It’s funny to think about, because I don’t really anymore, but when I pay attention, I sure do get a lot of astonished looks from people that see me walking down the road. I’m not sure why you’re staring….I’ve got (2) 2-year old’s in a double stroller making truck noises, a 3-year old walking beside holding on, a 4 year old singing a song from Frozen, a 9 year old & a 7 year old talking rapid-fire about Minecraft, and (3) 6 year old’s discussing the latest gossip from music class. Yup, I’m by myself. Nope, they aren’t all mine, well…they aren’t…but they are (in a way).
“How do you do it?” followed by an exasperated glance at all my kiddos (neatly lined up along side the road on the way back from the bus stop) is probably the question that I get asked most often, and typically by complete strangers that can’t comprehend the situation they have laid eyes on.
“How do I do what?” would be the answer I’d prefer to give with a laugh. I’m organized and I’m in charge. It’s honestly pretty darn easy. I’m NOT patting myself on the back, it’s hard work and most days my back is so sore at the end it would be hard to bend that way to do the patting.
Okay, okay…the key to “doing it all” is….drum-roll please………………………………………………………….ORGANIZATION!
That’s it. It’s really quite simple. Oh yes, and a real, legitimate love for children. If you don’t love kids…well…that’s a whole other blog post and you should probably consider a career change.
If you’re not organized, you will never survive. Never is a bold statement but that’s how I feel. If there isn’t a nice, neat notebook with each and every day’s schedule of enrolled children expected to attend, and nice neat piles of shoes, coats and backpacks at the entrance, your life will be chaos. The kids you are caring for will be in chaos. The families attempting to find someones missing glove and a missing shoe will be in chaos.
You may has well just leave the building and let the kids go all Lord of the Flies.
Okay…maybe not that extreme, but you get my drift. Being a child care provider, organization needs to be a constant, not “One of these days I’m going to get myself organized”. You either are or you aren’t”.
So, thank you for asking “How do I do it all?” while I’m keeping my tribe of children together on the side of the road. I love meeting new people and so do the children. However, please keep the conversation short so our organized line doesn’t start looking like a chopped up worm. Take my word for it when I smile and say “It’s fun, you just need to be organized”. I really do love my job and I’ve worked hard to have this lovely line you see.
If you need tips on being organized as a child care provider (or even a family with lots going on!), I can help! I’ve got some systems in place at Salt Meadow Academy that work extremely well for me. Feel free to shoot me an email or comment below!
What do you do to keep your group organized?