Thursday, December 6, 2018

Daycare Kids Are My Kids' Friends

Just like many people, I belong to several Facebook groups. Mostly mom groups and childcare provider groups, mostly local, but overall a good mix of my interests. I'm not really one to comment or post at all, however I read those questions and comments and get some good laughs from the drama. There's one group of childcare providers that I enjoy the most. There's a little bit of drama, but not a lot. For the most part it's providers in North America sharing their meal plans, art work, activities, contracts, asking for advice, and venting when there's a particularly rough day. I've seen a lot of fun things from this group (as I said, I don't post much), but there's one thing in particular that bothered me.

Many of the providers in this group, as well as other daycare provider groups I belong to, have one big complaint: their own children, the daycare provider's own personal children, don't like the daycare kids. There's post after post of daycare providers venting how their children are in tears when they find out daycare kids are coming that morning, or that they have to play together. This is one of the only things I can't agree with or even relate to.

A recent post had me scratching my head and really got me thinking. Much like numerous providers I know, we all got into the business when our children were young. Meaning our kids grew up knowing daycare and having daycare in our homes. The biggest difference is their kids hate the daycare kids. They don't like sharing toys, or sharing mom, or whatever it may be for the day. There's even tears when the provider tells her children daycare kids are coming.

I'm absolutely flabbergasted by some of the postings. Not by what they're posting, but by how their children feel because it's quite the opposite for my kids: they LOVE having daycare kids come to our house. My kids have a wide range of friends, however the older they get, I've noticed the kids they're really truly comfortable with are their daycare friends. This makes complete sense to me though. These are kids who have been raised together, spend up to 10 hours a day together (when there's not school at least), and who have learned how to play with a wide age range of children. It' makes sense that they prefer to spend time together and can completely be themselves.

Just as there is with any job, there's always some disadvantages of having a mom who is a daycare provider. I've had to keep some of their "special" toys put up or in their rooms just so they felt they had something of their own. I've had to have special quiet spots just for them that they could go to whenever they felt overwhelmed. I mean, imagine having numerous people up in your business all day every day.

However, that is where the similarities end. Yes, while they need to have their own space and things and the occasional break from daycare kids, there's never really been moments where they've asked for daycare kids not to come. My kids instead look forward to breaks from school when they can play at home with their friends. Friends, not daycare kids, but friends.

I'm still scratching my head as to why it's different for us (believe me, I am not complaining about that!). I wouldn't have it any other way though. I imagine why I've kept my daycare business for this long is because of my kids and how it works for our family. Daycare is kind of ingrained in our family dynamic at this point. However, it does leave me uncertain of how my kids will feel as they get older. Will they still view it as their friends coming over each day? Will they eventually become distressed about daycare kids and daycare being in our home, as other providers experience with their children? 

These are all questions to be answered at another time and date. For now I'll consider myself lucky and fortunate.