Growing up, I dreamed of being a stay at home mom. Then not so much after I went to college, graduated with a business degree, and got a full time job at Target’s headquarters in Minneapolis. I did well. I climbed the ranks and made a solid reputation. My career was fulfilling. I worked with some amazing people at a company I loved. Life was good.
When I found out I was pregnant with Colin, I thought I’d be able to balance everything… like I’d seen my friends/coworkers do so well. I took twelve weeks of maternity leave and signed Colin up for full time daycare. The week before he was scheduled to start, I went in to meet his teachers and drop off his supplies. The visit went well and I felt good about our decision. Except when I got into my car to drive home, I dissolved into tears. Like unable-to-drive-home-safely-because-I-couldn’t-see-the-road tears. I was so conflicted. Part of me was ready to return to my ‘old life’ and go back to work full time. The rest of me felt like I’d never be able to put one foot in front of the other and walk out of that daycare without my son on Monday.
In the end, I did it. I dropped him off. I cried a little, but not so much that I couldn’t drive to work. It was hard. Really hard. But, as so many of you know, each day got easier.
Those feelings of conflict wouldn’t leave though and I never truly returned to my ‘old life’ in the office. I felt like things weren’t quite ‘right’ and started to wonder if staying at home with Colin could be an option. And then we really shook things up. John got a new job in Seattle and we moved across the country on a fun adventure. With so much changing, we decided it would be best for me to stay at home with Colin while we got settled. Now, I’m nearly three years into this stay-at-home-mom gig. I’ve talked before about the adjustment. It was harder than I expected. But this is what works for us right now.
All that said, there are certainly aspects of daycare that I believe my children are missing. I don’t have a background in education. I’m not very creative when it comes to art projects/educational activities (and it’s possible I rely a little too much on the TV to entertain them). But, I have found a tool to help: Koala Crate!
what is a koala crate?
Koala Crate is a subscription box that arrives monthly and contains activities/materials that are age appropriate. It’s convenient and fun, plus it allows me to incorporate more educational concepts. Like I said I don’t have a background in childhood education so this makes me feel like I’m getting help from someone who IS an expert!
Each box contains at least three themed activities. I love that the crate contains EVERYTHING I need to do these projects. We use the materials, complete the projects, and then it’s done. No investing in tons of kids crafting materials (that we don’t currently have storage space to hold). Just one small box a month and three simple projects.
We have been receiving boxes for almost a year now and still look forward to each delivery. When Colin sees the yellow Koala Crate box on our doorstep, he says ‘let’s do art projects!’
Try it for yourself and save 30% on your first month using this banner:
Koala Crates are technically for ages 3-4, but we started before 3 and Colin could handle them pretty well. It’s definitely gotten more fun as he’s gotten older though. They make other kits that are appropriate up to age 16+ so the fun can continue for a LONG time (I’m personally looking forward to the days of Tinker Crate projects… they look awesome!)
Maybe suggest Koala Crate the next time the grandparents need a gift idea for your little one… it’s the perfect gift! I only wish someone told me sooner!
Disclaimer: If you sign up for Koala Crate using the link in this post, I will receive a small commission for referring you. We have been paying for Koala Crate for months and truly love it. I know you will too!