Dropping my eldest off at his first day of preschool was surprisingly traumatic for me. I didn’t know a person could cry that uncontrollably over an event that didn’t involve someone dying.
Leading up to this dreaded day, I was more preoccupied with making sure he was prepared than to worry about myself.
After I walked him up to the doors, he ran right in and never looked back. It didn’t even phase him. Me? That’s when the waterworks started. I couldn’t make it back to my car fast enough.
In a stereotypical fashion, I was that mom drowning herself in tears while driving off. I pity anyone who witnessed my dramatic display of absurdity. The sob fest continued all the way home.
Would he feel like I abandoned him? Would he be overwhelmed with the new situation? Would he know how to ask the teacher for something? Would he make friends?
It turns out I was the one who felt abandoned. I was the one who was overwhelmed with the new situation. I was the one who needed to figure out how to communicate with the teacher, school and everyone else who was entrusted to take care of my precious child all day. I was the one that obviously needed to make some friends.
I think most of all, I needed to cope with and accept the idea of someone else taking care of him all day. Up until this point, I’ve been with him all day, everyday. He’s my little buddy, my sidekick, my partner in crime and I felt like a piece of me was missing with him not there.
The situation described might leave you thinking he is my only child. Although that would somewhat rationalize my extreme emotional reaction, it is not the case. I also have a two-year-old who would still keep me very busy all day.
There really isn’t an excuse for my ridiculous spectacle and irrational behavior. Maybe it’s because first time moments like this with your first child always seem to cut deeper. Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones. I think I’ll blame it on that. I’m never too proud to play that card.
Regardless of how I felt, life would go on…
…And boy did it!
After my tears dried, I started to enjoy the simple life of having one kid again.
Do you know what’s easier with one kid? EVERYTHING!!!
I’ve been juggling the demands of two small children for so long, I forgot how easy just one was.
That is until now.
Simple tasks and activities were so much more relaxing. No need to split my attention or try to spread myself evenly amongst two tiny human beings.
Usual errands such as grocery shopping with one is actually a somewhat enjoyable experience. There’s no anxiety of managing two tantrums or meltdowns. I can take my time, check for deals, look over ingredient lists, and even compare prices. I’m no longer a contestant on Supermarket Sweep trying to get in and out as quickly as possible throwing whatever I find in my cart hoping to grab what we need.
Even visiting the local park is easier. I’ve grown accustomed to running around like a crazy person after two tots, it’s so refreshing to just relax.
Previously, I would find myself extremely envious of those parent sitting on the sidelines reading a book, checking their phones or just plain relaxing while sipping their Starbucks and watching their children play. Now that’s me!
Better yet, there’s no need to organize a dreaded departure with two toddlers running in opposite directions resulting in me waddling after them. The sight is as painful to watch as it is to physically endure.
I’ve even found us being more spontaneous. After school drop off, me and my little go wherever the wind takes us. The flexibility of one child gives us more freedom to take these impromptu trips and adventures, whereas there’s a lot more consideration involved in the prepping and planning for outings with two toddlers.
Zoo? At least once a week. A peaceful stroll and picnic at the National Park? Yes, Please. Strawberry picking? Ohhh, that sounds fun!
The effortless management of one child’s schedule, temperament, needs and demands is a breeze. I can’t believe there was a time before my second came along I actually thought this was hard. If I only knew…
All joking aside – yes, of course, managing one child is a lot easier than two. There are a few sacred hours each weekday I only have to worry about one unbelievably demanding toddler. No fighting. No refereeing between the two. No incessant rule pushing on sharing and taking turns. Although very enjoyable, it isn’t the best part.
Currently in my third trimester with a due date quickly approaching, I soon will be struggling to divide myself equally amongst three children, one of which will be a newborn. In an attempt to manage the non-stop chaos while suffering from severe sleep-deprivation, I won’t have a moment to think or relax.
With a changing family dynamic on the horizon, I’m fortunate to have this quality one-on-one time with my youngest. This rare opportunity will soon be over upon the arrival of our newest family member and I’m taking full advantage. From these precious moments, I’ve even found myself learning more about him and his personality. With my full attention on only him, I am able to observe things I otherwise might’ve missed.
Recognizing just how fast he’s growing up and how quickly this time is passing us by, I’m not taking this time with him for granted and feel beyond blessed I’ve been given this opportunity. Before I know it, I’ll be dropping him off at his first day of pre-school and once again, sobbing in my car as I drive off.