So I’ve decided that a great way to beat the blues when you are with young children is to just fake it till you make it.
Before I figured this out, I did a couple of things: owned those feelings, shared those feelings, and took some deep breaths. You see, I was given sad news just before my work day started. I had to continue with my day, and luckily, we were able to splash in some mud puddles. The kids noticed that I was sad, and so I just said, “yes I feel sad” and guess what? They gave me hugs. After that, they went back to their mud puddle. Deep breathing and watching the splashes were just what I needed to clear my head.
The rest of the day, I tried to just be in the moment and enjoy. At times that it was more difficult, I chose to fake it. It worked, I faked being myself until I just felt like myself.
But seriously, mud puddles are like magic!
The day after Halloween brings many teachers and childcare providers to tears. The kids are cranky, tired, sugared, and overstimulated. I couldn’t help but notice that the schools in our county are closed on November 1st this year. Coincidence? I think not, however I am open for business. I expect the children to be cranky, tired, sugared and overstimulated. I also expect that they need the comfort of a predicable routine and a calm atmosphere. I intend to meet the needs of the children whether that includes lots of movement or an early nap. Maybe the children need to pound on some clay or splash in some water. I’ll find out tomorrow, but one thing is for sure, it will be a nice, regular, routine, and consistent day. The children need it after all the excitement of the holiday.
Let me know how you handle the day after Halloween…do you hide? eat lots of candy? or if you’re a teacher, do you take a sick day?
And this is my adorable but cranky, tired, sugared and overstimulated child… Can anyone tell me what he was for Halloween?
Today I took a sick day, and it was just what I needed. There have been coughs and sniffles all around me, and though I’ve developed a slight case of the sniffles, I’ve been in denial. I’ve been feeling run down and tired, unfocused and scattered. So when I woke up this morning running late again, I decided to give in. I called the program parents and told them (get ready for this) the truth. They were wonderful and supportive.
I took not one, but two naps, enjoyed some warm tea, and stayed in my pjs till after my son got off the bus, yes, the bus. I used to feel guilt at the thought of a sick day, so many things I should be doing! I’ve discovered the secret to taking care of those things and all of the people in my life: taking care of me. Women and mommies in general tend to invest so much time and energy into others, and while admirable, we also ignore our own needs. Taking time for yourself will help you to be a better parent, teacher, neighbor, daughter, sister…you get the idea. Anyway, I had a guilt free and restful day. How do you take care of yourself?
There are days when it feels like all I do is change poopy diapers. But did you know that you can discern a lot about a child by their elimination habits. Temperament tends to coincide with bowel movements. For example, a slow-to-warm-up or fearful young child may be irregular or infrequent with elimination. These children also tend to hold their waste in stressful situations or transitions. Children with an easy-going or flexible temperament will be more regular and predictable in their bowel movements.
Of course, this is not a hard and fast rule, but it sure seems to be the case for many of the children I’ve worked with over the years. (And some adults too!)
Though this is my first blog post, I’m no stranger to sharing my opinion. I am an early educator who has worked with young children, children of many ages, since I was a teenager. I was a camp counselor, a nanny, a baby sitter, an after-school staff, a pre-school teacher, and now a family child care provider in my home. And of course, I’m a mom. That is my biggest role, and it’s one of the reasons I decided to leave my job at a center. My child is learning so much from my program. I love that he is bonding with the kids, but I also love being available when he needs me. I also think it’s important that he see me as more than just his mom.
Over the years, I’ve learned so much, and cultivated values and ideas that I hope to share with all of you.