Trust Your Instincts

AGONIZE: to suffer agony, torture, or anguish; struggle

Some of my girlfriends have struggled with tough parenting decisions recently.

One friend received a call from the Seattle School District a few weeks into school offering her a spot at the school that had been her first choice during registration.  The district gave her a single day to decide whether to switch her son to a new school.  She had to weigh the attributes of her previously first-choice school against the fabulous school where her son had already started Kindergarten.  She agonized over the choice.  Was it worth leaving a great teacher for an unknown?  How much of an advantage is a K-8 structure?  What is more important, art or P.E.?  In the end, she elected not to have her son switch schools.

Another friend just started her son at drop-off daycare.  It’s a great daycare.  It’s in high demand.  Daughter has been on the waiting list for three years and still hasn’t been offered a spot.  But, my friend’s son is having a hard time with the transition and fear of the days he goes to daycare colors all the other days of their week.  He is stressed.  He says it’s too big.  When she mentioned the possibility of switching to a smaller daycare that had an opening, her son was visibly relieved.  But, if she gives up her spot at the highly desirable daycare, she won’t get it back.  What if she doesn’t like the new daycare?  Is it too academic?  How much weight should be given to the price difference?  The location?  Is this just a transition issue that will go away or truly an indication that the school is not a good fit?  After tears and doubts and agonizing analysis, she decided to make a switch.

Here is what I want these ladies to know:

I know you agonize over tough choices. 

I know it feels impossible to find the “right” answer. 

You see the endless ways your choice might be wrong.

But, watching from the outside…

I see a terrific mother.

I see a mom who is deeply caring and infinitely loving.

I see a mom who is dedicated to her child.

I see a mom who has the courage to make tough choices.

I see a mom who knows her child better than any other person on the planet.

I see a mom with unique gifts that make her the perfect person to raise her child.

Trust your instincts. 

2 thoughts on “Trust Your Instincts

  1. Thank you very much for this post. PB and I are just talking about decisions for the future and they were giving us much stress. I really wish school and daycare had more options. They are a necessity for most.

  2. I think it’s important to think about what is “highly desirable”–and ask, “to whom?” We’re dealing with this ourselves; Baguette’s day care is excellent, but I believe the class size is too big for her. We’re leaving her where she is for the moment, but when she changes classes (when she turns 3), we’re probably going to ask if she can be in one of the smaller classes. She’s generally more comfortable in smaller groups, and I think she’ll thrive there. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll look at changing schools.

    Because we all want what’s best for our kids, but I firmly believe that means focusing on their specific needs as individuals. We’re the ones who best know what those needs are, because as their parents, we know them best.

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