Wondeirng if anyone else is in this boat too- I have oe almost 2 and a 1/2 yr old and he is always with me or dh. Lately I find myself (and dh does too) burnt out- majorly- on trying to entertain him all day long and getting no down time. So I thinking of putting him in daycare maybe two short mornings a week to start.
If he likes it and I like it then it could be great all around. I need more rest and he needs more socialization and stimulation. But I am nervous about how te transition will go. I have only ever left him with dh's mom or my parents occasionally- so leaving him in day care may be really hard for us-- Has anyone else here had experience with this- how did your 2 yr old do transitioning from always being with mom to being in a day care a few hours a week? The thought of having some time to myself is so appealing and I Am alreayd trying to figure out what to do with him every day. The day care in my town I have heard is ok- it is not bad at all, but not amazing. I wouldceck it out as well as I cold and trust my feelings but I Am more curios about the initial transition- when I first start to leave him there I don't know if he will just be happy or freak out and feel abandoned.
what are your experiences? I Am very attached to him obviously.
I am a big montessori fan, and am looking for a good montessori that isn't too expensive for my little guy... but montessori likes them to go at least 4 days per week, even if it is only 1/2 days. Which does help--the consistency does help the adjustment to make it worthwhile.
my problem is I have 3 kids in 3 different schools already this fall... adding a 4th to the mix will make me crazy... I also work 35+ hours a week at home with my baby ... so : /
But if you find the right place this is a great age for preschool....
My 2 year old started a "totdrop" kind of day care once a week a few months ago. She LOVES it. She started in April and I signed her up for one day a week for 2.5 hrs (as she still need a nap around 11:30ish). The place she was at had some structure - quiet kind of free play (playdo, legos, dolls and stuffed animals etc), circle time/singing, snack and then more active free play (with basket balls, rocking horses, cars, play yard) until pick up time.
I thought it would be good for her for socializing/sharing/playing in a group setting, and reinforcement of certain social expectations. She also loves people,running around, playing, activities etc. (before this she spent the day either with me or with a babysitter while I worked)
The transition was very easy for us due to her personality and the right play school (as i called it). The first day was easier then the 2nd time. She hesitated a bit, she did get sad, but you could tell she was very torn about wanting to explore and play in her new surroundings but wanting to be with me. The caregivers were very supportive. They prefer a parent to bring in the child but not linger. Say hello and kiss and hug child goodbye and then leave. (Upon pick up, one was encouraged to come a bit earlier and see their child in action, they discouraged this in the morning). The place was very intimate - only a few other kids.
It was harder for me to leave her ... sometimes I panic, look around me and wonder where is my sidekick ... but then remember all is ok.
(My son was a different personality, very close to me, very attached, but he had to go to daycare as I was working full time. Sometimes I would go in and sit with him for 5-15 minutes while he ate the breakfast and when he felt a bit more settled I would slip out. Sometimes he would refuse to get dressed in the morning because he knew how that routine went...dress, eat, go to daycare...) BUT we are all ok.
A few hours a week, getting things done and knowing your child is having fun is a good thing, all round.
As far as Montessori goes, my son did go starting at 3 thru kindergarten because I was frustrated with the other day cares (high turn around, some yelling etc) and I liked the Montessori learning. Am considering it for my daughter too but that is a year away and for now, her play school is great.
Now while I wish I was getting a few mornings off before Jan, this does seems like a really smart system. I didn't even know it was out there. I was told about it because my twins were to young for the normal 2's programs by just a tad, they also take slightly older kids into this program if they have room. You may google and see if you have one in your area.
So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!
so I got really excited about this idea and called the two day cares in my small town today- all gearing up for this first seperation from my baby-- turns out they both only accept full days. That is like 8-4 or something. That justfeels like too big of a change to go from being with ds all the time to leaving him all day. bummer! so now I am continuing to look to see if I can find anywhere good that does half days. There is a bigger town about 15-20 minutes from me that likely has more options but I was hoping to keep him close by so I don't knowI! He is definately getting bored of just hanging out with me though, and I am running out of creative ways to spend the day plus we have a serious lack of him palying with other kids enough. So I know Iwant to find somehting- plus the idea of two mornigns to myself sounds heavenly. I hope I can find somewhere good! The two in my town actually seem pretty good- wish I cold convince them to take him just a couple mornings but they weren't into that.
I am actually feeling a little mommy- guilt that I don't socialize him enough- ah, mommy guilt! I guess I would rather err on the side of being with him too much- it is such a change a he was just a baby and now all of a sudden he is sort of a kid with all these social needs- I am still catching up with all these new needs- anyway.
Have you checked into your library system or local park system? In our county these two systems offer activites all year round. I just registered for playgroups, music, and hike activities through December! We only do the parent/child classes, but once the child turns three they do offer parent free. Also as far as stimulation many Barnes and Noble offer story time and a craft at least weekly (unsure if you are near a B&N). Another idea, MOMS club may have a chapter near you http://www.momsclub.org/ I am not a member but I have attended Holistic Moms Network http://www.holisticmoms.org/category/connect/local-chapters/. These could be helpful sources of information. You could find out about local playgroups too. The larger town you mentioned probably has a website with a calender of events too.
I live in NJ and there is a fantastic events calender, http://www.calendarforkids.com/ There may be something similar where you live.
One last idea........a mother's helper. Someone to keep an eye on your son and play with him, while you get some time to yourself. You would still be available in case he needs you, and he'll feel safe and secure knowing you are near, yet totally entertained by the mother's helper.
thanks for the ideas! Where I live is pretty small town and even the larger town is pretty small town and there is sadly not too much going on. There are music classes which I will take him to inthe fall once a week and a few small things but not nearly as many astivities as I would have imagined I would be able to do with my 2 yr old :(
I really have to find something for my 2 and a 1/2 yr old to do! We are all going nuts juts hanging out all the time and he gets bored and dh and I get no rest. I finally came around to the idea of a longer day program (830-330) because I heard good things about this small program locally-- and know some of the kids who will also be in it! But alas she is full :( of course I started too late. She got me on a waiting list and said something could change at some point but not sure.
Now I really want it! Anyone else going a little nuts with a 2 and a 1/2 or similar aged kid at home who needs more socialization and interaction? I feel kind of nervous about not finding a babysitter or a daycare I like. There is a less good day care he may be able to get into if I do full days but now I am not sure if I want him to go there.
But I am kind of losing my mind with no down time and ds is bored. what do you all do with your 2 and a 1/2 or similar age toddlers?
My DS is 20 mo, so a little younger but he was getting bored with me, and I was starting to feel resentful about not having time to myself. I'm a single, WAHM so when he naps and sleeps at night, I have to work and don't get any reading, resting, meditating or time to just be a woman (not just a mommy). Even if that weren't the case, it would still not be enough for me. I found a place I trust, which is about 20 min away, and he LOVES it!!! It's a full day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 8:30-4:30, which I thought would be too much but it's turned out to be great for him. What really helped us was taking a couple weeks to adjust to the full day schedule. So, for example, the first day, I brought him in the morning, stayed for 30 min, left for 2 hours, and came back to pick him up. Each time, I shortened drop-off time and extended the time he was there by himself. It took 2 1/2 weeks to get up to the full day but it's worked out so well. I wonder if the play school in your town, or in the next, would allow for this sort of transition period?
Also, for things to do with toddlers, I just take DS to the park; the park nearest our house has a baseball field and basketball court, and a little water fountain during the summer. I bring a basketball or soccer ball, and some snacks and water for him in my purse and just let him run around. We kick dirt, throw the ball and chase it, roll around in the grass, chase birds, and run around the bases and the basketball court. It's totally unstructured, and he loves it. We've been going there for months and he doesn't get bored. I can't take him to story time or crafts yet because he's a little wild and hasn't yet become able to focus his energy for very long. Sometimes we even go just run around or stomp in puddles at the back part of the store parking lot. We'll run over the traffic bumps, balance walking on the curbs, hop from one parking space to another, etc. We'll count how many steps we take or use the car license plates to do some spelling (this makes it educational, right? ;)
It's not super fun for me, unless he's being particularly independent at the park and I can pop in some headphones and listen to music or an audiobook while I follow him around. Anyway, hope you find something that works for you! If you feel you need some time to yourself, it's definitely a valid need, and it's ok to take him to a play school. It will be a difficult adjustment (probably more so for you than him) but it would most likely be a positive experience overall.