Mommy Guilt gave our credit card a workout

Mommy Guilt is a b*tch.

I guess it’s just part of the job though, right? I remember when Noah was about 10-days-old and I was having a terrible time breastfeeding. I wanted to give up, but I felt so guilty about it. My mom told me it was OK to stop and said to me, “Tracy, you’re a mom now. You’re going to feel guilty about something every day for the rest of your life.” (We didn’t know it at the time, but Noah was allergic to milk and soy. When we figured it out two months later, they put him on a very expensive specialized formula. Thankfully he has outgrown the allergies now.)

My Mommy Guilt today is about Colin. We finally chose a school, and he had his assessment this morning. We didn’t think he was going to be able to start for at least a month, but they can take him in two weeks. It’s wonderful that they can take him in two weeks, but it’s also a little overwhelming. 

We had narrowed it down to two schools, and we really thought we were leaning toward the other school. The other school would not have been able to take him until the end of October/ beginning of November, so TWO WEEKS is kind of hard for me to wrap my head around. I thought I had longer to mentally prepare myself for it. I mean, Christian and I both believe this is the right thing for Colin, but I am sending my baby for some pretty intense therapy four-days-a-week! It’s a big change from two days at a church pre-school free-play class and two hours of therapy (for which I was present and involved) a week.

Colin will have his own room at this school and we can decorate it for him. He gets to work for rewards, so they recommended bringing in some favorite things. He absolutely loves trains and cars, so I knew he had to have some there. Of course, Toys-R-Us is having a big train sale right now, so I headed on over. I got him some new trains and train tracks. I also got him some cars, a bean bag chair, and a toy basket. Yup, Mommy Guilt gave our credit card a small workout today.

I did restrain my Mommy Guilt somewhat. It could have been much worse. I was looking at other stuff, but reminded myself we have enough toys at home that we should have some that won’t be missed. (Colin AND Noah would have definitely missed the trains and train tracks if they had disappeared from our house though.)

As I mentioned earlier, this school is not the one we thought we were going to go with. Two weeks ago Christian sad he was 35% for this school and 65% for the other school, and I was about the same. We really liked this school, but they had some significant turnover just under a year ago, including the Executive Director. However, after meeting with the Executive Director, the Board President, and talking to several parents who went through the transition or whose children started after the transition, we were swayed. (Incidently, we also found out the other school is opening a second location, so we may have ended up being on the front end of a transition there.)

There were financial considerations as well, and this school ended up waiving their deposit for us and they will pay about half of our out-of-pocket insurance costs for Colin next year (a Board member’s mother is a benefactor and provides scholarships).

This school is the closest to us geographically, too, and that is an added bonus. Colin will go from 8:30am to 1pm, while Noah and Zoe will go to their church pre-school from 9am to 2pm. The location of this school will make those pick-ups and drop-offs easier. Next year, when Noah is in kindergarten, Zoe is at the church pre-school, and Colin is at this school, it will make pick-ups and drop-offs MUCH easier.

This school is smaller, and we feel like Colin will get more personal attention there. On top of the therapist who will work with Colin one-on-one, there will be a clinical director who will spend four to six hours with him, and the Executive Director will spend one to two hours with Colin herself . Because of my work schedule, I can’t always be the one who drops Colin off and picks him up (it will be a combination of Christian, Christian’s mom, my mom, and me), so I really like the fact that I can call the Executive Director directly, and she could talk intelligently and specifically about our child.

Even though it’s going to take me a minute to adjust to Colin starting earlier, we are really excited for this and we have a lot of hope for what it will do for Colin. We hope that this is just a temporary thing and that he will eventually transition to our school district’s pre-school bridge program (for kids with special needs) or to “regular” kindergarten. We hope that by getting him this early intervention, he will learn the skills that will make him successful in a “regular” classroom.


12 thoughts on “Mommy Guilt gave our credit card a workout

  1. I’m sure it’s hard to wrap your mind around an earlier start date. This sounds like a great school, though, and i’m glad the time works so well. Mommy guilt is a bitch, huh?

  2. I’m sure I would react exactly the same. Whatever relieves the Mommy Guilt, I say!!! It will be SUCH a great thing for Colin. Transitions, though, are always hard. Period. Give yourself time to grieve and then you’ll be able to more quickly embrace the exciting future in store for your baby!! 🙂

    • He’ll have a table and chairs where they will work on language, fine motor skills, flash cards, puzzles, basic knowledge (shapes, colors, animals,etc), listening, taking turns, etc. Because of his age though, they said they will probably do more work on the floor than they will do at the table. Since he’s too young to sit for more than a few minutes, they will do an activity and they he gets to choose a reward – a snack, a certain toy, etc.

      They also have a large gross motor room where he will spend part of the day and they have a mock pre-school room where he will have group time, work on social interaction, etc.

  3. What do they do in terms of parent education? Will you get the opportunity to learn the techniques that the school uses to reinforce them at home or when he’s at home he’s “off”? I’m so glad they worked with you financially – pays to do your homework and meet with the board members! Do they give you a time frame for his learning? Has lots of research been done with these kiddos to know how to help them learn?

    I ask because I’ve learned so much from our speech therapist – she’s been a huge resource for us and explained so much about the brain and what’s she’s trying to accomplish. She’s also been great about staying current on the research. I don’t think that my son Timothy would be speaking today without her help. He probably continue to have some challenges but we’ll see how it goes.

    They sound professional and attentive. Much luck and success.

    • Jill-

      We have been seeing an OT and a DT once a week in our home, and I agree that I have learned a lot from them. That’s what made me a little nervous about sending Colin “away” for services, but he just needs more than we can give him in that two hours.

      We will have monthly conferences with Colin’s team, and as I said in my post, I really like that I can call the ED or the clinical director to get info on how things are going fo Colin. We are also welcome to come in anytime and participate in therapy or just observe. We will have a key card and they said we can come whenever we want. They send daily logs home, as well as a weekly report. I think there will be a learning curve as we get started, but they definitely want to work with us.

      • Sorry to bombard you with so many questions! I’m fascinated by Colin’s school, I’ve never heard of this type of program before — it sounds like a great opportunity for Colin and your family. I’m also interested in how the brain develops in children for my own sake, to help me with my son and as an RN.

        Wish I had more thoughtfully expressed my admiration for how well you’ve handled this very difficult time.

        Jill C.

  4. Tracy…Deep Breath. Relax! I remember when you got the phone call about Colin. How long did you have to prepare for that? Two weeks in your life is a long time! Have fun at school, Colin!

    • That’s true, Jan. I remember getting the call, going to buy a carseat that night, and picking him up the next day. It was pretty surreal!

      I just want things to be calm for a little while now! I’ll be glad once he’s started and settled in.

  5. It will be a huge transition for all of you but so worth it in the long run. I love that this center incorporates so much – definitely different than the ones I’m familiar with. And the financial help is such a huge blessing. I will be anxious to hear how it goes. But all that said, mommy guilt is definitely a bitch.

  6. That sounds great. I’m sure it will be so good for him. And I understand about needing to keep the train at home. My 2 would get really upset if they disappeared too.

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