So I’m eight months into the whole “work-at-home”/ “stay-at-home” thing– and I feel like I’m still trying to get a handle on it!
Yes, maintaining a household and trying to work and looking for work and raising a child and maintaining some semblance of structure are tough balancing acts … but, more than anything, I’m stymied when it comes to intellectually, creatively, and actively stimulating my daughter.
Her previous daycare was wonderful in terms of preschool preparation, but that was an expense we had to relinquish fairly quickly. (Hmmm, groceries and gas or daycare?) Though I’m really trying to prevent a total loss of her counting and pre-reading skills, I feel as if my meager repetitions and totally amateur, totally improvised teaching methods are woefully inadequate. I am fortunate that my city offers tons of daytime child-friendly activities– but regular attendance usually translates to unaffordability.
So how does one with diminished financial resources and limited education nurture their kid’s mind growth? I feel like I’m all park, pool, crafts, and story-timed out– and I’m embarrassed to admit that she watches a little more than her fair share of TV and spends an inordinate amount of time coloring “artsies” solo while I clatter away on the keyboard in pursuit of the dollar. Sadly, the fact of this didn’t even really hit me until the day not long ago when I walked in on her reciting the Noggin commercials (“Iiiiiiiit’s puzzle time!”) word-for-word as they aired.
Maybe I’m exaggerating; she is three, after all, and certainly I, as the responsible, nurturing mother, can cope. Right? After all, I’m in no way entertaining homeschooling down the line or kidding myself that I’d be able to even do it. This feeling is temporary and will certainly be nullified once she does enter preschool next year, right? All in all, she enjoys regular social interaction via playdates and “reads” tons of books, and she seems well-adjusted and smart. Still, I can’t help but think that if she doesn’t get into the college of her dreams some shrink will ultimately trace it to this decidedly uninspired lull ….
by Elisa Garcia