Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Dilemma, Decision Making, and Finally A Huge Weight Lifted...

Unexpectedly, this past month, I put my youngest daughter's name on a wait list for a new preschool. Now I wasn't unhappy with her current school, but there were a few things that were leaving me wanting more for her. I thought this new school would provide those things. The new school would be in walking distance to my home, would provide her with double the school experience that she currently has, and would be an easy transition because it's the same philosophy program.

Without giving it much thought, I added her name to the list not really thinking a spot would open up. Then one day, mid grocery shopping at Whole Foods, my cell phone rings. It's an administrator offering me a spot for GL at the new school. They ask you right then and there, do you want it or not? Wow, I couldn't believe it, I verbally accept the spot. I suppose we shouldn't have put her name on the wait list if we really didn't want the spot, so deciding right there on the phone does make sense to me.

Then I started to have all these reeling thoughts in my head.

GL would be going from 3 days a week to 5 days a week, from 2.5 hours to 3.5 hours, total of 7.5 hours to 17.5 hours a week. Unlike many mothers I know, I started to pull back from that notion of letting her go for so long each week. Honestly I enjoy my time with her, but value preschool. Just how much time away is a good balance? Back to reeling thoughts.

Then came my second dilemma, breaking up with the school we like.

Ugh. I knew I was going to be the wrong person to sit down with the Director, air my concerns (which were not overwhelmingly negative) and tell her we were pulling GL. The Director was very surprised by our conversation and immediately took actions to help improve our experience. My eyes filled with tears as I told her we were leaving (hello, red flag).

In came the guilt, was I doing the right thing? Really what was the right thing? I truly wasn't sure what to do at this point.

Here were some of my issues:

  • If I didn't take the spot at the new school, it would jeopardize our spot for her in the Fall. In that same vein, I didn't want to take the spot out of fear that we may not have a spot in the Fall. Fear is not a good motivator in my book, too many parents at this school are driven by that.

  • There was no guarantee that GL's transition at the new school, mid-year, with longer days would be a smooth one. What if she didn't like it and we had given up a spot at the school were she was content. That would suck.

  • Is she ready to go 5 days a week? I already mentioned I wasn't quite ready for that, if I thought she was 100% ready, I would not let my feelings take precedence. How do you know?

  • I had requested a visit to the classroom of the new school and was brushed off by the teacher. She thought it would be better to set up an appointment for an after school tour. Honestly, I wanted both. The teacher pushed for the latter and it really disappointed me. I wasn't looking for special attention, just simply a short observation for GL to see the classroom WITH classmates.

  • At her current school, GL was having some issues with her arrival transition. I was hoping to get her into lunch bunch, so she could socialize a bit more with classmates and ease that transition. The school obliged my request, even though lunch bunch is highly in demand. I truly appreciated the lengths they went to, to accommodate my concerns. It was a wonderful feeling that they cared so much.

  • I found out this week, GL's current teacher got emotional when she heard that she was leaving. They really do care deeply for the kids. There were no guarantees she'd have that same connection with her new teacher.

So after much talking through my issues with my husband, mom, and my girlfriends, we finally came to a decision. We decided to leave GL at her current school until the year's end. I have her on a list for Fall enrollment at the school that we just turned down a spot at. Worse case scenario? She won't get into the school in the Fall. Back up plan, keep her where she is next year.


After I talked to a central office administrator this morning, emailed the appropriate people, committed to staying at the current school, notified of us rescinding our spot, it felt like a huge weight was lifted. I still get my girl to myself 2 days a week, she gets to try out lunch at her school, and fingers crossed she'll be in Pre-K five days a week in the Fall. If things don't quite work out that way, I will come to terms with it. I am a firm believer in everything happens for a reason. I'll accept what comes our way.

Huge sigh of relief!!! Did I mention, I hate having to make big decisions...


  1. Yay for you! I think when you feel good about a decision, it's the right one. Sounds like this one is for you guys, for now!

    We're going through a similar dilemma: what to do with the foo next year! ACK! I think she's going to go 3x a week to the school where she currently goes 1x a week, but it's freaking me out...

  2. You remind me so much of my best friend. You really think things through, look at all the angles and in the end do what it best for your family. You may not like making big decisions - but you are very good at it.

  3. All of this school surf is so stressful! I'm glad you're feeling better about things.


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