WAHM: To Preschool or Not to Preschool?

in Business

My recent Twitter status went a little like this:

Keeping the 3yo home tomorrow means staying up late and doing all my work tonight. And I ran out of coffee! Aaaaaaaah!!

It got me thinking a little about the whole WAHM thing and kids and work and preschool and what’s necessary and what’s a luxury. Preschool was certainly a convenient idea. Much more convenient than feeling like I was going to go insane trying to work from home with a 2 1/2 year old around. Now that he’s 3 1/2, doesn’t like preschool, has been getting “in trouble” a lot at preschool, nevermind mysterious blackeyes from preschool and all sorts of other sign posts, I’m reconsidering the true WAHM thing.

mom-daughter-pictureI have been a WAHM on and off since my son was born. I say on and off because at various times throughout his life, he has gone into full-time childcare. The decisions regarding FT childcare have largely been based on convenience – whether or not it was convenient for me to have him around while I was trying to work.

I’m the sole caretaker and sole financial provider, so working “full-time” isn’t exactly an option. However, in reality I work about half of the time, and spend the rest of the time in business development.,

What does this have to do with preschool?

Well, this is the crossroad: Route A is preschool and business development. Life as it is currently. Route B is no preschool and no business development. Income continues, but the business doesn’t “grow,” per se. It certainly will grow as I begin to add classes (starting in June) and produce products, but finding the time to do those things with the bull in a china shop around isn’t easy. Doable, though. And that’s the thought I have to keep in mind.

Can I do “True” WAHM Successfully?

Here’s what I’ve finally started to realize as I wrestle once again with the thought of keeping Aidan home full time while I work around him (and that’s precisely what it will be – working around him)… I’m perfectly sufficient as a mother. I’m an academic-type, and he learns well with me, so there will be no problems continuing his education – in fact, it will probably be better than what it is right now because of the undivided attention. He’s also perfectly happy at home, and the much-needed socialization with children his age happens at least every Wednesday and Sunday at church and then on Saturdays at the playgrounds. I’m convinced that it will be a better situation for him if he stays at home full time with me until he’s four, or even until kindergarten.

So the decision is really about what preschool means to me and my work, as a WAHM. For 5 months I’ve enjoyed the kid-free days as he’s gone away (unhappily) to preschool and come back around dinner time. Tomorrow I will be keeping him home, not as a test, since it takes more than a day to figure this stuff out, but I expect to learn something from it.

We shall see! Wish us luck. :)

Leave a Comment

*

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

latorres May 23, 2011 at 8:38 am

What I love is how you are basing your decision on what’s best for HIM. I’ve been home with my twins for 3 years now and am looking forward to putting them in just twice a day preschool, but not sure if it will happen for us this fall (two kids = double the preschool tuition!). Sounds like you know in your gut what’s best for you and him and a whole.

redkathy May 19, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Tia,
Fran is 100% correct. This is a personal decision. My mother told me children learn what they live, and Mom is the most important person in a young child’s life. Now I know for sure, after having raised two sons, she was right.

You are a brilliant young woman and obviously a loving mother. I am confident your decision will be a direct reflection of both!

God Bless!

Tia Peterson May 20, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Thanks, Kathy!! I really appreciate your comment.

Heather May 17, 2011 at 2:26 pm

I can completely relate to this dilemma. Working around a child (bull in a china shop is a perfect description!) can be very difficult….I’m looking forward to hearing what you decide! I have a 6 year old in kindegarten now, and a baby who is almost a year old….my older son went to preschool and full-time daycare, but now that I’m staying at home and working (trying to work some days!), I’m not sure I can justify preschool…..

mandy@learntoblog May 17, 2011 at 10:33 am

Hi Tia,

I never had children so my work has always been able to come first and I can devote as much time as I like to it. I can imagine the dilemma. How do you measure whether you would have a healthier more rounded child if you sent him to socialise with other children against keeping him home and interacting with him yourself? Does it just come down to whether you need that time, especially if you are the main provider and carer for the child? I’m glad I never had to ponder on those things, but you can be sure that your decision will be right for both of you if you take some time to think it through and go with your gut feeling.

Enjoy the journey.

Mandy

Tia Peterson May 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Thank you, Mandy! It’s a hard decision and there are so many factors; they tend to change daily, too. I wish it was black and white. It’s so important to socialize but not just that – it’s important to get used to more than one person having authority. So, preschool is good. But, I think he’s had enough preschool for now. He’s had it for five months straight. Perhaps we will just take the summer off.

So the big challenge now is going to be: can I really work with him home? We will see!

Cheers,
Tia

Evelyn May 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Hi Tia,

It sounds like you already have a plan. I am doing the same thing. I work around my daughter, not that I have much of a business (work in progress). But mostly, I’ve learned that I must get up earlier to get things done, because when my daughter awakes, that’s it. :)

I think Aidan will like the one-on one with his mommy and I think he will learn even more. I say that because I never sent my daughter to pre-school, which I could have done, but I declined. She knows a lot for a child at 4 1/2 years old with challenges and I am so proud of her. So, my being with her has really helped her in many ways.

Thanks for sharing this, it helped me with something, I was thinking about.

Keep us posted!

Evelyn

Tia Peterson May 17, 2011 at 6:14 am

Will do, Evelyn! This is going to be great as I will definitely be tracking different pros and cons to the WAHM situation. There are a lot of WAHM readers who would be interested in the way it goes. It’s also interesting to note the differences in how it can be done successfully depending on ages. Your daughter is at a good age for you to turn up the heat on your business! :)

George Williams@Tractor games May 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Hello,

I go for the ‘to preschool’ option, it’s the best thing to do in my opinion. As Kelly said, keep us updated, I want to know your decision too, hehe.

Keep up the good work!

George

Tia Peterson May 17, 2011 at 6:12 am

Thanks, George! For now, I am going with the Not to Preschool option; however, I am definitely looking into part-time at the Y because they are so incredibly active and he loves it there. I will be keeping everyone updated though, as things change all of the time!

Kelly May 16, 2011 at 5:11 pm

As a WAHM, I can totally relate. Keep us updated, I want to know what you decide!

Tia Peterson May 17, 2011 at 6:11 am

Will do, Kelly!

Fran Aslam the Onlinewriter May 16, 2011 at 7:32 am

Hi Tia:

Very good article by you about preschool and home schooling in early childhood. It is one of my favorite subject, as I have spent 15 years of my life experiencing it commercially, and then two of my own. Before those 15 years. Since I did study child psychology up to university level, these 15 years, were the time to search find results and reach to a decision about children and their better growth.

So, there are two important things infront of you and you have to find an awesomely exceptional way to achieve both. You are bright and intelligent, you can figure out a statistical way of doing it.

Write all the points that you will achieve by taking care of your sweet boy and boost your business at home. Number those points and prioritize

Now, write another list, where you add all the good reasons to send him out of home and you give attentive time to your business only. Figure out your success as a business women.

Now very seriously evaluate both results. Follow the one that suits you the best.

Again, if you see yourself more as a mother, that is because that is the most important part of your life. You are creating a person, a next generation citizen, the love of your life.

So, think again, and decide, if you want your son to grow with your habits and thinking, your values and your kind of food. You want him to like what you like. Then you are needed more in his life and this can happen only when he spends more time with you.

In case, you think being with you doing as you want him to do does not make a difference and he can learn better or the same in a social group of preschool, then let him go to pre school full time.

Make it your personal choice. It is your responsibility to think about him, how you want him to be.
It is your say that works. It is your love and nurturing that makes him a person in future.

Decide looking at all pros and cons. Tia, your business is also important don’t ignore it. What you achieve in the prime of your life professionally, stays with you all your life, so you have to excel now.

Good luck to you.

Fran A

Tia Peterson May 17, 2011 at 6:10 am

Wow, Fran! I can tell that you do have a lot to say regarding this. Your tips will make a great new blog post on this very subject. I am going to call it, Part 2!

It is definitely an important personal choice, and you are so very right – if I want him to grow to be like me, I have to spend more time with him. Even though I know that to be true, I honestly had not given it the kind of thought I needed to until now. Great points.

Fran Aslam the Onlinewriter May 17, 2011 at 9:24 am

Good morning Tia:

Thanks for reading my comment with an insight, as I did write it from heart and not from my mind that I use for writing comment. Since, I have been through all that and I apply education and experience to see real life results, I do have a lots of insight how to take care of the children as a teacher, caregiver and mother to give them a better future.

Make it the best for yourself.

Fran A

Previous post:

Next post: