It’s official — M is done with daycare/preschool as of May 1. The last time I went in to pay our bill I spoke with the admin who told me that the summer daycare signup forms were going out soon, and when ours arrived in the mail, Mac Daddy and I confirmed that we were ready to take her out for the rest of spring and summer. She’s starting kindergarten in September so these next few weeks will be her very last in daycare!
Why now? I decided there’s really no time like the present. A is old enough that he doesn’t need me to watch him literally every moment, and the two of them can interact without me being worried about someone accidentally getting smushed (that being the baby). He’ll be, ideally, able to sit up a bit more, eat solids, and do other bigger baby things by the time we get into the routine of M being home, so he’ll be more ‘fun’ for her, and because it’s warmer weather, there are actually things to do around town so we won’t be stuck at home, or we can just head out into our own yard. It’s a much better setup than being trapped at home through winter!
And, we could use the break for our wallets. We’ll be saving a decent chunk of money by keeping her out of care, and because she will need to be in after school care once kindergarten starts, we could definitely use that payment-free time to save up, or at least pad out our accounts after the financial hit of daycare, me being off work, and winter utility bills. I wish I could just sign her up for after school care once I go back to work in November, but there’s a big waiting list so we needed to put in for it for the whole school year.
Truth be told, I’m anxious. I have never been a stay at home mom of an older kid — I stayed at home for M’s first year, and am staying at home for A’s, too, but aside from juggling parenting and work and childcare when Mac Daddy worked shifts when M was a toddler, I have no experience, here. If it were just her I’d feel confident, but I truly don’t know how I’m going to keep her entertained, keep A from melting down without a quiet house for naps, and keep myself from withering of exhaustion. A’s sleep has been terrible and I am tired all the time as it is, with just him in the house on weekdays. I worry that I’ll give into too much screen time, the summer will get away from us, M will be bored and nobody will have fun.
But I’m also excited. I haven’t been able to truly take advantage of some of the summer programming and events and opportunities for kids because M as a baby was too young, and when she was older, she was in daycare. I’m looking forward to exploring our little town with the two of them, trying new things, and spending concentrated time with the two of them, because it’s likely not something I’ll get to do again, once I go back to work.
While I know I can’t really prepare, I’m trying to prep a little bit. I have a few Pinterest boards with ideas for outdoor activities, indoor activities, and easy snacks and meals for kids. I have talked to M about what her preschool days are usually like and am going to try to keep up some of the timing of that routine. I think we need to strike a good balance between scheduled and going with the flow, and we should be okay.
If you stay at home with a baby and an older kid, do you have any can’t-miss tips or tricks for me?