As mentioned in "I Quit" I had new career, worked 9am-5pm, with not only people my own age - but get this - I was the baby of the place. Being one of the youngest full-time staff members at the time felt good. No babies, no kids, no runny noses, bottles to make, or toys to pick up. It was just me, my job, and my friends.
Life was great, until...
...I became friends with the Momma's around me. This changed the game totally. It was no longer adults that I kind of knew asking me to watch their kids and then we kind of became friends. But now some of my friends were mom's who had young children and desperately needed some time out of the house.
It was the mom of 3 who barely got a weekend with her husband during Christmas time because of his work schedule. It was the new mother, still working full-time at the same place as her husband, and they just needed a night out. It was the new couple that just moved to town with their two little boys and no family to help them out. As a matter of fact none of the couples mentioned here had family close by.
My heart cry and passion for children couldn't be held by my tight lips. But something else had changed too. It wasn't just a job or a need for money anymore that had me heading over to someone else's house to watch their kiddos again. It was compassion for the parents, seeing the needs that they had and knowing that as a single woman with a love for kids I could help. In a way that blessed me as much as it did them.
Watching their children became my gift to these families. Some might call it community service. I call it community living. The old African Proverb "It takes a village to raise a child" became my mission statement. Not that I was a village but in a small way I became part of that family's village. This was a great way to serve, I had little money to give, came up short on the creativity stick, couldn't really swing a hammer, and anything my thumbs touched turned black not green. But I could make a quick bottle, change a dirty diaper, and rock with the best of babies.
When my mind set changed from watching a child as a means to earn money to watching a child as a blessing for the parent(s) raising that child everything else changed. It no longer was a drudge to watch these children, but a joy knowing that it was a benefit for others.
So I Un-Quit!
But I also learned boundaries, and THIS was really important. I didn't want to burn out and stop liking my friend's kids. I learned that saying no because I wasn't in the mood to watch children was okay. The guilt I had for saying no to child-watching on my only free night was bashed, I allowed myself to have me-time. This was the hardest part to change. As someone who hates not being able to fill a need, I had to learn that they best way I could fill a need was doing it wholeheartedly and that meant taking time to rest and refresh. Saying no at times, especially on those weeks where I only had one free night, was the best thing I could do in the end.
And I loved being able to help out even more. It never was work, it was enjoyment. Every now and then I would HIGHLY ENCOURAGE some of my friends to go out just so I could have baby time. Slowly the passion to help parents raise their kids began to grow stronger. So much that thoughts of opening up a day-care became on my radar.
But God had other thoughts....
...check back in the next few weeks as the story of how this gal goes from being Office Assistant/Ticket Agent, to a full-time Nanny.