My little guy turned 2 on Halloween and I know that now is the time to start looking in to Nurseries for him. I haven’t a clue what I am doing but after a lot of research and speaking to other parents I knew I needed to get on the case now and start looking around. I never expected it to be so difficult and in my mind he would just be going to the local one near to our house where we have recently moved. It never really crossed my mind about having an option of where he went. I didn’t even know there were many other Nurseries near by and that I could look at them. So as soon as I realised this, it dawned on me just how difficult this was going to be.
It is especially difficult for me, the idea of him starting Nursery. Since normally when you go on maternity leave, most go back to work or work part time but I have been fortunate enough to work from home and be with my baby every single day and still am now. I have been the person since day one until now who has wiped his little runny nose and kissed him better if he hurt somewhere. The thought of someone else doing this hurts more than just a little bit. I know he will probably only be going 5 mornings depending on my work commitments at the time but it still seems like such a big jump from where we are now, with me pretty much never leaving his side. I already find it difficult being away from him for any acting work but that so far has only been a few days at most. God help me if I get some big acting job in another country!
I know deep down that he will love nursery and the two that he visited he couldn’t be more excited to be there and just ran off to play the second we went in. No hugging mummy’s leg or hiding behind me. Which is a great thing but obviously hard for me, since he would be quite happy for me to go whilst he played. You can’t help wishing that they will miss you, it’s just natural as a parent. It is definitely so much more difficult for me than him and I think he would adapt well in an environment like this. Whilst I would probably be sobbing in my car outside for quite a while after he started Nursery.
I totally underestimated just how difficult it was to choose the Nursery I wanted for him. I had read all the OFSTED reports and Googled as much as I possibly could but it didn’t help me at all. I visited one which wasn’t in my area but was a 6 minute drive and was in a lovely little village. It was a private nursery and although didn’t look like much outside it was lovely on the inside. It maybe could have done with a little update inside but I liked it. It felt like more of a child minder’s house and had a lovely garden. It was all so calm and peaceful and they never had more than 20 children in at a time. It had a very nice feel to it and although it maybe didn’t have the latest toys or the most amazing facilities I just felt comfortable and felt that way from the moment I walked in.
The other Nursery I visited was a Nursery school and this was within walking distance from my house (about 15 mins). This one looked like a school from the moment you arrived at the gates in the car park. The area isn’t anywhere near as nice as the other one but isn’t particularly bad. As soon as I walked in I could see how impressive it looked and the amazing facilities it had. It was also a Sure Start centre and it was really big. This was a completely different experience to the other Nursery, it had so many children and was manic and chaotic. Even though everyone there knew exactly what they were doing and there was a Head teacher overseeing everything, as someone who isn’t clued up on what’s going on in there it just appears crazy. All the children looked happy and my little man was very impressed by the toys and the outdoor area however. I also was impressed at how they managed to round up all children very quickly and they all listened and did as they were told. They all went from running around screaming outside to very quickly coming inside, getting in their groups and either sitting down for a story or doing a different organised activity with their group leader. I don’t think I saw one child refusing to do as they were told and all seemed to be pretty well behaved. The way in which the children did what they were told is what made me really consider this Nursery also, it wasn’t about the facilities for me really since children can entertain themselves with very little.
I am now in a position where I am stuck between the two. It is a kind of situation where it is between my head and my heart. My heart is saying the nice calm cosy home from home nursery in the lovely village is best but my head says the proper School Nursery is the right choice. I wish my little guy could tell me which one he wanted to go to but he is not quite understanding the question when I ask him and just keeps saying ‘yes’ when I ask which one he liked the most. I want to do what is right for him and not just choose the one I am comfortable with but I have this fear in the back of my mind of what if I pick the wrong one?!
I know which Primary school I would like him to go to and it is the one directly opposite the private Nursery in the nice little village. It isn’t exactly the area I live in so we may not get in to that school further down the line but I keep wondering if him going to the private Nursery opposite would be best so that hopefully if he does get in to that school he will likely have a lot of friends from Nursery there. There are so many things to think about and consider when looking at Nurseries and although it isn’t ‘proper school’ it is the place and the people that will be taking over my job for some of the day 5 days a week.
I am still very torn and still don’t feel confident enough to make a decision yet. I still need to check out what else is nearby and also there is that chance that we won’t even get our first choice so I need to think long and hard about what I would do if that was the case. Would I wait until the following year to start him in Nursery or go with a Second/Third choice? It is all very daunting and Is something I never thought I would find myself panicking about. I also need to speak to more parents and get their advice as this is something I feel I could over think and get stressed about. The one thing that is clear, is that he is growing up and he is growing up fast. I need to prepare myself for that day, the day I say bye and leave him at Nursery. The day that he probably doesn’t even hear me say bye because he is already off playing and having fun. That day will be a big step for him but a leap for me and it makes you appreciate all the other parent’s out there who have to work full time and who don’t get to spend as much time with their little ones as I do. So big hugs for all of you, you are definitely all Supermumys/dads!