Oh, the joy of having a child who is old enough to head to school. On the one hand, yes, your baby is growing up too quickly — but on the other hand — FREEDOM!
Maybe now you only have one baby at home and your schedule will be more flexible. Whatever your situation, here are some ideas on what you can do now that one of your little ones is heading to school or even daycare.
1. Drop them off then go back home and get ready for the day! It’s much easier to get ready without kiddos running through the house, or with just your baby. You can lay the baby down for morning nap time and actually take a long shower. Then you can do your hair uninterrupted. I used to wake up before I woke my boys up for pre-k and school so I would have to get up even earlier than they did so that I could have time to get ready. This option definitely works well if you’re a morning person, but if you’re anything like me, it will be easier to drop them off and THEN get yourself ready for the day.
2. Cherish the special time with your youngest ones by giving them your undivided attention. Now you don’t have as many little hearts to tend to throughout the day, so take time to just sit down and play with your baby. This is such a special time in their lives and it’s important to put down the laundry and dishes every once in a while to really focus on your child.
3. Sign up for “Mother’s Day Out” for the ones you still have at home. I know a lot of my local churches offer this once a week, where moms can drop off their toddlers and have a few hours to themselves. It’s awesome.
4. Take advantage of the people who have offered to watch your baby. It’s much easier for them to babysit now when it’s just the baby (and not coupled with your older kiddos!).
5. Hit the gym! My 3-year-old is in pre-k and my 5-year-old is in k4, so I got a membership at a gym where they don’t have childcare. I saved a bunch of money this way. If you do have babies at home, check out your local YMCA gym. They usually offer great prices on memberships with childcare options.
6. Get the dishes done early. You no longer have to leave the dishes to late nights. It’s tough being elbow deep in soapy water and then needing to help a toddler. If you’ve got your kiddos in a daytime childcare you can get your house chores done after you drop them off and still have some time to go grocery shopping or run extra errands while you’re alone.
7. Or, just rest. My huge relief, now having both boys in school, is that on days when I’m feeling under the weather, I can actually rest. I have flexible schedules at work and can work mostly from home if I need to, and it doesn’t hurt me too much to take a day off to rest if I’m sick.
I know it’s tough to let go of your kiddos and send them to daycare or school but sometimes it’s for the best! And eventually, they DO grow up. Try to see the positive in it and enjoy some alone time. You’ve earned it!