Thanks for all the kind comments and encouragement to my post a few weeks back. It makes a huge difference to me to know I'm not alone in my struggles with career/parenting.

I think we're in a post-Halloween slump this week in the Maniger household. I had a headache all day Monday from my sugar detox, finally feeling right again. The kids have thankfully forgotten about their Halloween candy, so no need to employ the Switch Witch - a brilliant idea. I will remember that trick in the future.

I think I've figured out what is getting me down lately. Change is coming in our lives in the form of Kindergarten. It is looming large and making me a bit crazy. You might think it's a long way off to be worrying about this, but really it isn't. I'm taking Charlie to his new school in a couple weeks for a tour with other parents and kids. I need to decide on half-day or full day kindergarten (do I really have a choice?) and what arrangements we will make for before/after school.

We're in a groove with our daily routine right now. We've had the same daycare for four plus years, our drop-off and pick-up routines are consistent and familiar. That's all about to change.

The kids will be in two locations next year, adding time and complexity to our morning and evening routines. And even if Charlie goes to full day kindergarten, he will be done by 3:00. 3:00!

Of course there is before/after care and that is what most working parents rely on. I looked up some information on the school website the other day and it made me cry.

Seems crazy, I know. Both kids have been in daycare since they were a few months old. This is nothing new. Except, it is.

School lets out at 3:00 and most of the kids will go home. They will file out onto the sidewalk and their parents will pull through the car line and pick them up, complete with smiles and hugs. It is the end of the school day. Time to go home.

The kids in after care will get shuttled to a new classroom for homework, to the gym for some games. They will make friends, play, have fun.

But it isn't like daycare where almost all of the kids stay until 5:00. Charlie will know the difference. He will wonder why he doesn't get picked up like the other kids. Because both of your parents work, I will tell him. Mom and Dad have careers and we've worked hard to earn our degrees and we provide you with a very nice life as a result. It's all good, kid.

Except it isn't. He won't care about all that, our careers are not his concern, his responsibility. He will simply want to be picked up like the other kids. End of story.

It has me in a funk. A post-Halloween, sugar detox, hazy, gray day-kinda funk.


  1. Nope, not necessarily. True, there will be a lot of kids who will be picked up by their dutiful stay-at-home moms waiting in the carline, but there will also be A LOT of kids getting on school buses, boarding daycare vans, going home with nannies, walking home with older siblings (who will begrudgingly watch/torture their younger siblings), doing a million different things and going a million different places. Do NOT feel bad about this, Charlie will not feel bad or singled out, because it will all be new and fun and different and he'll make so many new friends (as will you) and have a blast no matter where he is before and after school. I won't lie, kindergarten is way scarier for the parents than it is the kid, but this is not something to feel bad about. Trust me.

  2. As an ex-stay at home mom, Julie is right. Nothing you should feel bad about at all.

    1. Jodi - I will trust that you are right and try to worry about it less...many thanks!

  3. Is that poor-pitiful "bag-lady" child my granddaughter? My children were always dressed in perfectly matched outfits from the finest stores!! (One daughter wore beautiful long brown braids every day (they weren't hers, but still!) And she also slept in her "party-shoes" every night!" What is wrong with the kids of today, and where are their parents?
    What is happening to the kids of today and where are their parents!!

  4. My friends send their kids to after school care. When they are able, they pick them up right after school. Know what happens? The kids beg to stay to play with their friends. It's their normal, their reality. And the funnier thing is some of the other kids envy it.

    And I agree--kindergarten is far more daunting for mom than the little scholar. I died a thousand deaths on Ally's first day, and I almost picked out my plot on E's first day of preschool (riding a bus by himself!!!). It's ok. If you don't feel that way, you probably aren't right.

    1. Thanks for your comment Anh. I think you are right - I am thinking from my normal, my reality as a child, not theirs. They don't know any different and I just over think/emote on these things. Perhaps I should just drink more??


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