So you’re home for the summer. You pick up a job at a daycare or summer camp, thinking it’ll be easy money. Minimum wage just for playing with some kids for a couple hours? Sounds great.
It is pretty great. Easy, though? Not so much. Here’s what to expect:
Unbelievably difficult terminology/gibberish
Struggle - Talk about endless confusion. By the time you’ve figured out what they’re saying, they’ve already cried about it or forgotten about it. Also, you start using their words in every day life (if you don’t believe me, ask your friends how many times you’ve said, “I gotta go potty,” or, “I have a boo-boo.”).
Reward - Grammar and pronunciation mishaps make for some awesome stories and awesome moments. I mean, everyone loves hearing kids say “ba-sketty” instead of “spaghetti.” Oh, and you can consider yourself bilingual once you’ve mastered the art of child gibberish.
Struggle - “Are you pregnant?” AKA lay off the snacks for a while. Maybe hit the gym. “Why do you have bug bites on your face?” Well kid, they’re not bug bites. I hope puberty treats you better than it treated me.
Reward - Is there actually anything better than when a kid tells you you’re beautiful? No. The answer is no.
Cluelessness and clumsiness
Struggle - Instructions go straight over kids’ heads, and explaining what they don’t understand (probably by saying even more things they don’t understand) just digs the hole even deeper. You have to be on your explaining game and your protective game. They’re constantly breaking things, knocking things over, tripping on things, and hurting themselves. Good luck catching a break, especially when it’s time to play what you thought would be a harmless game.
Reward - There’s never not something to laugh about later on. If laughing at accident-prone children is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
Struggle - There is no struggle. They’re sweet angels sent from above. Kids love to snuggle, they love Disney movies, and they love coloring. Totally angelic.
Reward - Every girl’s brain: Kids are great. They’re so fun and nice. This doesn’t seem too hard. Maybe I should have a kid. I could totally be a parent. *adds 50 pins to baby themed Pinterest board*
Tantrums and mood swings
Struggle - The sweet angel wings start to look a lot like devil horns, and those dreamy thoughts about having kids of your own get replaced by the decision that a dog will do just fine. Maybe your day would be easier without the “it’s time to get out of the pool” meltdown. Maybe your life would be just fine without the drama of offering Cheetos at snack because you ran out of Goldfish.
Reward - Telling yourself “patience patience patience patience” actually starts to work. Self control gets real. You learn to tame your tongue and calm your temper quicker than you knew was possible.
Obsessing and being possessive of them
Struggle - They’re your children now. Their actual parents think you’re a child predator because of the ridiculous way you smile at their children when you see them in public. You refer to them as “your babies” in the endless pictures, videos, and stories that you share with people. How exactly is this a struggle? Because nobody cares. Except you. You care too much.
Reward - You don’t actually care too much. They’re your babies and you love them. Also, you have endless babysitting opportunities and endless childhoods to live vicariously through.
The time FLIES
Struggle - It’s literally the saddest thing in the whole world to watch your babies grow up. You come home for Christmas and they can talk in full sentences. You notice them getting more and more independent each time you babysit. You know that time is passing and life is progressing, but you still find it shocking that they’ll be in first grade when school starts this year.
Reward - There’s something fascinating about seeing children develop. Watching their personalities form and their minds mature is so interesting. The only thing that makes it even better is knowing that you have such a strong influence on their lives. I mean, you’re practically raising them. Right?
So what if they call you out on your fat days or make your blood pressure rise when they whine? Children have a funny way of changing your life just as much as you’re changing theirs.