What's Best for You vs. What's Best for Me

Jafta is starting preschool on Monday. Over the years, I've been witness to many a preschool conversations by my friends with older kids. I've always listened and glibly thought, come on, it's just preschool. Ah, sweet pre-parent naivete.

So now that it's my turn, I've been agonizing over where to send Jafta to preschool since April. I kind of had a list of criteria that I was looking for in a preschool:

1. it's realy, really close to my house
2. he can eat lunch there so I can run more errands
3. it doesnt' start before 9am so I can sleep a bit later
4. it has a two-day option so we can spend less money
5. it has a Tues/Thurs option so that time in childcare preschool is not wasted on a day daddy is home to help with the kids

Wow. Is this the most self-indulgent list you have ever seen? Me, me, me. What's best for me.

But over the last few months I've been convicted that perhaps what is best for me is not what is best for Jafta.

See, there is this amazing preschool that many of my friends recommended. That have a great acadmic prep. The teachers are insanely nurturing and make every kid feel like a star. They do worship every morning. His best friend is going and could be in his class. Jafta went to VBS there and loved it. All signs were pointing to this being a great option for Jafta, but I fought it tooth and nail.


But he would have to go Mon/Wed/Fri, two of which are mornings he hangs with Mark. But it starts really, really early. But it has no lunch option. But it's more expensive. But it's kind of a hike. But I want to do things on Tuesday and Thursday while he's in school. But Ali and I can have meetings if our kids are on the same schedule . . .


Wah Wah Wah.

So I paid a hefty deposit and first month's dues for a different preschool that fit my own needs. And last week, Jafta starting begging to go to his best friend's school. And Mark started calling me out for why he wasn't. And I started feeling really, really guilty.


So I sucked up my pride and selfishness, said goodbye to the money blown on mommy's choice, and got him a spot in Ryder's class at Lil' Lighthouse Preschool. Looks like we'll be waking at the crack of dawn on Mon/Wed/Fri.


Dang, things were easier back when it was all about me.



10 comments:

  1. I love this post! It's so honest and so great! Anthony and I are preparing to get pregnant (I know that sounds funny) but I am diabetic and that means we have to prepare. All that to say, I have 28 years behind me doing what I want to do and it sure would be hard to let go of that and think of the kids! Good for you mama! :) We're praying for Jafta's school year! :)

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  2. I hear you!! We started preschool for Chebbles this week, at a school that takes me an HOUR to get to and back. That's kind of "close" by California standards, but there are several places withing *walking distance* I could/should have picked. But now she's with her best friend, and it's academic, which is right for her. Sigh... the GAS alone!!!

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  3. I have to admit that I've read your blog for a long time but this is the first time I'm leaving a comment. You talk all the time about wanting to do what is best for your kids. I am honestly shocked that it took you so long to make this decision for your son. When you become a parent you need to let go of your selfishness and do what is best for them first. Yes, it's a sacrifice, but that's what it's all about. I think it is so sad when moms are overly eager to get their kids in school so they can have more time to go to the gym or get their nails done. I'm not saying this is you, because it looks like you want to change. I'll be praying for you.

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  4. Kristen, this is such a natural tension, so normal, so common. You desiring your own time and an occasional break is OKAY. Many of us make better parents when we have refreshers. Some stages of parenting call for more refreshers. You're speaking honestly about that and yet still choosing to sacrifice. Your love for your kids is always evident.

    Not everyone desires breaks for completely selfish reasons. There are all different reasons, including getting your focus back so you can be fully present with your kids.

    We all struggle with selfishness in this life. Sometimes it comes in the form of thinking you do things better than other people, sometimes it comes in wanting more head space, sometimes it comes with working too much for the wrong reasons; whatever the form, we're all selfish, known to us or not. The beautiful thing here is that you recognize that and you work on it. It's a struggle for me too.

    As usual, I appreciate your honesty so much, it breaks through the idea of perfection and allows other moms to talk these things over.

    Heather

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  5. i thought you had comment moderation so i wouldn't have to read the judgemental crap of others. no?

    great post.

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  6. Tell “liveforkids” to pray for me too because last time I went to the gym I put the kids in childcare and worked out…instead of bypassing the nursery and heading straight to the pool, which is what they wanted. I guess it is what I would have done if I wasn’t so selfish.

    Seriously, come ON, moms need metime/friendtime/worktime/spousetime etc if they are to be the very best moms that they can be. In the end, childrearing is all about checks and balances, weighing the positives with the negative, the children’s needs with your own.

    Is the person who suggests that he or she has never had such “selfish” thoughts or behavior REALLY being completely honest with him or herself??

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  7. Tell “liveforkids” to pray for me too because last time I went to the gym I put the kids in childcare and worked out…instead of bypassing the nursery and heading straight to the pool, which is what they wanted. I guess it is what I would have done if I wasn’t so selfish.

    Seriously, come ON, moms need metime/friendtime/worktime/spousetime etc if they are to be the very best moms that they can be. In the end, childrearing is all about checks and balances, weighing the positives with the negative, the children’s needs with your own.

    Is the person who suggests that he or she has never had such “selfish” thoughts or behavior REALLY being completely honest with him or herself??

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  8. Anonymous10:22 AM

    Dear liveforkids, I am not sure you HAVE kids otherwise you would know that it is very natural (and NOT selfish) to want to have some time for yourself. If you have been reading this blog for a "long time" you would also know that she has a wonderful sense of humor and it is definitely portrayed in this post. I like to say that I do things for selfish reasons as well, and you know what?? SOMETIMES I DO! I know that when I am a happy and fulfilled person I can give my best to everyone. Besides the real matter here is humor and letting everyone know that we are all human, we all have a lot of those same feelings, well that is unless you are a robot....hmmm

    PS, please say a prayer for the 100% of moms who have ever had a single selfish thought, I am thanking you for mine

    PSS- I also think that you probably meant well and that parents make all sorts of sacrifices for their kids, but don't forget that people write as a form of therapy, release and a way to relate with others!

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  9. When I was talking about moms being selfish, I was trying to explain that this is part of the process of becoming moms. We have to let go of what WE want and focus on our kids. This is the hardest part of becoming a mom. I am surrounded by moms who have nannies, house cleaners, etc., etc. When my mom raised us, she never had any help. Why do we think we are entitled to such help? This is what is wrong with this culture today. We want to have it all as moms instead of recognizing that this is a season where we have to sacrifice. I am all about living for me when my kids are older, but this is not my time. I am thankful that all my kids can climb into bed at night with us. We're going to miss this time when they're older. I don't want to miss it by focusing too much on me. They deserve a mom who wants more for them.

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  10. Dear liveforkids,
    For some of us moms, we may need a little bit of a break from our kids sometimes. That doesn't mean we're not good moms, it just means that we're trying to find BALANCE as moms and as a wife, friend, etc. As much as I love my children, I love to put them to bed at night (their own bed, not mine) and go spend time with my husband. This makes me a better mom, as does making sure that I am connecting to my friends and actively continuing to use my brain. I found when I've had some time to myself, I am more patient and more loving towards the kids. It's all about BALANCE....not guilt.

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talk to me.

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