say we are happy with our decisions. There will always be folks with other opinions. Hug them, love them, sing and dance with them and throw in the discipline too. You are great parents!

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