TIME MANAGEMENT: Musings on Preschool: How To Use Your Time Wisely

Oldest Child and Middle Child with Oldest Child's Preschool Teacher
Reunion with Oldest Child’s Preschool Teacher
(Middle Child was in a different class)

I had a child in preschool from 1998 through 2008 with a slight gap between 2003-2006 when youngest child was a baby. For a 1-year period, I even had 2 children in preschool simultaneously. Even with the gap, I was always in “preschool” mode. Always looking for preschools. Gathering information from friends and family. Always on the lookout for the “perfect” preschool. This was a time before Google Search. The preschool search was based on conversations, paper brochures, and word of mouth. My kids would call it the “Dark Ages”!

Planning Preschool for Toddlers and Preschoolers

When I had a child/children in preschool, I looked at the preschool hours as valuable. Gold. I planned and plotted how I would spend the preschool time. Never wanted to waste a single minute. I rarely drove home…didn’t want to waste precious preschool time on the road. With my children safely in their preschool classrooms coloring, doing jigsaw puzzles, or playing with friends, I was on my own for a few precious hours. 

Working During Preschool Time

Generally, I found a local coffee shop and set up to work on projects. Back then I was an work-from-home editorial consultant for a health care/legal publisher. I always bought breakfast and lunch to justify monopolizing a table for hours. It was back in a time of paper manuscripts…before everything was in the cloud. I would pore over towering stacks of manuscripts looking for grammar errors, typos, and pagination discrepancies, red pen in hand. I looked at clock gauging how much time I had left. Reviewing manuscripts was a race against time.

However, there were plenty of times when I didn’t go to the coffee shop. Usually I skipped working entirely when I had a baby or toddler in tow. During those times, I also wouldn’t waste precious time driving home. Instead, I ran errands.

Running Errands During Preschool Time

I refer to the “Running Errands during Preschool Time” period of my life as the “Spending Years.” Have you had a spend-y time of your life? You know the scenario…you have a 3-hour window while your child is in preschool and all you can see is your long to do list:

This “Spend! Spend! Spend!” time of my life was fun, but I was not as careful with money as I should have been. Eek. The priority was killing time not saving money. 

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