It was a bit of a conundrum but some wise voice from deep within my soul told me to say "Yes" to new opportunities. It was a "karma" thing. I thought if I start saying "No" and rejecting the idea of new, change and growth, the world would listen and opportunities would stop coming my way.
I surveyed my existing daycare families and got the nod of approval I hoped to get from then and thought "A lot can change in eight months". And I said "Yes", under one condition. I would not be able to start babysitting immediately. It was important to me, to get my new little one year old settled into our routines and for me to get to know her better before we added one more. So that is exactly what we did.
I was so grateful I had given all of us that extra month to welcome our new little one. I have a feeling all would have went fine without it. But the "bonus month" was one of pure enjoyment. I'm glad we didn't rush through the transition process.
Then, "life" happened. My new family gave me their month's notice that this would be their first and final month before they even started coming here. At the time, it didn't seem like the wisest choice for the child involved. To be pulled out of one daycare, go through the growing pains of transitioning into a new daycare, then leave as soon as she was starting to feel comfortable didn't seem like a good idea to me. But we forged ahead. And it has been good. It feels like it is has been a positive daycare experience all around and hearing of the discomfort they had within their last experience, it is probably better to leave this little girl's away-from-home experiences on a positive note. The mom is going to stay at home with her so their need for daycare will be nil to minimal in their immediate future.
The moment I received my "month's notice" from this family, I contacted another family who had asked if I could fill in while their daycare provider was on holidays (which just happened to fall immediately after Family #1 would be done). So I filled that spot for two more weeks. And we would just have five more months before my Maternity Leave Family would return and all five of my full-time spots would be filled.
In the mean time, I have been contacted by three different families who were very interested in my daycare and have asked to be put on my waiting list. It is not uncommon for people to start looking for daycare before their baby is even born so the pending start dates for two of these families is so far off in the future, it is possible things may change a lot by then.
I was feeling very good about my decision to say "Yes" to new opportunities because once the first "Yes" was uttered, the door stayed ajar and opportunity just kept knocking.
I received an email from a former co-worker of mine. She had given my name to someone we had both worked with because they were looking for daycare. I was very flattered to be "nominated" but disappointed at the same time. My daycare is technically "full" (not counting the handful of months before my Maternity Leave Family returns) and I have three on my waiting list. I was certain I would not be of any help.
Then I got the call. Can you imagine my surprise when I found out the months that I have open are the exact same months that they will need? It is a teacher who is returning from maternity leave, for the last four months of the school year. "September" is completely up in the air and they are uncertain where they will go from there. To further add to this incredible coincidence, the school she will be working at is not far from where I live. The last thing she added to this list of amazing little feeling of this being "meant to be" was that she was referred by someone she knew and trusted.
I will meet with this new family this afternoon.
Life has been very good to me. After several years of financial instability, I am walking on solid ground again. My daycare income sustains me, our house and my family. And the added bonus to that is that I feel good about what I am doing.
One of my daycare family celebrated her third birthday on the weekend and invited three of her daycare buddies to her party. The comments I heard about the way these guys enjoyed and gravitated towards each other, even among all the other adults and children at the party, made my heart sing. This little daycare family exists even outside of daycare. "This" is exactly what I dreamed of when I started (then re-started) my daycare.
Daycare 2.0 (as my son has so succinctly named my return to the daycare world) took a while to gain this sure footing. I wasn't sure it was going to happen because the dynamic is so different since I first started my daycare. But it is happening. It is really happening!!
I'm invested in this career choice. Financially, emotionally and physically. It is all coming together and starting to pay off. I found this quote on Facebook (Project Happiness) and it spoke to me:
I'm excited about my quiet, humble little world and all I am pursuing. Every now and again, I run into a blockage within my current but when I look back on it, I see it as a test of my faith in the direction I've chosen and a decision to keep myself open to improvement, criticism and growth.
I think I'm on the right path. The choice now, is to keep moving in a forward direction.
"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy."