I have been busy with some transitions going on in my world and it has been a while since my last post. I am excited to share that in that time I learned that my daughter will be starting PreK this year! PreK3 to be exact. I filled out an application for her last fall for the only free/public school option that I could find for 3 year olds in my hometown. At the open house the administration said that there were about 24 PreK spots open, half of which were likely to go to siblings of students already enrolled in the school, and there would be a lottery to determine which of the approximately 150 applicants for those remaining 12 spots would get in. I told myself that if by the grace of God that my daughter was one of the chosen few she was going to that school. And lo and behold …
The thing is, this PreK3 program was obviously not created with working moms like myself in mind. It runs from 8:20-11:20, and while I can pay for her to come an hour early each morning for before care the three year olds are not eligible for after care. Which means that I will have to drop my son off with my mother-in-law at the crack of dawn, drop my daughter off at school, rush to work, take my lunch at 11:10ish to pick her up and drop her off at grandma’s house with her brother, go back to work and finish out my work day, and then go back and pick up both kids before heading home to do our evening routine.
Sounds overwhelming, right?!
I love everything that I know about the school. It’s a Montessori school and I think the philosophy and environment will be prefect for my extrovert, independent, take charge toddler. I fully expect her to thrive there. The chaotic daily routine would only be for a year as next year she could stay at the school during my entire workday. But still, a whole year of being on the road and driving through the city constantly. Did I mention that in general I hate to drive (everyone here drives like they just finished driving school yesterday)?
But I am going to do this because I truly believe that my child should have access to the same opportunities that children whose parents can afford for one of them to stay home and do a midday pick up everyday with no problem have. I am going to change my work schedule and be on the road multiple times in rush hour traffic and I already know it will be challenging, especially in the beginning. I am sure there will be days where we will be pressed for time on all lags of our new journey. I will likely have to eat in the car everyday while I am driving around to pick her up and drop her off. And the money we spend on gas will probably triple.
But I have learned that there is no limit to what an active, full-time parent will do, endure, or sacrifice when she believes that her children should have access to different opportunities.
So how will I do this? I am going to try and build a routine that becomes clockwork and is as non-hectic and fun as possible. I think instead of the trap music on the radio my daughter has been accustomed to listening to in the car (she can get in formation with the best of them), we will start borrowing books on tape of her favorite stories from the library to listen to in the car on the drives. I will have to get serious about getting things ready and having all diaper, tote, and book bags packed the night before. I will also have to come up with more ways to make dinner quick, one pot or crock pot meals when I can. It’s basically going to take some planning ahead and facilitating an environment of fun and learning in our car. You guys keep me in your prayers this next school year. I’m going to need it.
Have any great tips you think may help me navigate our new preschool journey? Head on over to my facebook or twitter pages and let me know! Thanks in advance.