I don’t think I’ve posted much about my job before, other than the basics.
It’s brilliant, I am so very lucky to be doing what I do.
I started Childminding not long after we bought this house, so nearly four years ago. It seemed like an ideal plan as fitting paid work around school drop offs and holidays was proving tricky. My previous work experience was shops, bars and care work so paying for childcare would have wiped out most of my wage.
I love children, always have, and I’ve never found babies or toddlers a chore to be around. I wasn’t at all sure how much fun I’d find other people’s children, every day, but to my absolute delight I have found it the most rewarding, fulfilling and joyful career I could have chosen.
I am sitting here typing while my gorgeous 3yo mindee is snoring on the sofa, and my own Littlest Chum is playing the piano with a plastic block. My lovely mindee is only with me for a couple more weeks, and then he’s going to be at home with his Mummy while she is on maternity leave with Baby Elmo. I have looked after him for three days a week since he was ten months old, and I love him like one of my own. We’ve had such great adventures. He carries Eeyore with him everywhere and has the best imagination of any child I’ve met. Today he has been telling me about Sarah, a Pontypandy Pioneer, who is small enough to fit in his hand (and invisible). I have loved learning all the things she’s been up to today, mostly falling down holes and taking the plug out of the
beanbag bath. After lunch, he was a pussycat, and curled up on my lap for me to stroke him, and told me he loved me. And now he’s fallen asleep, perfect little thumb in his mouth, with a slight snore. He makes my heart swell.
I am going to be so desperately sad to say goodbye to him, although I will still see him often (his parents have become good friends of ours and we will see each other every week, with luck) it won’t be quite the same. So I will choke back a little sob and move on to the next phase.
It’s worked out quite well, as my sister is returning to work the same week that J’s Mum starts her leave. So I am looking forward to having my 3yo niece back, and having my 10mo niece for the first time. They will be with me for four days a week. I am the luckiest Aunty in the world to be able to do this, and earn my living from it to boot. My nieces are just adorable, and they will be growing up alongside my own children (they only live opposite, too!), so all the cousins will be as close as siblings. My youngest sister is having her baby soon, and I’m hoping to mind her little one as well. It’s the most wonderful situation to be as close as we are and to have this opportunity.
I have such a lovely bond with the little ones I mind, I don’t know any other job I could do which would bring such rewards. I run my setting as a home from home environment, where we do all the things we would do if I was a SAHM, toddler groups, the park, visiting friends, going to clubs, and also doing the shopping, going to the dentist, popping into the bank, sorting the laundry. And reasonably often, simply snuggling on the sofa with a book or Cbeebies.
It does have its downsides, of course; my house looks like the ELC catalogue, for instance, and working at home means I don’t get to go home at the end of the day, and my own children sometimes get the rag end of me. But the upsides are so up that it never matters. I am here for my own babies, and I don’t have to worry about childcare for them. I have a steady stream of income coming in that props up our finances (we wouldn’t starve without it but it means we have a lovely standard of living). It never feels like work, it’s being paid to have a jolly old time with children I adore. I may not do it forever, but for now I am evangelical about it. It really is the Best Job In The World™.
Right, must wake him up and go and get the Chums from school.
Much love xxx