Motherhood is comprised a thousand decisions every day. Some are easier than others: peanut butter and jelly or a cheese stick both seem to be perfectly fine meal choices in my opinion.
Over the past two years I’ve learned many lessons about being a mom, and the most important one is this : you do you. You have to do what’s right for you, your child and your family.
The transition to being a mom has been (and is) fairly difficult. My daughter though, she’s amazingly resilient. She rolls with it all like a champ.
So I have come to the conclusion that if a decision presents itself to me easily, I am going to roll with it. I can’t let myself go down a rabbit hole on every decision. There may always be a better choice I could make, but most of the time, the one that seems easier is probably just as well.
We live in an amazing neighborhood, and it has a lot of options when it comes to childcare. There happens to be a place nearby which feeds into a 2-4 year old program which then feeds into a preschool and a kindergarten. When I hear my friends talk about camping out overnight to get their name in a random drawing for a prestigious preschool program — and having to do that year after year — my head spins. I can’t imagine going through that.
So when I started looking for a daycare for Charlie and heard about the one near us, I felt like we hit the jackpot. I’m not saying I went into it blindly. I visited and it looked clean, and the kids looked happy and they seemed to play freely. I was sold.
Sometimes I get this sense that if you don’t tour a hundred preschools it means you don’t care about your child’s chances of getting into college. I think my own schooling has informed my decisions as a parent.
I went to good elementary, middle and high schools, a fantastic college, and then went into business for myself with no formal training in my field. School was wonderful, but I could have done just as well regardless of where I went, because my family encouraged my education. We read together. I was given freedom to explore and play and use my imagination. To me, those are the elements of a great education. It’s not necessarily just the school or the curriculum, it’s what is happening at home too.
I know that I’m in a privileged position. All the preschools in my neighborhood are pretty good, and Charlie is flourishing. I’m extremely grateful for that. If she had special learning needs or we lived in an area that didn’t have the right school for her, I would do everything I could to find the right place for her.
This is why motherhood is so hard — because everything changes. We might be in a different position in a year, so right now I try to just focus on today. You do your best, and pray you’ll have the strength for the next transition.
I’m grateful for the community of moms around me, who help me get through this crazy process. I’m looking forward to reading the posts from the other moms in our series, because their experiences are my teachers right now, and their honesty is everything.
See the other Real Moms thoughts on Education below: