I’ve had the privilege of being an infant caregiver for the better part of the past year and despite it being my first position in this field of work, I can wholeheartedly tell you it’s one of my favorites I’ve held in my entire life (and I’ve been working for just about as long as I’ve been able to). Though slightly intimidating at first, I’ve since settled into my classroom and have continued establishing myself as a childcare provider. It may have started out simply as a job in the beginning, but it’s since become so much more and taught me endlessly about infants, parents, and even myself. While no two children, classrooms, experiences, etc. are exactly the same, I figured at least someone out there could relate to more than a few of these points I’ve come to know all too well.
You might be a daycare mama if…
- Your family and friends know all about the babies in your care because you can’t help but gush about them as much as you possibly can to any and everyone that will listen.
- You’re forever plagued by any and every illness making its rounds at the center because we just can’t help but love all over these sweet angels anytime the opportunity presents itself *aka always* even through dripping noses and mouths, ears and eyes.
- Your heart completely melts when your little ones noticeably light up simply by your walking into the room.
- You remain unphased by outfit-changing blowout diapers, getting peed on, or modeling spit up stains from a little person that did not exit you. (In fact, we call them “blessings” in our classroom.)
- You have a collection of nursery rhymes and children’s songs (especially ones you weren’t familiar with in your own childhood) engrained into your brain, and have the crowd favorites in the forefront for easy access when needed.
- Holidays and special occasions are made that much more fun being able to coordinate art, activities, room decor, events, etc. and go all out for the kids’ and their families’ enjoyment.
- You know there’s absolutely nothing in this world the sound of a baby’s laughter can’t make better.
- There are also few things more satisfying than tiny eyelids fluttering closed after fighting it so hard.
- You’re fiercely protective of your littles and adore being the one they look to for comfort when they fall down, for snuggles when they’re sick, or for laughs when they’re being silly.
- You come to learn each child like the back of your hand; their likes, dislikes, favorite toys, songs, eating or nap schedules, etc.
- It makes you more than a little anxious when someone else has to step in for you with your kids for any period of time, so you leave them an almost excessive laundry list of do’s/don’ts/preferences for each of your infants.
- You know the best remedy for most anything is relocating to the play area outside or a group stroller ride.
- You miss your sweet babies during absences (yours or theirs) and look forward to getting back to the classroom to be together again at the end of any extended time off.
- Finger paintings become fine art.
- You have the biggest love/hate relationship with baby shoes. Love love LOVE seeing how adorable they are on, could do without having to wrestle to put them back on when they’re undeniably – and repeatedly – taken off.
- You take great pride in bringing peace to a parent’s or family member’s mind in knowing their child’s needs are being met and exceeded. It is not an easy thing to trust your child in the care of another, so being able to alleviate any anxiety surrounding that is a beautiful, meaningful, and often under acknowledged thing.
- You sit back and genuinely wonder what kind of people these precious souls will go on to become in the future – but aren’t overly eager for any of that to happen too soon.
- As much as you adore being one to teach them new things and watch them grow, it’s bittersweet knowing that each milestone brings them that much closer to the next age group and another classroom.
- (In my personal case) You get to strengthen & flex your “mama muscles”.
- You know the love you have for these tiny people is reciprocated when they can’t seem to let you go at pick up or still reach out for you from mom’s arms when it’s time to go home.
- The term daycare “provider” or “teacher” is simply too formal, and daycare mom/mama is much more up your alley.
- No matter how many children come and go in the classroom, each one leaves their mark and holds a special place in your heart.
- At the end of even the craziest days, you adore what you do and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
- You’ll never be able to thank the parents in your classroom enough for providing you the honor of getting to know and love their sweet children.
Not everyone has to utilize child care like the kind we offer, but I’m forever grateful for those who do, who have given me the wonderful opportunities they have. These points may just be a regular part of motherhood, but as someone who’s not yet a mother of any babies of my own, it’s the biggest blessing to get to experience all of these and more in the manner I do. Getting to be the one to care for and love all over these little ones is everything I never knew I needed at this stage in my life. I wasn’t the one to birth them, but it’ll always mean the whole world and then some to me to be the one to help shape and be there in such a pivotal time in their young lives, as well as my own. Daycare mama life is one of the best ones out there, hands down.