Doing it all

I am having a conundrum.  I think I have pretty much figured out my answer, but I wanted to see if I could become any clearer having written it all down.

My issue is with sending Ruth to pre-school for more than 3 mornings a week at this time, or indeed any time before September or even the New Year.  She will be going three mornings a week after half term because I feel that she would be better placed at preschool on a Monday morning than being the very eldest by quite a long way in the creche for our Monday morning bible study.  Of course, the love and care that she gets at the creche, and the experience that she gets in serving others, especially the smaller children is invaluable, and something that she doesn't get in the same way at preschool.  But I do feel that the structure of preschool on a Monday morning would be beneficial to her.

Ruth is a bright, inquisitive child (aren't they all?!) and it seems that long hours at home do bore her and her behaviour does deteriorate somewhat if she is not fully occupied all of the time.  This is something that I find challenging, as I am not only a mother to her, I am a mother to Benjamin and a wife and a homemaker, each role having some tasks that are not related to Ruth directly at all.  I try to get her involved in what I am doing, but her interest doesn't last long. She doesn't like to play alone, or indeed, do much alone at all.  She seems to demand constant attention from someone at all times.

The easiest thing would be to just put her in preschool 4 or 5 mornings a week, as a lot of her same-age peers are doing.  Gets her 'out of my hair' and into a 'more stimulating and educational environment'.  But.  BUT.

I want her under my love and care, teaching and influence for as long as possible.  Long school days are only around the corner, this precious time goes so fast.

I wish I was one of those amazing ladies who not only have lots and lots of children, but they manage to run a household, work the land, have a great marriage and homeschool their children at all different stages of learning.  Some days I find it enough of a challenge just to get the basics of clean children, fed children, clean husband, fed husband done.

At the end of the day, it is Ruth's best interests that I have to have foremost in my mind.  And as far as I am concerned, what is best for her is knowing that she is loved, that she is part of a family with all of the relationships and responsibilities that go with that, but also giving her opportunities to learn new skills and being under the authority of someone else. I want her relationship with Benjamin to continue to grow and develop, and I also want her to have a meaningful relationship with the new baby too, something that will  be a lot harder to accomplish if she is out of the house more often than not.

So if I keep Ruth at home for longer than I anticipated, for example, putting her days up to 4 days a week after Christmas rather than September will mean that I need to up my game at home.  Ruth gets difficult if I am unorganised, busy doing non-essential things (and somehow she can tell!) and if she is bored.  I need to get more organised and have more activities on hand that she can be involved with.  An extra effort required with a new baby.

On the other hand, she is not sleeping as much in the afternoons any more, so it's not like she's out all morning then asleep all afternoon.  We will get that extra time 'back' if you like, it's just that the time that we are apart she will be in preschool and not in her bed.

This coming week is her last week of going to preschool for just two days a week.  After half term, she will be going 3 days a week.  And I think we will stick here for now.  I know I don't have to make a decision until July as to whether to up her days in September or not.  If any of you readers have any thoughts or suggestions, I would gratefully receive them.  The last thing I want to do is just go with the norm, just because it is what everyone else does.  I want it to be an active and informed decision on my part.