Questions Stay-at-home-moms (SAHMS) (Long)

TaraWaferJanuary 8, 2002

Okay... DD is 2 1/2 years old. I have her enrolled in a Mommy and Me gymnastics class (which she loves). And we will probably start trying MOPS. We haven't been going to church (we've been struggling), but are trying to start going again.

I don't have DD in any kind of daycare. I have looked into it. We could afford for her to go for 2 full days a week. That is pushing it, but we could do it. And then we couldn't do anything else (like MOPS or the gymnastics class).

I am taking college courses online (from our junior college here). SO I could really use DD not being home 2 days a week to get more work done. But I can just wait until DH comes or or DD goes to bed to do a lot of it.

What I am worried about is that I am not giving DD enough time, socially, with other kids. I also worry that she's not getting all the schooling daycare kids are getting.

Does it sound like I am doing enough? Too much? What do all you other SAHM's do? Is it just you and your child all day? Do you do MOPS or MOMS or some other group?? Should I even be worrying about this?

DD is somewhat ahead verbally for her age. And she can count some and knows most of her colors...etc, etc, etc. So I really don't know if I need to be worrying about her not being in a preschool environment. It just seems that most kids are nowadays....

So, PLEASE, any advice or stories would be appreciated! I would love to know people whose kids have turned out okay by being home alone with mom so much.... I was like that as a kid (but my little brother was around once I turned 2) and I turned out okay.... at least I think so...

Anyway, thank you for reading this far. And thanks in advacne for any responses. (And I hope no one minds me writing this on the Parents of Toddlers forum too).

-Tara W

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Do not worry so much. She is only 2 1/2. There is plenty of time for pre school next year or even when she is 4. Time with you is more important at this age. Mine turned out fine with the same program as yours. Youngest is at Berkeley. Not bad, eh?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2002 at 2:07AM
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What do you suppose that kids did before there were day care centers?

That's right, they stayed home with their mothers. Even worse than that, Mom probably didn't have a car to get to the Mall or to Mcdonalds....there weren't such things as Malls and McDonalds. That's not all that long ago.

And they did just fine!! So don't worry about it. If you can let her go a couple of times a week, that's ok too.

When she is about four, it will be more important.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2002 at 6:40AM
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But Aileen all the other mothers were also home and the kids learned social skills at home playing with other kids. So since the world changes how we treat children within the world must change also. When I was in 2nd grade my mother let me ride my bike all around the neighborhood without supervision. I now have a 2nd grader and wouldn't dream of letting him leave the block without me. Are 2nd graders different or is the world different.

However, I do agree that 3-4 is a more important age for developing social skills. So-if the OP can't afford preschool at this time it isn't crucial for her child's development.

I work 3 full days a week. I work at home, but as anyone who works at home will tell you it is nearly impossible to work with a toddler home. So-I send my son to preschool 3 days a week. We can afford more, but I really don't think that at his age (he's 2 1/2) he NEEDS full time preschool. On the days that I don't work we stay home together. Sometimes we go to the park, sometimes we just stay home, sometimes we run errands. He seems to benefit from preschool, but 5 days a week might be a bit much for him right now. I think if you are doing social activities he doesn't need preschool and if you start preschool you might want to scale back the other organized activities. A 2 year old needs SOME social interaction, but also needs some free time and time talking with mom and just being a little kid. My son seems very happy with this setup.

I am sure that the OP's child will be just fine with this setup for another year or two.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2002 at 8:27AM
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I don't think a 2.5 y/o needs preschool either. Mine started preschool at 4 and are doing great. In fact, many SAHMs I know who tried to start their kids earlier in preschool regretted it. Some of the kids just weren't ready. Social skills don't really kick in for most kids until after the 3rd bday. So the kids didn't even like going, some really fought it.

Maybe you can hire a neighbor girl to come in after school a couple days a week, a mother's helper. She'll work cheap, and your daughter is still at home, gets another person to play with, and you can have them play in another area so you can work. I've done that periodically and it works great. The girl can even be younger than a regular babysitter because you are still there, maybe an 11-12 y/o. And a plus, you've got a sitter in training.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2002 at 10:22AM
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What happened if you didn't have other kids around in your area? I only had my little brother. I never attended preschool. Mom would run to the store for things maybe once a week but basically our interactions were only with each other. Did it ruin me? No! I went on and got good grades in school and graduated in the top 10% of my class in high school. Didn't go onto college though because I took a year off to help out my Mom who just divorced and DS came along months later. MY brother had a hard time with reading and a few times and was really bad with school in his middle school years. He just didn't want to do the work. He started high school and got staright A's the whole time, even in Calculus and Psychics! He's now attending school for computer prgramming and other computer related things and on the Dean's list. Most of my family and kids I went to school with did not go to preschool at all.

My son is also 2 1/2 and as long as he seems happy and he's learning and growing, I don't worry about him. I work with him by talking to him and telling and explaining things. He's picking up on a lot and even seems to learn things just by catching us doing it once. He understands more than most people think he does. I know of parents who sit home all day with their kids but don't talk to them or anything. They do one thing and keep the kid in their room or something and those kids would certainly benefit from preschool because the parents don't take the time to do anything with them. (SIL is one of these parents and now has a kid in Kindergarten that loves to learn and is bright but they don't work with him. He just sits in front of Cartoon Network at home or a video game. Now he has to attend Kindergarten all day to catch up with the others to even move on. It's all been because they didn't see the need to teach him colors, numbers or shapes and other skills).

It's your decsion really but don't think that kids won't be any good later on without preschool. I sometimes think preschool is overrated because not all of them are good programs.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2002 at 10:51AM
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My daughter started kindergarten this year after being home with me since birth. And she's doing great! We've gone to informal playgroups two mornings a week since she was 2 but she really wasn't interested in socializing with others until she turned 4. I think parents tend to over-schedule their kids and at too young an age. I say enjoy the time together while you can. Unstructured play is necessary.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2002 at 9:01PM
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"What I am worried about is that I am not giving DD enough time, socially, with other kids. I also worry that she's not getting all the schooling daycare kids are getting."

I have said this many times before. My mother is/was a daycare/preschool/kindergarten teacher for the last 25 years. And she says:

It's a FALLACY that kids need to go to organized "preschool" situations to develop social skills, or that they "need" time to play with other kids. Until a child is about 5 or 6, all they need is MOM. If they have brothers and sisters, that's fine, but only children are not deprived. Kids need unstructured time where they can learn and play at their own pace. A preschool is a fabrication of the daycare mentality that says that kids need and institutional setting as early as possible. Most preschools are just glorified daycares anyway. And if a preschool is pushing the academics (reading, writing, etc), then they are doing it for the parents- not the kids. Children of this age do not need any kind of school- they need the security of home and mommy.

For more info, read "The Hurried Child" or "Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk" by David Elkind.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2002 at 12:58AM
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and they need Dad's even less PC to say THAT.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 9:54AM
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I completely agree with those who said that pre-school is unnecessary. I had people tell me all sorts of things - she won't have pencil-readiness! She won't be properly socialized!You're going to have to cut that cord sometime! (at 2!??) Nonsense.

On the other hand, if you need time to study, it is not going to do your dd any harm to be in daycare - could you do just one day a week and still afford your other activities?

And kudos to you for taking courses with a toddler! That's fantastic.

Another book recommendation "Hold Onto Your Kids." It focuses more on older kids, but the message is that kids should be socialized and bonded to their families - not their peers.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 12:50PM
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I was a SAH mom. My two kids didn't go to daycare,but they did attend preschool run by a church (not our religion, they accept kids of any faith) first two days a week,then three. IT was AM or PM sessions,not both. I think preschool was great,it got them used to sharing, paying attention, obeying group rules,etc. It also gave me some alone time. Sometimes when they were at preschool I napped,other times I went shopping or cleaned house. On the other hand, my sister had two kids who stayed at home until kindergarden. Both needed speech therapy. All the children grew up fine. No mental or other problems. But I do think preschool is beneficial.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 4:19PM
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