If there is anything I have learned in life, it is that you should not say, “I will never do that.” OK maybe if it is something crazy like bungee jumping off a bridge…but don’t put that one past me. I am the type who might actually do that.
We make our plans, of course. God often has a better one that leads us through twists and turns, mountain and valleys, and to places we swore we would never go to. Child care was one of those for me.
I was a child care sub in a public school district in 2002. It was a second job and “my real job” was youth director at a local church. Child care was secondary in my life. So when I lost control of a group of 20 preschoolers, I knew this was job was temporary. The following year I took a job as an after school care leader in a small Christian school. This job was a better fit and I worked it for two years. However, my passions were with the youth in my church and it was always a “second job” to supplement my part time income.
The following year we moved to Indiana and I had a brief stint of working in an actual day care center located in a business park. I felt claustrophobic in the small classrooms with twenty four year olds. The playground was a quarter of the size of the school playground where I worked previously. When I lost control of a group of four year olds, I knew I could go longer work there.
I was a little too preachy about child care after that year, yet I was also confused about my calling. I took on some traditional values even though I am not your typical stay-at-home mom. I was never one of these college girls who wanted a “Mrs. Degree” and be a stay at home mom. I wanted a career of some type and wanted to work outside of the home. My desires and my values were all conflicted with one another and it is something I struggled with for years.
I stayed home for several years after having children. I felt like it never came naturally to me, but I found my style eventually. Two years ago a friend of mine wanted to send her daughter to our little Christian school we send our kids to. Kindergarten dismissed an hour and a half before the time she finished work. With no after care program at the time, I offered to watch her daughter until she finished work. I only did child care about six hours a week, but I learned quickly that 1) I loved having extra children in the house. 2) I grew up on a neighborhood where there were always children to play with. My kids do not. This would be a way for them to develop friendships. 3) God does not call everyone to be a full time stay-at-home mom. My friend was doing amazing work in God’s kingdom. God was using me to help her do her work.
So come that spring I had a few families ask if I wanted to watch their kids the following school year. I knew it was from the Lord. Last year I had four regular child care kids. This year I doubled that to eight.
Yes, now I am your typical stay-at-home mom. I hang up my laundry on the clothesline outside. I do crafts with my kids. I bake muffins. I sweep the floor at least four times a day. I am OK with it. Because I am supporting some amazing moms out there doing kingdom work.
I don’t think in terms of “real job,” “real career,” etc. anymore. And by the way I still do lots of youth ministry…mostly volunteer.
But this is me right now. I love owning my own business. I love having a loud chaotic house full of kids. I love having a baby in the house. I love watching my three kids love on these babies and toddlers. So it’s a win win for everyone.
So my friends, never say “never.” Your “never” might be your next adventure.