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