I totally believe I was called by God to do family childcare. I totally believe it is my full time ministry. I was born for it and my whole life has been preparing me. I don’t love every moment of every day, but I love getting to do what I do. It’s priceless to love what you do AND to know that it matters.
How did it all start? When we moved here so my husband could do an internship, we didn’t know a single soul. The only person we had met was the manager of the apartments we rented. I had a very uneasy feeling about putting our 2 year old in childcare with no word of mouth knowledge to go by. Before we moved, she was in an excellent child care home with a woman who loved her deeply. I couldn’t have asked for more! But here, I didn’t have a guarantee of that in a sea of total strangers. I decided I would stay home with her at least until we found some friends and learned about the area. It’s better to be poor than have something to happen to your child. I am so glad that I made that decision.
A couple months after we moved in, the neighbor who lived above us came down for a visit. She had just had a baby. She invited Kayla and me to go on walks with her and the baby, and we became friends. A few months later she was preparing to go back to work. Her boy was 6 months old. When she got hired for a job she asked me if I would watch him. I said sure I would, and the rest is history.
At the end of our year lease in the apartments, we were ready to find a house to rent. We moved to the other side of town and my little charge started coming over there. A co-worker of this mom was given custody of her two granddaughters and needed care for them so I took them as well.
I found out I needed a state license to watch even one child, so I began the process of getting licensed. I had been advised by a family member that a license is not required unless you keep more than five children. This is not the case.
A few months into having my licensed daycare, I had a light bulb moment. I realized there was nothing more important I could do with my life than provide my very best for these kids. Each day I gave my best for them, but now I had the resolve to learn what would be most beneficial for their development. I set out on my path to get my Child Development Associate Credential.
When I was young I had a painfully low self-esteem. I am not the most confident person ever, but in my younger years I didn’t even feel worthy to be on the planet living among all the valuable people. It’s sad, but true. I honestly never saw my gifts. I just thought I was a regular old Joe with nothing special to offer. We all have gifts and they are different for each person. We should celebrate them. I didn’t think I was special because I wasn’t like others I saw.
When I began the licensing process my worker went on about how special I was. I just thought she said that to everyone. Then during the multiple observations for the CDA process, my first observer told me she had never met anyone like me before. She was amazed. She wrote about it in my observation evaluation. Little by little as I met new parents and new workers and new observers, I began to see they were all saying the same thing. I was born for this job.
The more I realize that truth, the harder I tried to be my very best. I’m not perfect. I’m not the best. I’m just me and that’s a unique gift for the people in my life. I KNOW there is nothing more important I could possibly do with my life than care for kids. Most people search their whole life to find their calling. I am blessed. And it drives me each day to find the absolute best things I can do for my kids to give them the best start they can have!