Our quintuplets started pre-school this year. There is a lot of debate about splitting multiples or keeping them together, but we decided for our family it was best to split them up into separate classes as much as we could. They spend so much time together that we felt they would benefit from some individual time. John, Becca and Ali are each in their own classes, and David and Kate are in another. Plus Mark is in his own class. This creates some logistical challenges. For example, the school encourages the parents to bring a treat to celebrate a child’s birthday, and we have four classrooms to schedule this month. Keeping track of teachers, friends, paperwork, etc. is more work. It takes longer to drop them off and pick them up. However, we are very glad that we opted to separate them. They are really enjoying having their own independence, teachers, friends, and stories to tell! When they come home from school, they compare artwork and ask each other questions about how they made it.
Each of our quintuplets has a very unique personality. Some pop right up to answer questions. Others are more reserved and prefer to talk one-on-one and won’t fight for attention. When we ask questions about their day, they can’t answer for each other. The answers are different. “What color was your play dough today?” is met with various responses, and it is fun watching them interact and share whether theirs were different or the same. While they are in different classes, they see each other on the playground and get to play together some too.
Most of what I have written has been about the kids, and I want to write a little about being a mom as well. I adore my children and am so glad that I have been given the privilege to be home with them and raise them, but it is definitely challenging. When we enrolled the kids in pre-school, I was thinking about their social development, the chance to have a little independence and not be part of a group, all the fun they would have, etc. I had not thought about what pre-school would mean for me. The break has been a really nice bonus. Two days per week for 4 hours, I can run errands alone, get things done, clean the house, etc. My husband has encouraged me to take some time for myself as well, and I am doing that. I have enjoyed coffee with a friend, lunch dates with my husband (who works close to home and the school), quiet time alone, as well as being productive. I think sometimes as moms it is easy to get so focused on what needs to be done and if all of the kids are getting enough attention, love, and time that moms can forget to take a break. And sometimes even if the break is wanted, there just isn’t time for it.
This is a difficult stage in many ways. From what I hear, every stage will have challenges. However, I really enjoy this time. It is our last year before Mark starts kindergarten and is in school every day, and it is the first year where our quintuplets are in pre-school and really able to get out and do many activities. I am enjoying having breaks but having time to do all the outings and activities that we want to. The kids have all already opened up more from school, and I am sure that will continue as they grow older, but I am very grateful that they have each other as a support system to come home to.