A little over a year ago, I quit work to stay home with my kids. My son, D, was 3, his sister a newborn. D had been going to school at the same preschool for three years--since he was 4 and a half months old. And he had a crew of friends he'd hung with—literally—since birth.
So I guess it should be no surprise that, as we were preparing for his birthday party this weekend, he asked me, "Mommy, can we invite Ian?"
He hasn't seen Ian in a year. But in his 3-year-old mind, his best friend Ian has to be at his birthday party. And his favorite teacher of all time is definitely Ms. Tina, his last teacher at daycare.
Sure, he went to a preschool this year for about five hours a week to make friends and continue learning in a school-like setting. But his heart is still with his old class and his old friends.
Ask him any day, "Do you want to go to see Ian and Ms. Tina or stay home with mom and see your new friends?" He definitely prefers me at home.
Sometimes he still asks, "Mom, are you not going to go to work anymore?" I explain I work at home now—taking care of him and his sister and doing freelance work. But I don't need to feel bad about the time he spent in daycare. The pluses were numerous. His daycare was at his daddy's office, so he got daddy time on their rides in. My husband visited him at breaks and lunchtime, going down to give bottles of expressed milk when he was an infant and then just to play and visit when he got older.
With a new family member in the house, it was time for me to be here. More time for both kids, and for my husband. We eat healthier and live healthier in a more stress free environment. But ... sometimes I still feel a little guilty for taking D away from his favorite friends and teachers. Heck, there are no easy choices. We're all just doing the best we can, right?