Hard work? Heart work!

Anyone who knows me can tell you how passionate I am about children and families. I come alive the moment that anyone talks about ages and stages, child care choices, parenting philosophies, and much more. I absolutely live and breathe for children and families, it is my belief that raising productive, compassionate children is guerrilla war fare on society as we know it. To me, this is how we change the world.

As parents, we know the work we do…day in and day out. Whether you are a SAHM, a WAHM, you work part/full/double time outside the home…you know what it takes. Yet, when considering child care, the first thought is often (necessarily) financial.

Yesterday I was a part of a focus group for a fabulous woman on Periscope. She was asking about what people would want from a certain time of coaching and what they would be willing to pay. It was a small group of people, but I learned a lot from participating. We all want the greatest value for our money, right? So, it makes the most sense that we want to get the best we possibly can for each dollar. Except when it doesn’t.

When we talk about our children, many of us would say we want the best for them. Each generation tries to give their children a higher quality of life than the last. In doing so, we have created the “Entitled Generation”, but that is a post for another day. So often, parents look at child care from a purely financial perspective, which I understand, as most working parents are living pay check to pay check. I invite you all to consider how child care is not only hard work, but heart work. Considering how much we spend as a society in therapy, our emotional selves are very important.

As a child care provider, in any capacity, obviously we are caring for the base physical needs of the children. However, there is much, much more that goes on. People do not go in to child care because it makes a ton of money, we do it for the love of children. It is because of this love that we nurture, guide, teach, model, and discipline the children that we care for.

Those of us who have made child care our lives take that a step further. We educate ourselves in our field, and continue our education throughout our careers. We take the time to develop our socio-emotional selves to provide excellent care and support of not only the children, but their families also. Parents, think back to your nannies/day care center workers/preschool teachers…remember how they listened to you vent at the end of a hard day? Or how they supported you and your child/ren through that divorce? How they helped you problem solve regression issues after that move? These are all examples of the deep love one should have to be in a care giving position.

All of that support is invaluable, right? But hey…let’s keep it real…we don’t have billions of dollars to give to even the best of the best caregivers, and if we did…we certainly wouldn’t have that money anymore! Sometimes, parents don’t approach child care from the heart, they approach it from a purely business standpoint. As such, they end up with a business style relationship. The turn over in child care is exceptionally high, and takes a rather large toll on the care giver and the children.

I believe that with more support, parents can make more informed choices, and care givers can offer more across the board. While it *can* be as easy as touring your local child care center, enrolling your child, and moving along…what if you could have a better relationship with your child’s caregiver? What if you could have a better relationship with the parents of the children you care for?

I want to help families. I want to help families because I want to change the world. I want to help put great people in to the world who go out and treat each other well. Who stand up for what is right when no one is looking AND in the face of opposition. I believe that to do that, we have to change stuff on the other end. People are not developed like businesses, they are raised in the context of their culture. I have worked with children and families for 22 years. It is time to start sharing what I’ve learned with more people, and learning more along the way.

What can I learn from you? I’ll never know if you don’t tell me…so please, talk to me! Leave me a comment, shoot me an email. Tell me your story as a parent or caregiver. I want to hear from you!

-Erin

 

 

 

 

 

I’m so excited…and I just can’t hide it!!

Today I received excellent news: I was chosen to preview a book that is being published and review it here on the blog!!!! For some people that may not seem like a huge deal but for someone who is in the midst of writing their first book, to me…this is HUGE. I don’t know the rules of what I can/can’t share yet, but the book is sitting right behind me and as soon as I am done with this post I plan to dig in to it.

As a writer, one of my favorite things is hearing people’s opinions of my work. Good, bad, and ugly. I enjoy the ugly the best, because it helps me know whether I’ve gone ’round the bend, or if that person just isn’t in my demographic. Both are valuable feedback, so I’m really excited to be a part of the team (which, let’s be honest, is my standard operating function).

I am additionally¬†excited because soon we will begin adding to our brood. My Toddlerface is now 2 years old and I’m ready. I will admit that there have been several days lately where we have just been SO bonded and I fear changing that, but outside of the fear, I’m ready.

ALSO…I started working with a coach! I stepped out in faith when I quit my job in January, and it’s time to take the necessary steps to get my book published and figure out how to do good work in the world. For any one who doesn’t know me, I consider parenting and child care to be guerrilla warfare on society. I am not the sort of person who wants to be at the forefront of change, but I truly believe that by putting good people in to the world I facilitate changing it for the better, and that is always my goal. Look out world, I’m coming for you!!

My core desire is to empower mothers, and parents in general, to have options in parenting. To educate parents so that they feel empowered to make choices based upon what they feel is right for their family, regardless of whether it was how they were parented or what their limitations might feel like at the time. I believe that being an informed and empowered parent changes the lives of our children, which changes our world.

I would also like to have an impact on the way families choose child care. Many families default to certain forms of care, and I would love to help them get clarity about what they really want/need, as well as help them retain good relationships with their caregivers. More often than not, between teacher burnout in centers and nanny turnover in the private sector, there is a lot of inconsistency in the lives of children and their caregivers. I feel strongly that a large part of that is due to a lack of communication between parents and caregivers, be they preschool teachers, daycare providers, or private nannies.

I am also hoping to start using Periscope for my own Scopes in the next few weeks. I want to open a forum for people to ask questions in a real-time environment. I don’t know if people will show up, but I’ll be there either way. Obviously so much is contextual when dealing with children and parenting, but over time I’d love to have it evolve in to a Q&A where people can email questions before hand, but get real time feedback and discussion. If anyone has parenting or child care related questions, feel free to email me at inthemomcave@gmail.com and I’ll answer them here on the blog. I have 22+ years of child care experience that includes a variety of capacities, and my wealth of knowledge is open to all of you.

For now, I’m going to grab my tea (Good Earth tea for this evening) and dive in to this new book!!! I am so excited about life right now. Wishing everyone a very happy Friday night!!

XOXO-E

 

Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today…

…to get through this thing called “life” – Prince

The last couple of months have been quite a ride for me here in the Mom Cave. There have been many ups and downs, twists that came out of nowhere like a great horror movie, and I have learned a lot. Much of what has gone on isn’t appropriate for sharing on the internet, and yet I feel compelled to share what I can.

I’m writing a book about relationships between nannies and the families they work with. As a child care professional with over 20 years of experience, I feel that this is one area that really needs more information. While the focus of the book is going to be nanny/family relationships (both professional and personal) I feel that most of the information is broad and applies to all the caregivers and teachers in children’s lives, just to different levels.

As such, the Universe has thrown my professional life in to a blender. After nearly 40 years here on this planet, I should expect it, but this time I was blind. I wanted to say blind sided, but the truth is, I saw it coming for a while I just didn’t want to believe it. It all comes back to the quote by my beloved author Maya Angelou, “When people show you who they are believe them, the first time.”

Whether you are a personal friend or a casual internet user who simply found something random and decided to read it, I want you to take that quote and really put some time in to absorbing it. Feel the weight of what it means, and look at how you navigate the world.

As for me, I’m working on my book and also working out how to be of service to the world. So…readers…that is where you come in. How can I help you? Do you have child care related questions? Friends who have child care questions? Send them on over! Feel free to email (inthemomcave@gmail.com) them if you would rather do that than post in comments, and I will change any identifying info before posting if you’d prefer.

I also welcome questions/comments about being a parent or a caregiver, basically most topics having to do with raising and caring for children. ¬†Let’s connect and start a dialogue!