I start nursing school in January. Since my daughter was born I've been a SAHM, taking any prereqs online - the one class I didn't have under my belt already that I had to attend in person, Microbiology, she cried the whole time she was at the sitter's. Of course she was just a year then, but my point is that we are 180 degrees away from a full time "daycare" life.
I love the preschool she'll be attending. My son is in first grade now and has been there since he was 4. It's a Montessori school that goes from age 2 1/2 to grade 8. So she'll be in the same place as her brother, and I already know and love the teachers.
But right now she's a nurse to sleep (naps also), clingy w/mama, mama's only gone for a few hours at a time very occasionally kind of girl. She's very shy with other people. Even with other family (outside of DH and DS) she takes 15 min or so of being in their presence before she can warm up to them, no matter how often she sees them. She still wakes every 1-2 hours at night and needs to nurse to fall back to sleep.
In January, I'll be in class from 7:30 am - 5:30 pm Mon and Wed... Thurs and Fri I'll be in clinicals from 6:30 - 3:30. My husband works 24 hr shifts, so there will be 2-3 times a week the kids will be at school for 10 or 12 hours.
So, after that long story, does anyone have tips on how to help her handle this? I'm trying to start certain things early, like working on the nurse to sleep association - of course she's got 2 year molars coming in, like that helps! But I obviously can't just keep going the way things are and then blam! Just drop her off at school one day expecting her to cope.
I know I'm not the first mama out there with this experience, so I'd love to hear from those of you who have BTDT.
I started my dd a month earlier than needed so that we could both adjust. She started part-time and I gradually increased the hours. It was still very hard and she cried a lot She is also a momma's girl who still nurses to nap and sleep and was with only me from day one. But in about 3-4 weeks she was pretty adjusted and is sleeping and eating pretty well at school (daycare.)
No matter how you do it, depending on the personality of your child, it may be difficult at first. We are still having major adjustment issues, but that is more with dealing with the commute, getting her to bed at a decent time and getting her up early to get out the door.
It feels like such a rat race... hopefully it continues to improve as we get used to it and "tweak" the routine.
Hope that helps a little. Good luck.
Thanks mama! I wish we could start her early but the school closes for Christmas break from Dec 24 - Jan 2 (six school days, actually a full two weeks if you count the three "daycare only" days for working parents). I'm not sure how that would pan out, starting and then being home for a week minimum, then going back again. Hmm. i think I might talk to the directress to see if we could try half days in December or something. She's SO young though - the school "officially" accepts children 2 1/2 yrs and potty trained, DD will be 2 years 3 months in Jan. I'm already worried about how she'll handle the preschool environment being the youngest there - she's bright and loves to learn, but emotionally she's still a baby, kwim?