I told you all last week that I was feeling better and ready to go back to childcare…so ready in fact that I actually started.
Starting back to childcare was really hard for me. If you are a long-time blog reader you know that I’ve done childcare on and off since 2000 or so. When Covid originally hit in March of 2020, with my health and with doctor recommendations, I stopped childcare. About then my cancer concerns were growing and I was at a loss at what I was supposed to do. Both of my doctors suggested I not do childcare. I was considered high risk.
So I followed the doctor’s advice. I quit doing in-home childcare.
My childcare families found new providers. Two of them ended up at the same spot…a few months later they weren’t happy with the care and then the lady quit. So…they contacted me and asked please would I do care, just temporarily so that they could find someone. From there one thing lead to another and I was back to doing limited childcare. I had three of my old families back and my grandkids.
I was content doing care…but then my cancer stuff really blew up last fall and in December I started treatment. Around here Covid numbers were super high and exposures were especially high. I was nervous and my childcare families were nervous about my getting covid. The timing would have been terrible and would have likely delayed my treatment had I gotten it. So the decision was made for me to stop childcare.
I had the best time all of December. I wasn’t doing childcare. I was feeling good. I took off and did things with Kalissa several times. I was just soaking up the time not working. When the grandkids were with me, I was so engaged with them and just thrilled to be spending time with them. I just felt a load of stress drop off. I was so happy. I started getting a thought…how awesome would it be if I could just quit childcare and this would be my life?
Once Christmas hit, I was really getting sick. The oral chemo meds had started wreaking havoc on me. Then it was the trips to Rochester for treatment and then the hospital stay. Initially, I was good but by Tuesday I was not good at all. I was not myself and didn’t like it a bit. I ended up at the doctor’s three times trying to figure out if there was something they could do to help the problems I was having post-treatment.
Initially, I was supposed to start back to childcare on the 1st of February. It was easy to see that there was no way that could happen. So we pushed it out…and I started thinking what if I never go back. Could I do that?
The better I got, the more I dreaded going back to childcare. I loved my days that were a little more laid back. I loved days when Kalissa and Gannon came over and we hung out, did some of my things, and just enjoyed the day. I loved talking to Kelli and the kids via facetime with no guilt about feeling like I’m not being attentive to the childcare kids. I loved-loved-loved it. Even though I wasn’t feeling tip-top, life was still good as there wasn’t that pressure to be up and at ’em. There was no pressure to make sure my personal stuff was cleaned up and put away when the childcare kids were coming. There was no trouble making a doctor’s appointment as I could make most anytime work.
I started talking to my kids about it. Everything in me wanted to quit. Financially, I didn’t need the money. Sure, it was helpful but I didn’t need it.
The thing that was holding me back is knowing how hard it is to find childcare around here. Twice when I quit doing care before, some of my families that left had bad experiences. One childcare center that families had gone two ended up getting turned in to DHS for abuse. I felt just terrible.
Then I heard that a gal that Kalissa went to school with was thinking about starting childcare. Oh my. I knew she would be a good provider. I felt super about it but still wasn’t super sure I should quit. I didn’t want to let the families down…and she wasn’t sure she was going to start.
Then I looked at all of the things I had wanted to do and didn’t get done while I was off childcare. Oh, I wanted to be done doing childcare…but oh, I loved the families. How, oh how, do I say no to them and yes to myself? I am terrible at that, but it’s really what I wanted.
I talked to my kids again. I got their opinions. All of them told me to quit.
I wrote a letter and told my families I was going to quit. But, I didn’t send it. I thought I’d send it in the morning after I slept on it.
I woke up and chickened out. I wrote a letter and told them I was going to be taking all Fridays off. I felt better about that. It was a compromise in my head…still I was a little sad.
Then I heard that yes. The gal was going to start childcare. YAHOO. I could quit. My families had a chance to find good care. I loved this…but then I felt awkward because I just told them I was taking Fridays off. Darn, I should have sent the original letter I wrote.
I continued on with my week having some of the best days as I took care of Carver and Gannon and we had the best time. I did my errands one day and took Gannon with me. The day Carver didn’t have school we cleaned the basement, played in the garage, did my recycling, and for a treat, for “helping” me we went and got ice cream. We had the best time…but those are all things I couldn’t do if I was doing childcare. I was loving these days and was so sad they were soon ending.
I ended up starting childcare on Tuesday of last week. My one family was sick so only one came which was good…because later in the day Buck called me and said they had gotten home and Lucy was really sick. She started in with a cough. She had temp here but we didn’t think anything of it. So…by Tuesday she still wasn’t better. They took her in and she has Covid. So…all of us, including me were exposed because she had a temp here.
So…I called my childcare mom. She wrapped things up and came to pick up. We didn’t want her little guy exposed to me in case I was getting it. We decided I would be off for the rest of last week and this week.
As she was leaving I mentioned that the gal was starting childcare. She said she knew and was happy for her. I said, maybe my childcare kiddo could go there while I was off due to the Covid exposure. Somehow the conversation came around to her saying that two of the families had wondered if I would even start childcare again. I said I wondered too and almost quit. She asked me if I wanted to quilt. I said yes, but I hate it because I’d miss my families.
The mom said one of the nicest things ever to me. She said, “You have to do what is right for you. We’ll figure things out.” Oh my word. I wanted to hug her. We left it there.
The next day she called me. She had contacted that new gal that was opening a childcare. She was calling to tell me that it was up to me. I could quit if I wanted. She had care secured and it was entirely up to me and I didn’t need to worry about them. I quit…Oh, my word. I hung up the phone and cried.
I totally LOVE my childcare families. They are the best and they treat me so well. I love the kids. They are seriously the best kids even.
But…I hate being tied down. I hate the frantic Sunday night clean-up because kids will be here in the morning. I hate having to eat “kid food” some days for lunch. I hate keeping track of everyone’s schedule and trying to schedule my own stuff in between care. I hate inconveniencing others for my doctor appointments and taking time off.
I can feel my patience waning. I had Kelli’s kids here one day and I just can’t juggle a big bunch of kids like I used to be able to do. I can’t believe one summer I had our five kids at home and had 12 childcare kids at the house too. Granted Kelli was 16 and was my helper. There is no way I could do that now.
The first time I quit childcare was when Kelli was 24 or so. I could see my kids were getting older and knew as grandkids came, I might not like childcare as much. So…I quit thinking grandkids would be coming.
Grandkids didn’t come and I started childcare again. I can see now that there is great comfort and joy in taking care of grandkids…but I don’t want to be taking other kids too. Quitting was the right choice for me.
I will still be taking care of my grandkids. With them, I have kids about three days a week and I can take them and go and do whatever I want. It’s really casual and some days, I only have them half days. It’s carefree and not a problem at all.
We’ll see how things go. I might still have my after-school kids. It’s just two and they are only here for a half-hour. That’s not taxing. We’re still working that out. I don’t mind either way, whatever the parents need.
So…once things settle down…I’m going to sew and stitch more. I hope to keep up with the garden this year. I hope to get my sewing room clean and tackle my UFOs. My biggest hope is to take better care of the blog. I feel so good that the decision was made…
OH, and about my covid exposure, so far nothing and I’m getting to the point of being out of the danger zone of catching it. Lucy is better. Buck, Lilly, and Lora ended up with it. So far, Scotty hasn’t gotten it. Hmm. It’s all so curious.
…and that friends is what’s new on the homefront.