Working with kids and families

I worked at four different jobs before finding one that I loved. I got lots of different experience working in different centers with different clientele and families. The job I loved the most was a Christian daycare. There was many different areas you could work in the same company. For a year I worked in a teen centre at a local high school. I had four teen moms and their children. I helped them juggle school and how to be a parent and while the teens went to school I looked after their children. It was a good job and challenging at the same time. I loved working right by the school. I loved the dedication each of the teen moms had with their children. Teens moms seem have a bad reputation but every girl I worked with really cared and loved their children and wanted a better life for their child. I found many of the boyfriends moms would try and take their children from them. Ironically the boyfriends would disappear from their lives and they were left on their own. Some of them their families disowned them and kicked them out of their homes, so not only were they in school full time with a child they had to find somewhere to live. I built strong relationships with them and I’ve met some of them since they graduated and how they turned their lives around. It’s truly amazing.

Due to some unforeseen circumstances I only worked there a year but learned so many things about myself and the teens. I went back into just regular daycare with infants. Lots of the families who came were low income. That often comes with difficulties with their families. I loved working there because we would give out food to our families if they needed it. I worked there 5 years and took a voluntarily layoff to stay at the same wage I had had instead of going to a lower wage.

The last year I was working at the Daycare I met a guy. Let’s call him Luke. I was not looking for a relationship but I really enjoyed his company and after about six months I moved into his home and lived there. We dated and it was cheap rent because Luke’s best friend Liam lived there as well. Luke had three children from a previous marriage but he only got to see them occasionally. I met them quite a lot before they eventually moved to Ontario. It was hard on Luke losing the children and I often saw him go into deep depressions. I won’t go into that, but there was a whole bunch of circumstances surrounding it and that’s not my story to tell.

In Luke’s home he rented I opened a licenced family daycare in the two bedroom suite below. We already had a big fenced back yard. I loved working with all the families that came. I only could find children under 3 so only being able to have 3 under 3’s two of my children came part time so I had four boys enrolled. They each were two months apart. Our neighbourhood back then was going under a lot of construction so everyday rain or shine we went out for a walk around the neighbourhood. Sometimes we didn’t get far because of an excuvator or other trucks. The boys and I would sit on top of the dirt and watch. They sat for a long time. One of the great memories I have and I have many was dressing them up in their boots and muddy buddies and we could walk in the ditches as they were wide enough and not filled with piles of water and I felt like mother duck with her babies. They would follow me and often they would find sticks and pretend they were fishing. When some of them were younger I would pull them in a wagon. I still have that same wagon today. They loved to garden and often could be out gardening with Luke. He loved spending time with them. Three of the moms had flex time on Fridays so we would go in field trips to see the Christmas trees, go every year to the pumpkin patch. We went on some great trips and I’m still friends today with one of the moms. Last year two of the boys who were friends in my daycare and are still friends today. They both graduated from high school last year.

I loved running that daycare even though it was 10 hour days. I was tired at the end of my weeks but so filling. I ran my daycare for two and a half years and closed it up because Luke, Liam and were heading to the USA in North Carolina. I decided it would be fun to go and see the US. It was hard to leave my family and say goodbye to them. North Carolina is about over 4,000 miles away from where I lived. Saying goodbye is never easy for me especially my family. I never imagined I would be gone for five years. I thought we’d be gone for six months to a year.

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