I don't know how they do it.
Those stay-at-home moms who open home daycares in order to remain at home with their little ones after maternity leave. We have dozens of them in our very family-centric neighbourhood. I have a couple of girlfriends who've been doing it for years.
I simply don't know how they do it. I know I couldn't.
I understand the motivation. For those of us who would rather be at home with our children while they're young than return to work and send them off to daycare after maternity leave, there's almost nothing we wouldn't do to earn the income necessary to make that situation work. But taking a whole bunch of other people's children into my home all day every day? Not for me.
I'm very lucky that I have a work-at-home situation with flexible hours that allows me to be a full-time stay-at-home mom. I know not everyone has that option. But for me, even if running a home daycare was my only option for staying at home with my kids, I really don't think I could do it.
The change in routine - having to be showered and have the house ready and the kids organized for school before seven o'clock in the morning when the first of the daycare kids start to show up. The inability to make last-minute plans or drop everything for a snow day, a lunch at home with the kids, a family field trip, volunteering at the school. The disaster a half-dozen extra little people running around and playing would create in my home. The lack of a sense of privacy, the making public of our family space. And all the stuff I have to do for my own kids anyway - the feeding, the changing, the entertaining, the disciplining, the refereeing - that I simply don't think I'd have the patience to do for other people's kids.
It's not that I don't like kids. I love my own kids, obviously. I love my niece and nephews. I love my kids' friends and my friends' kids. I enjoy having the boys' friends over for playdates, I love hosting their big birthday parties, I love hanging out at the field with the kids on their teams and their siblings. But I could not imagine having to do all those things I happily (for the most part...) and patiently (sometimes more than others...) do for my own boys for someone else's kids. I just could not.
Kudos to those daycare moms who can and do.
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