It's only been a few weeks out of school, and I've been more exhausted these past few weeks than I ever have before. I barely have a lunch break, and I am working to save up for the near future. I mean, that's why I'm working so hard in the first place - at least that was my motivation in the beginning. I've been reflecting on the specific reasons why I'm working in the first place and the things that I hate - like leaving before dawn and coming home after sunset, being to tired to stay up past 10:00, and working so hard to spend money on "dumb" things like water and electricity. But in one of my "woe is me" sessions, Jake helped me realize something really important.
I love working with these kids and they love me.
I believe that I am a good influence and role model to them, and I am in two jobs where I know the work that I do is actually important and meaningful to these kids' lives.
In daycare I'm the teacher for the three year olds. I'm the very first person to show these kids what "following a set schedule" means, how to share, how to cut out a circle, how to make ABC sounds, how to dance the hokey pokey, how to handle anger, and what The Little Mermaid is. I get to watch them progress each day, and I get lots of hugs and smiles. I also spend a significant amount of time with these kids every day, and since these kids have early bedtimes and their parents work full time I can be a huge help in helping these kids build character. I can help set these kids up for success in pre-school, and life. OR I could just sit and watch them play, make sure they are safe, and not put any energy in at all to get my paycheck every week. (obviously I won't be doing the second option).
In the before and after school program I work at I am in charge of the safety and discipline of the children and communication between parents. I work a lot with issues that arise with parents or children behavior and I make decisions every day that help children handle anger, school homework, and friendship problems. Yes, I could sit back and never interact with the children at all and do "paperwork" or stand around and talk the entire time, but instead it's rewarding to me to get to know the kids by playing games, having conversations, and telling jokes.
After church today I completely realized that God wanted to use me here at these two jobs all along. Although I may only be working at both of them for only four more months, that's still four more months that I can show these kids love and help them mature into the next phases of their lives, and they are helping me move into that next phase of mine as well. I could have taken other jobs , like office jobs that I'd also be good at and payed more, but right away I felt like this was where I needed to be and now I can see why.