Amy has been married to her hunky, business owning, semi-pro football playing, graphic designer husband for almost 9 years. She is also mother to 2 energetic, delightful, and precocious 4 year old little girls. You'll find more at I Wish I Was in Dixie. Visitors always welcome.

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School is in Session

I have come to a new phase of mothering. Not only did I gain another 4 year old only weeks ago, but I am also the mother of preschoolers. I’m not just referring to age here. I’m talking about going to preschool. I debated for a long time on whether or not I would homeschool. When my Mattie was 3, I chose to do preschool at home. When she turned 4 I started considering my preschool options. A couple months after my daughter’s 4th birthday, I gained another daughter, Zoe. Now I had to consider what was best for TWO little 4 year old girls, not just one. Mattie’s strengths and areas she needed help with were clear to me. However, what did Zoe need? Did she know the alphabet? Could she write her letters? Could she spell her own name? These were questions I didn’t have the answer to and I began to feel overwhelmed. After much thought, I chose to send them to a wonderful local preschool. I knew the teacher and was thrilled with the curriculum, goals and priorities of the school.

Now I am in a phase of preschool, dance class, appointments, playdates and actual scheduling. Gone are the days of waking up when Mattie and I felt like it and going where the wind took us. I am uncertain of this new path. AND, this path includes two children. I don’t know how to have two children. It’s something I have never done before. The luxury of a 9 month pregnancy and the early months of infancy weren’t mine. Instead, I have jumped into this phase with both feet. Ready or not! I will be forever grateful for the gift of Zoe. She is pure joy and I feel honored to be raising my cousin’s child. It’s just been an unexpected event in our little family.

With a few weeks under my belt, I feel better able to handle what comes my way. Preschool is going well and I look forward to following my girls progress. I am also becoming accustomed to talking about my daughters. Plural, no longer singular. I still struggle with wanting to give my girls equal attention/affection. How do you balance that with 2 kids?! Especially when one is biologically yours and the other is family, but not one I gave birth to. Daily I am looking for answers to this question. What is your take on such a circumstance? I am open to helpful suggestions.

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Comments (9)

  1. Susie 09/10/2010 at 12:55 pm

    Balancing is a trick. If it is your intent, then you are mostly there. And, there is a flip side to what you are talking about. When you say the “luxury of a 9 month pregnancy and the early months of infancy” it is certainly a mixed blessing. When you are exhausted and sick in pregnancy, how much time and affection to you always have to parcel out to your already born children? Holding a sweet newborn is certainly a blessing, but sleep deprivation is a serious challenge.

    Having your girls the same age will have its challenges, but it will make so many things much, much, much easier. If you choose an activity, so many have different ages at different times. You are set. You don't have to worry about balancing a preschooler who wants to be involved in activities with a napping infant. Or even when they are playing at home, you don't have to worry about the older one who wants to play with legos, and the baby who eats them and might choke. Etc. Etc. Etc. Their interests may differ, but there will probably be many things that they are both interested in and their capacities will be similar.

    Certainly your situation will have challenges, but, my goodness, think about how many challenges you missed! (And I could share plenty more.)

    I would just expect this to be a growing stretching time for everyone, especially you, as you adapt. Take deep breaths and decide to love it. Relax. They are four! There are not right answers about many of these choices, just different options. Pray and go forward and you will figure it out!

  2. Shelly Knight 09/10/2010 at 3:30 pm

    The balance is so hard, but what I always try to remember when I'm being pulled in two different directions, is what a learning experience it is for the children. We need to take turns speaking, show restraint and wait to share the really-exciting-thing-that-happened-today, and show compassion when the other is upset. Good luck on your journey!

  3. Susie 09/10/2010 at 6:55 pm

    Balancing is a trick. If it is your intent, then you are mostly there. And, there is a flip side to what you are talking about. When you say the “luxury of a 9 month pregnancy and the early months of infancy” it is certainly a mixed blessing. When you are exhausted and sick in pregnancy, how much time and affection to you always have to parcel out to your already born children? Holding a sweet newborn is certainly a blessing, but sleep deprivation is a serious challenge.

    Having your girls the same age will have its challenges, but it will make so many things much, much, much easier. If you choose an activity, so many have different ages at different times. You are set. You don't have to worry about balancing a preschooler who wants to be involved in activities with a napping infant. Or even when they are playing at home, you don't have to worry about the older one who wants to play with legos, and the baby who eats them and might choke. Etc. Etc. Etc. Their interests may differ, but there will probably be many things that they are both interested in and their capacities will be similar.

    Certainly your situation will have challenges, but, my goodness, think about how many challenges you missed! (And I could share plenty more.)

    I would just expect this to be a growing stretching time for everyone, especially you, as you adapt. Take deep breaths and decide to love it. Relax. They are four! There are not right answers about many of these choices, just different options. Pray and go forward and you will figure it out!

  4. Shelly Knight 09/10/2010 at 9:30 pm

    The balance is so hard, but what I always try to remember when I'm being pulled in two different directions, is what a learning experience it is for the children. We need to take turns speaking, show restraint and wait to share the really-exciting-thing-that-happened-today, and show compassion when the other is upset. Good luck on your journey!

  5. Amy Dotson 09/11/2010 at 7:33 pm

    You have made some great comments. I have skipped some difficult stages. 🙂 Thank you!

  6. Amy Dotson 09/11/2010 at 7:40 pm

    Thank you for reminding how great things can be. 🙂

  7. Amy Dotson 09/12/2010 at 1:33 am

    You have made some great comments. I have skipped some difficult stages. 🙂 Thank you!

  8. Amy Dotson 09/12/2010 at 1:40 am

    Thank you for reminding how great things can be. 🙂

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