ok guys, I know it’s valentine’s day and all, but I have to go on another rant post. This time about my career of choice. maybe i’ll just start ranting about things all the time that have nothing to do with my blog theme… but maybe the title of my blog can mean multiple things. Next year I will still be giving hugs in the suburbs, but if everything goes according to plan it will be to small children instead of boy(s).
The one thing that annoys caretakers and teachers of young children more than ANYTHING is the double standard society sets for us. Our jobs and majors are not treated with respect and considered “easy” and we are paid barely over minimum wage. Then parents complain about the lack of “good teachers” or high turnover rate at centers and wonder why. Why? Because we can’t survive on $8 an hour… especially for the long hours, hard work, and planning outside of normal hours that goes on. Less qualified teachers or those who aren’t up to the parent’s standards are hired only because the ones who are don’t feel appreciated or have to accept a job that pays more. If you paid us more, we would stick around longer and more people would get higher degrees and become more educated in development and teaching.
So why do we go into this profession anyway?
Because we love young children. We share a passion for helping them grow and learn, and we are not in it for the money (but it’d be nice to make enough to survive), but for the effect on a child’s life. I can’t tell you the amount of times a student studying dentistry, or biology, or engineering has wailed on me for my “easy” major. It drives me NUTS. Because 1) My major is not easy. Yes, that 100 level class you took as an elective was easy and fun, but not all of our classes are like that. They’re not organic chemistry either, but if we were interested in that we would be in that major. Are you sure YOU’RE in the right major? Or are you doing it for the money, status, etc. Will you really be happy doing that every day for the rest of your life?
Childcare providers and majors go into our line of work because we have a passion and because the CHILDREN will be our legacy. You may become a wealthy and well known business man, but we will have children that love us and will have benefitted from us, and to me that’s worth a lot more. Life is not all about money you know! There’s been studies done that show that after a certain amount of income (which is usually around median income) your happiness and quality of life do not actually increase. And what if the children we teach inspire an interest in biology, or math, or health because of a activity we did in class? We are laying the foundations of a human being’s LIFE. and that is nothing to laugh at. You think you could do it? Fine. I bet you could… for a little bit at least. But it takes a very special person to wake up in time to be at work at 7am and deal with biting toddlers all day. It takes a very special person to inspire children and resolve conflict, and build relationships. Could I be a doctor if I really wanted to? I’m positive I could. But do I want to be a doctor? No. So I’m not. If you want to do something or are interested in it it’s a lot easier to learn the material. The children I work with and have worked with mean the world to me, and there are few high earning professions where you will build that kind of relationship with someone (nursing is the only one I can think of, but I like my babies healthy, sorry).
Children have an innocence and wonder that makes me believe that there is good in the world and in everyone. A child can look at you and instantly feel trust, love, and friendship. If you don’t like kids, that’s fine. I don’t think everyone needs to have kids or the traditional nuclear family, but guess what? You were once a kid. So the whole “I hate children” thing kind of baffles me. I know you didn’t just pop out of your mom as a 5 foot 6 adult, because owe, that would’ve hurt.
You think we only know “common knowledge”? Wrong.
A dad I knew once said to me “wait.. babies don’t like bright colors? I thought kids loved that stuff.” and HE WAS 100 PERCENT SERIOUS. I wanted to yell “NO! It is very unsettling for a young child or infant!” but he didn’t know. so many people don’t know. And most of the time it doesn’t cause any vital consequences, but what about the times that it does?
I always feel like I’m encouraging sexism when I say this, but I truly deeply feel that the best job I will ever have will be being a mom. I don’t think all women feel this calling and I totally understand that not all women want this, and that’s FINE! But I do. I do soo much. I am thrilled at the thought of raising my children to show the world nothing but love, to accept people of all walks of life, to be inspired to be anything and do anything they want despite their gender, to understand that some kids have two mommies or two daddies, and that that’s ok, and to launch them into the world as fully functioning human beings that will do good.
So hey, I might not be a rocket scientist or a heart surgeon.
But I am going to be a kick ass mom someday. That’s gotta count for something.