Mellow Mummy: The First Day At Nursery : Taking life as it comes...

Tuesday 4 January 2011

The First Day At Nursery

Lara starts nursery today. It's not a big thing really, but I feel like I've been conditioned into believing it is. In reality, today is no different to any working day last year. I will drop Lara off at about 8.30 and pick her up just before 6. This year I will be working for 4.5 days a week rather than just 4, that's the only difference (oh, hang on, there's the £400 a month difference in cost too!)

We had to leave our lovely childminders in Bracknell because, since moving house, the commute back to Bracknell twice a day for the childminder wasn't a good use of time or petrol. I struggled to find a new childminder in Wokingham so we've opted for a nursery.

I've thought long and hard about our decision and on the whole, I'm happy that nursery is the right decision for Lara now. I'm still convinced that a childminder (or two) was the right decision this time last year and I'm glad that over the past 12 months Lara has had a family environment where she has done real, every-day activities such as going to the shops, waiting for an MOT and doing the daily school run. I like that sense of normality. I'm also glad that Lara has got to play with children of lots of different ages as I think it has pushed her to develop quickly. I do however worry that to this day, Lara has always been the centre of attention wherever we go – she's at that age where she is the entertainer and left in a room full of older children (or adults) she will quite happily soak up all of the attention. Now is a good time to teach Lara that she can't always be doted on. I think it will do her good to be in a more formal environment, surrounded by children her own age. But, I do worry that she will no longer be encouraged to develop and do grown-up things.

Choosing a nursery is very much like choosing a house – you just KNOW when it's the right one. Unfortunately, the one we fell in love with costs the earth (hence the new year's resolution to stop spending any other money). Oh well.

Lara's settling in sessions at the nursery were a mixed bag. There were tears at the start of every session but once she realised that there was lots to do, she had a ball. She has already built up an attachment to her keyworker and I think she's going to love the constant stream of activities and hopefully she'll come home happy each evening, and after some chillout time and supper with her parents, she'll ready for a good night's sleep.

Lara's first day at nursery won't be an emotional rollercoaster for me. I'm used to the feeling of leaving her each morning, and... if there are tears, I know they won't last for long.
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