Have you ever been told that maybe being a child care provider isn’t the job for you? Or even thought this yourself? We all know this job isn’t for everybody. Accommodating to all different families and different behaviors from the children, different age groups. I’m forever changing my daycare as I go through a new group of kids. It’s funny how the dynamics change everything. It could be just one child and their behavior or a phase they are going through or even one parent you’re trying to please.
So just when you think you’re getting comfortable, things change, and things happen. It’s hard! But you just got to remember you can’t make everybody happy. Just do your best. And if at the end of the day you can say “I did the best I could.” then you’ve done your job.
And we all know we have our weaknesses too that pull at our strings and makes our jobs even harder. For me, I’m an introvert and struggle with social anxiety. Just by talking with a parent can send me into a fix of having our conversation run through my head over and over again. Or thinking what could I have done differently? What could I do next time? Basically over-thinking everything. It’s a forever, endless, vicious cycle.
I normally don’t come out and tell my daycare parents about my social anxiety. And I know to some it was a big surprise. Thankfully, I have had many therapists that work within the school district as parents in my daycare. I was able to open up with them and share with them my struggles, they helped me and accepted me. And I now call them my friends! I did, however, bring this up with a new family during their first week with me, maybe just maybe, that’s another reason why we ended up not being a good fit.
And I’m not trying to be so hard on myself as I do have many incredible strengths. I’m good with the little ones, children under the age of two especially. This could be because of my introvert personality. Who knows! But it has always been my calling even at a young age. Children have been a part of my life starting with my siblings, then babysitting, the church nursery, and now daycare. And one of the best things about it, you see, is they don’t judge. They love you unconditionally.
I feel like I owe myself another paragraph here, LOL! But why is it so easy to list your weaknesses and not so much your strengths? Anyways. Kids always find a special place in my heart. And I’m not kidding you when I say we are drawn toward each other. You can read an article of mine where I’ve had many special connections with the children.
Ways to cope, outlets, and support
If you run an in-home daycare by yourself like me you’ll find that this can be a very lonely occupation. I actually prefer working by myself because that’s my personality but there are times I desire adult conversations. I found that joining daycare provider support groups has helped much. Even though I’m a squatter and not much of a participant in the conversations. But, I’m slowing making my way and testing myself.
Honestly, I’m actually finding out that I really enjoy blogging about my daycare experiences and connecting with others in the same field. They say it’s therapeutic which I am finding to be true. Maybe even a type of exposure therapy in my case.
With that being said, sometimes I need a reminder as to why I’m a daycare provider in the first place. The job takes a lot out of you and you feel pulled in every which direction. Even before daycare starts and when daycare ends, you’re still working. Sometimes, every once in a while, the question…”Is this the job for me?” arises. And to that question, I respond with “find the joy”. So I came up with a little poem that I thought I’d share.
Well, Honey, This Isn’t The Job For You!
If you can’t handle the daily tasks of being a daycare provider; kissing boo boos, wiping noses, cleaning dirty hands and faces, changing dirty diapers, bottle feeding. Well, honey, this isn’t the job for you.
If you can’t handle the toddler temper-tantrums, the hitting and biting, throwing food, making messes, the stubborn attitudes, potty accidents. Well, honey, this isn’t the job for you.
If you can’t handle the late payments, the non-payments, the early drop-offs, the late pickups, no paid time off for yourself, or better yet no time off at all. Well, honey, this isn’t the job for you.
If you can’t handle the clinging, tugging, climbing, holding, picking-up, pulled in every which direction left and right. Well, honey, this isn’t the job for you.
But if you can handle soaking up smiling faces, hugs for any and all occasions, teaching and learning, making a difference. And it makes all the above worth while. Well, honey, this most definitely is the job for you. There’s nowhere in the world you’d rather be.
– Elyssa McGregor (A Daycare Provider)
We do honestly owe ourselves a pat on the back, for not everybody can do this job. It’s got to be in you and if it’s not there or if you can no longer find joy in what you do “Well, then, honey, this isn’t the job for you.”
Want to add another verse? Feel free to share in the comment section below.