Sunday, March 29, 2009

I'm A Provider

I am an Early Childhood Educator who cares for approximately 4-5 children per day who I treat as though they are my own. I call myself a "stay-at-home mom" even though we are seldom ever in my home. We go on nature walks, visit indoor playgrounds, go to preschool and Early Years Centers. We go to Provincial parks, water parks, neighbourhood parks & amusement parks. We are a busy bunch and I love what I do.

When I worked outside of my home full time, I always felt like there weren't enough hours in the day. I was on salary which meant I spent more time at work than I got paid for. By the time I got home, I had dinner to get together, laundry to do, groceries to buy and homework to do. (Yes, like many of us I'd spend 45 hours + at work each week and would still have homework to do in the evening) All my life, I had wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. Here I was with a two year old son in daycare and another on the way..... I liked my job but I love my family most and at that point hated how I was living my life. I continued this lifestyle until I went on maternity leave with my second child and decided I needed to make a change.

Two weeks after my youngest was born, I got a call from my boss telling me there was some re-organization happening in my department and that there would be changes made to my position. I didn't agree with the changes being implemented and discovered this was the push I needed to make the decision to be at home with my boys. My husband however, had just recently decided to pursue his dream of learning a trade and had taken on a five year apprenticeship. This was going to mean a drop in wages for him at the start as well as blocks of time where he would be in school and not have a steady income. I thought to myself, how can I be a stay-at-home mom now when I had just made this commitment to support him?? I was going to have to go back to work. I felt nauseous. I felt weak. I felt ripped off.

That is when I made the decision to offer a home child care program. I told myself if I was going to do this, I was putting my whole self into it and would merge my ideal version of a stay-at-home mother with a full-time working one. Until very recently I had children arriving at my home around 6:30 am and some didn't leave until 6:30pm (sometimes later) I only do house work if the mess was a result of one of the children having a mishap and it cannot wait. (spilled apple juice turns black on a white tile floor within minutes of a navy sock stepping into it. This I know for sure.) I seldom do laundry during the day (unless the apple juice was actually dumped onto one of the kids or if someone has peed themselves) and dinner gets started when the children have left the building. I pretty much have the same evening routine as I did before I stayed home.

As a stay-at-home mother, I still do not have enough hours in the day. I still find myself doing laundry as I'm trying to get dinner together. I have homework only now it is helping my grade 1 son with his word study or math. How do things differ from when I worked outside of the home? Well, I probably have less time to myself actually than ever before. I don't get a lunch break, I never get to drink my coffee warm unless I've heated it umteen times and at the end of the day, it doesn't amount to the salary I once made. On the flip side though? It's rewarding! At "work" I seldom got a thanks for anything I did, in fact my boss often took credit for my accomplishments. At home, the children I care for, care for me as well. They express their gratitude by saying "thank you" with their words and their smiles show me their appreciation for what I do for them. Who would have thought I could have it both ways?

I have the best job in the world and my title is "mom/full time child care provider"

About Me

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Life-long Vegetarian and proud to be Canadian. Really, I'm a little bit of everything, all rolled into one. I'm a bitch, I'm a lover, I'm a child, I'm a mother, I'm a sinner, I'm a saint (I do not feel ashamed) I'm your hell, I'm your dream (I'm nothing in between) You know, I wouldn't want it any other way..... (I'd like to think that song was written about me! lol)