SO, THE TIME HAS FINALLY COME. We have to decide on a pre-school for our eldest wee tiddler, Holly.
How does one begin to make a decision like this? My kids are my world, and we’ve never left them with anybody other than parents before now.
To tell you the truth, I’m terrified about the whole thing. But I know she has to go, and she will benefit so much from all the social skills and independence she’ll be developing, but she’s still my baby girl, and I will find it hard to hand her over each day.
I still find it hard to accept that 3 years have passed since she we first held her in our arms.
Anyway, we started to look at schools, and here we made our mistake – we thought small.
We looked at the local school and it was good. But not good enough.
We had a tour of the classrooms and the play areas and everything seemed fine – but I don’t want ‘fine’ for our daughter. The staff seemed quite pleasant, and the other children were smiling but something just didn’t click for me.
We applied anyway (thinking this was our only feasible option) and got ready for Holly to start.
With her start date approaching though, I felt uneasy and laid awake at night thinking about leaving her at the door in the mornings; imagining her having nobody to turn to when she needed a cuddle; and playing out my concerns over the staff/child ratio (1 teacher to 13 children).
Then I was having coffee with a local friend, and she told me how happy her daughter is at her pre-school. The only issue was that it’s a short car journey away and my husband takes the car to work during the week.
But we looked around the pre-school anyway and found the staff warm and welcoming, and the other children were so happy, engaged and secure in their care. They keep chickens, and plant veg in the yard. They hold hands, and play dressing-up. They take picnics to the forest, and sing songs whilst tidying the nursery.
Most importantly for me, Holly had a little bump whilst visiting and one of the staff just ran over and picked her up for a huge cuddle, enveloping her in her arms until the tears dried.
We knew this was the place for our children.
That’s when we remembered that sometimes in life you have to THINK BIG.
For me, that didn’t mean trying to change the world, but simply trying to change MY world.
We’d always assumed that running a second car would cost more than we can afford. We’ve always purchased from dealers, and never paid less than £4000 for our (very basic) cars.
Now, for those of you that don’t know me well, I’m a bargain-hunter by nature. I make, I bake, I buy local, I buy second-hand. And it suddenly dawned on me that I could purchase a cheap but sufficient car in the same place that I buy the children’s books, and our bits and pieces for the house – eBay!
We finally won Betty (that is a whole other post!) for £460. And now Holly is about to start at her lovely pre-school after the Easter holidays.
My night worries have not subsided (I guess that’s the way it is as a mother), but we all feel so much happier about our decision.
So, if you have a problem to solve this week, my advice would be… think BIG!