Decisions, decisions

February 27, 2011 at 9:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Friday I was delighted to receive the call that Liam got in to our first choice preschool! I did a little happy dance, but then realized that this was also the most expensive one, and with my freelance work drying up, I wondered if we could even afford it.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon, Liam snoozing away, and I’m calculating as best I can everything we spend money on. Estimating utility bill averages, estimating James’ salary after his GS 15 raise, and going into our credit card bill to see what seems to be eating up most of our money. Then I went into full-on freakout mode. Forget preschool, how were we even going to afford our bills once my freelance money stopped rolling in?! Thankfully James thought I’d underestimated his future after-tax take home, and after that adjustment things looked a tad better. But just a tad.

Which has left me wondering what to do about Liam’s preschool situation. According to my math we’re going to have to cut way back on our expenditures to afford the expensive school, which is three days a week, three hours a day. This was going to leave me plenty of time to get in some work, but who knows what my work situation will be come September. Do I really need all that time on my own, especially if we have to sacrifice a lot to get it? Travel to see family, long weekend trips or the occasional date night might fall to the wayside, among other things.

Liam also got into a cheaper school, only two hours a day, two days a week. I initially didn’t feel this was enough time for me to get any work done, but with no work on my plate, perhaps this is a better option for us. Just enough time for me to run errands, or clean the house, or get some things done during the day that are hard to do with a toddler in tow. Another thing to consider is how Liam will react to going to preschool. The moms I’ve talked to tell me their kids love preschool, even if they didn’t like it at first. But judging from Liam’s behavior in baby yoga, I’m wondering if Liam will enjoy it at all. As much as it pains me, I doubt we’ll be signing up for yoga again next session. I’m trying to make up some classes this week, sort of baby yoga boot camp style, and if by Friday he’s still throwing fits and refusing to participate, I give up. If he’s like this in preschool, too, I may wish I weren’t out so much money.

Then there’s also the chance we’ll be moving, either before school starts, or sometime during the school year. James has put in for several overseas positions, and as much as he hates his job right now, I’m sure he’ll be putting in for a lot more jobs back in the Midwest and elsewhere. I have a hard time imagining that we’ll still be in DC this time next year. Do I really want to start Liam at school only to take him out and add that to his list of things to adjust to? Or risk losing our deposit if we end up moving before September? The real advantage to getting Liam into a preschool at age two is that he’ll have a guaranteed spot there until Kindergarten. It’s highly unlikely we’ll even live here that long.

Plus, (yes, this keeps going!), co-oping is kind of a pain in the ass. You have to sign up for a committee, participate in fundraisers, bring snacks for the class, and work as a teacher’s helper every other week.

So, I’ve got all of this rattling around in my brain at the moment. I’ve got a couple of weeks to decide whether to commit to the more expensive school, and until May 1 to commit to the cheaper school. Or I might just scrap the whole thing. On one hand I’m not entirely convinced Liam’s ready for school yet. On the other I’m wondering if school would help him come out of his shell. That’s really the most important consideration.

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3 Comments »

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  1. Can you find a mother’s day out to try before you have to make the decision? You might be surprised how quickly he gets distracted once you are out the door. You could also try it with leaving him with a mommy friend (somebody he has meet but doesn’t know well) who has kids, just as a test to see if he cries for a minutes or the whole time you are gone. Of course we are talking 6 months from now, so it could be better or worse then.

    Personally I wouldn’t sacrifice too much for preschool at 2, but I also don’t have a hard to get a spot situation, so that is a different consideration. Although if you are not going to stay in DC, that you can cross that off the pro/con list. So personally I would say keep doing what you are doing, lots of play groups and finding mommy and me classes. He is only 2.

    And side note, is James ever going to take a job that he actually likes?

    • Thanks for the advice, Candi! Actually, now that I think of it, I have left him with mommy friends before, and he was fine after a few minutes. So he probably would be ok in a class while I’m not there. I’m wondering how he’ll do on the days I’ll be working there, though.

      As for James, Seems the only job he likes is in hindsight. We thought moving to DC would offer him better opportunities, but so far the jobs have been some of the worst he’s had. So now we’re thinking that if he’s going to hate his job no matter where he is, the least we can do is live comfortably. That’s the plan now, anyway.

      • clearly I would love to see you move back to KC. Although I would think the overseas thing would be assume for a little while and I know that was always the dream. Good luck.


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