Family Life

first day at preschool
Jun 15

Little I has been eagerly awaiting her first day of preschool for months and months, and this week the big day finally arrived.

Prior to half term she had two one-hour long settling in sessions, which I was meant to stay for. But ten minutes into the first session she asked me to leave! I had thought I might get a bit emotional or upset at the realisation that she was ready to cope without me…but in actual fact I was so proud of the confident and independent soul that she is becoming. I surprised myself with my reaction. I had expected myself to be a blubbering wreck!

It’s a strange feeling though, leaving your child with people who are effectively strangers at first. I had such a wonderful gut feeling about the pre-school that we chose that I didn’t have any reservations about them looking after her well, but a tiny part of me was still a little bit anxious that they would keep her safe.

The part that I find most weird though is the realisation that Little I has her own private life now, which I am no longer a part of. It’s another reminder that she is growing up, far too quickly for my liking! If only there were a way to attach a small webcam to her, so that I can playback the highlights of what she’s been up to!

Luckily she’s shared a few amusing anecdotes with me already…

Me: “Did you play outside this morning?”

Little I: “YES!” (very excitedly). “I played with water! I was making mud pancakes, but a little boy came along and knocked it all over.”

Me: “What did you do about it?

Little I: “I stamped my foot. Like this. [demonstrates aggressive stamping of foot]

Then later at bath time, she shared another little incident with me.

Little I: “I was baking cakes in the kitchen, but a little boy put everything back in the cupboard before I had finished. So I stamped my foot at him again, like this.” [cue another demonstration of foot stamping]

I have no idea where the foot stamping has come from, but I’m pleased she is asserting herself! I’m not sure the little boy is getting the message though…

As a work-from-home Mum, I have found preschool to already be an incredibly positive change in our routine. I love knowing that Little I is getting up to lots of fun things and that I will be able to pick her up at lunchtime and hear all about it. It’s also enabled me to focus much better on work, as some of that Mummy-guilt has subsided a little. I am reassured in the knowledge that Little I is 100 per cent ready for preschool, and that provides me with more scope to think about my career again.

The past week has also reminded me how you can never predict what sort of Mum you’re going to be, until it happens. Every stage throws new challenges, and you never know how you are going to feel until the time comes. I’m so pleased that the beginning of preschool has been such an exciting and positive experience, and not nearly as emotional as I had expected it to be.

How did you feel about your child beginning preschool? Please share any thoughts below…

About the Author

Wendy McAuliffe

Social media & online PR consultant and trainer, and ex-journalist. Founder and Director of Populate Digital and Mum of two. Living by the sea in Bournemouth. @wendymcauliffe.

  • Lizzy

    When E started nursery, she was just two, and it felt like the worst thing I could have done, but I’d been back to work a year and my husband was having her for the day I worked, as he had a ‘work from home’ day, but the closer she got to two the more he found it too much as he was getting no work done.  She would cry every day when we left her to start with, and so would I, and I’d phone and check she was ok, and then text throughout the day when my husband collected her at lunchtime to make sure she was ok, and then again to make sure she’d had a nap. She’d come home quite happy from nursery, and within 8 sessions was happy going on her own without crying.  She how loves it, and tells us eagerly about what she’s done, who she’s played with, and has told us she has invited her friends to her birthday party – those we’ve never met, and are just ‘names’ to us!!  I realised very quickly that it was her own space, and I needn’t have worried, and she’s very happy, and making progress in areas I wouldn’t be able to fulfil.  So all in all its worked out well, but it was hard to begin with.  Seeing how Little I settled in straight away, it makes me realise that E probably wasn’t ready, but it was a choice I made to either go back to work – only one day a week – or not and it was the choice we made.

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