By Contributing Author, Beth Sanborn of Far From Camelot
What happened last week for us was what every mom faces with bittersweet joy – their son’s first day of school! Well, it was play school for Riley and only for three hours on Friday, but it was still traumatic for momma!
When I was pregnant with him, my husband and I came to the decision that I would be a stay at home mom. We did not want a daycare or nanny to raise our son and be substitute for the nurturing he needed from his parents. But three years into being an only child and a SAHM, we both craved a break from each other! Riley also needed outside socialization from more than church, our friendly neighbors, and the occasional play date.
After a few days of research I chose a play school at our local Lutheran church. This play school is primarily for parents who need a couple hours to run errands or go to a doctor’s appointment without their children in tow. For the lucky few, they offer a permanent day for care. I waited for that phone call for two months and finally it came. Riley was on the Friday list and ready to go!
Backpack? Check. Water bottle? Check. Change of clothes? Check. Mom who can keep it together? Not in a million years! Riley ran off to the toys, forgot about me, and I ran off to the car to cry. I have never been apart from my son like that. Laugh if you want, but for a stay at home mom raising an only child, it’s infinitely difficult to let someone else take care of your child. But as a stay at home mom that wants the best for her only child, I know this stimulation outside our home is what he needs to experience for positive growth.
I knew the care he would be getting at play school would be based on Christian principles, the same principles that are taught in our own home. I knew discipline would be applied in a kindly manner and a structure of learning would be tailored for a three year old who always has ants in his pants. My biggest concern was my son being able to conform to “school” life and the school telling me not to bring him back. When picking him up, I was told that he did well but needed some time to adjust. They understood. They wanted him to come back to play school! He wanted to go back too!
Not only am I looking forward to my three hours of freedom each Friday, but I am also excited to see the progress in learning that Riley will have. This experience will help when we begin our homeschooling life and make it an easier transition. The structure and schedules at play school will force him to embrace life on someone else’s terms which has always been difficult for my headstrong little boy to do. The most important reason for play school is for Riley to enjoy childhood to its fullest!
Beth Sanborn: I am a daughter, wife and stay-at-home mother to a 2 year old little boy. In my 3rd decade, balance and happiness have finally come into my life with a little help from my parents and a lot of help from my faith. I have been writing all my life but new to publishing. My first gig was contributing to a weekly mom’s advice column in a local online paper. I’m finding that blogging and all that the online community entails is where I need to be. Life has changed me but my passions have stayed the same; The South is my conditioning, history is what keeps my attention and Spring Training is what gets me through the winter.
Visit her blog Far From Camelot