When Noa started nursery in September, I received a lot of questions on how we’re doing. I had very little to comment on the situation then because we had just started and there was a lot for us to get used to in this new season of life. So I wanted to write a little bit more on this and share our experience with those who are considering starting nursery soon.
Noa started nursery when he was 3 and that decision was very intentional. Even before he was born, I knew that time together in those early years is my priority and I was prepared to sacrifice my time, finances and the extras that a family with two incomes can enjoy. And that is exactly what we did – the first 3 years and 3 months of Noa’s life were spent at home together. I am so happy with this decision because now I understand that starting nursery is like the first step into the independent life. For the first time we have so much time apart, he experiences new things and new people alone and I am not there to support, watch out for or guide him… that was a huge step for both of us and both of us needed some time to adapt.
It was very clear to me that it was time to look for a nursery because Noa loves children and he lights up at every opportunity to spend time with them. It seemed like he just needs a time and a place to socialize and just be with children in his age group. My son is also very active and curious, I started to feel like I couldn’t keep up with him and couldn’t provide the activities that would satisfy his curious mind and energy levels. I also noticed he was getting more and more independent and wanted to do things without his parent’s help. All these things made me seriously consider the nursery subject.
I received a lot of questions on adapting to the new season. Starting nursery when all you have ever known is being home in your comfort zone with your mum by your side is an extreme change. We were prepared that the adapting process is going to take some time that it was not going to be quick and easy. We let him ease into the new routines and for the first few days, I was there to get him after only a few hours and at 12:30 we were already going home. It’s important to note that Noa still goes to the nursery 4 days a week and stays there until 16:30. The first 2 weeks were the toughest and Noa cried every day we said goodbye. That was really difficult for me so mornings are dad’s responsibility now. We are blessed with lovely, sensitive, wise and loving teachers and were able to handle the situation every morning and comfort the little one. When I came to get him, he was always very happy and was talking about the adventures of that day. In the first few weeks, I would also receive a message from the teachers saying that Noa is doing great, that he is happy, that he only cried for a few minutes… that gave me great peace and, as I said, our teachers are very wise and they know that it is a transition for the parents as well as the child. After two weeks we were all used to the new routine and there were no more tears and no more protests about going to the nursery. I can say that his adaptation went really well.
I had to get used to this too. At first, it felt so strange to have so much time to myself, I even felt a little bit guilty. I had forgotten what it means to go to the shop alone, actually try things on before buying them, not having to push the pushchair everywhere, slowly go and see all the places I had no time to explore before, go for a coffee with a friend and have an uninterrupted conversation, clean the house completely. I also went back to my old job part-time. It’s quite funny to get dressed for the office in the morning and find some cars in my pockets or a pack of wet wipes in my bag.
Starting nursery is really great and hard at the same time. I have regained more independence, more time for myself, more grownup conversations, more opportunities to complete the things I want to accomplish, which used to take much longer because I never had as much undivided attention. BUT I miss him, I miss time for just the two of us, I am always thinking of him and how he’s doing, no matter where I am. Being a stay at home mom is sometimes difficult, but it also has so many advantages. I have had the chance to build a close relationship with my son, I have the privilege to truly know him and who he is, what he likes, what his personality is like. I have been able to pass on and teach him our families values, I can teach him MYSELF on what is good and what is evil, what is right and wrong. We have created so many wonderful and exciting memories. And I know without a shadow of a doubt that he knows he is loved, accepted and wanted… I know this has been the biggest and the best decision for him and for our family’s future and this investment will never lose its value. I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed time together with my little boy and I don’t regret my decision to stay home with him. I am excited about all our future together, about how Noa builds relationships and new adventures. It is exciting!