Thursday, March 29, 2012

Am I Ruining My Son?

As the last of three children and the youngest member of our local neighborhood gang, StinkBug has ALWAYS been surrounded by other children. We've had various work and child care arrangements over his five years of life. He had been in child care full time, part time or home full time with one of us.

Last May I was laid off from my teaching job and we spent all of of our days together. He thrived during the summer, surrounded by his entire family and a revolving door of neighborhood kids who came over to entertain him. There was always someone to splash with at the neighborhood pool, a crew of kids to follow around the pond on his big wheel, a big sister happy to play school or "momma and baby" with him.

August rolled around. Big Yankee moved 1230 miles away. The big kids went to school. ALL DAY. People asked me where I was sending him to preschool. Was he going to Mother's Day Out and where?

He's my baby. My last one. He is going to kindergarten next year. I've worked full time most of his life. I will likely be working full time again if we can ever make this move happen. Maybe it was selfish but I wanted him home with me. Maybe it's because I didn't know how to be at home all day? Maybe it's because I knew I would be lonely? Maybe it's because I felt guilty about all that we have put him through these last 18 months?

We've been home together every second of every day. And now the formerly easy going, flexible kid HATES going somewhere new. He cried, screamed, yelled and clenched up his little 5 year old fists and stomped his feet when we attempted the gym child care. He tenses up when I suggest he GO to a friend's house to play. He doesn't like going to the neighborhood park because "there's so many other kids."

He is becoming a social hermit who seems to has lost his self confidence around other kids and I can't help but wonder if I am ruining him by being selfish and keeping him with me?

Linking up with Shell


Teresa said...

I don't think it's your fault. Five is a very sensitive age. My son has days like that and uses his three yr old sister as an ice breaker in social situations. He won't leave my side unless we are home or if he has his sister.

@dkotucker said...

You have definitely NOT ruined him!!! As a matter of fact, I'm sure he absolutely loves spending alone time with his mom.

I used to wonder the same thing. Having stayed home with both the boys since they were born, J2 was especially clingy and never wanted to do any activities without me. It used to drive me crazy sometimes. Other kids would be happy to be dropped off at a class or playdate. NOT MINE! You have a lot on your plate right now. Go with your gut and once you get settled in your new home, see how it goes and if need be, deal with it then.

Just so ya know...J2 just turned 19 and seems to be OK going out without me now. ;P

Robbie K said...

He use to be so outgoing and sure of he is my shadow.

Robbie K said...

lol..glad he's ok going out w/o you now! I feel like he deserves to have time with me but kindergarten is going to be a helluva transition.

thank you for being the voice of reason!

Alexis@TroublesomeTots said...

My 5YO balks at the gym childcare too. This isn't a remark on your parenting choices but due to the fact that the gym playspace sort of blows (very babyish).

My 5YO is chomping at the bit for kindergarten but that's just who he is. My 2 YO just freaked out at my assumption that he mingle with other kids at a playgroup this morning. Personally I think it's who they are not what we do that determines how much a transition kindergarten is.

Shell said...

Not ruining him. I've had mine go through things like this- even when they were in preschool. But we always second-guess ourselves, don't we?