by guest blogger, Deanna Cogdon Miller
As I was driving to work the other day I heard on one of our local radio stations that they had launched something called, "Thank You Thursdays." The idea is that people call in during the week and leave messages thanking someone in their lives for something they've done or something they consistently do. Every Thursday the station plays those recordings so that people in the city can publicly thank someone special.
As I listened I started thinking about who I would thank first. Would it be my Mom for all the help she gives as we juggle schedules? Would it be my husband for being so supportive and such a great Dad? Would it be my in-laws who travel an hour in to town to babysit so my husband and I can have a night out? I could write an entire page of people in my life who deserve a very public thank you but as I thought about it more, the answer to my question became increasingly clear. I would thank Patricia, our child care provider.
For those of us who work outside the home, have you ever really stopped to think about the importance of the role that your child care provider plays in your life? Whether it's a daycare, home care or in-home care, child care providers can spend up to triple the time with your kids that you do during the week. They are responsible for feeding, napping, discipline, playtime, cuddles, outings, safety, diaper changes and more. They are the adults our kids look to for everything when we're not there. They are the people we trust day-in and day-out with our most treasured gifts.
I'm sure it can be a thankless job. I'm sure many people show up, drop their kids and then come and get them and walk out the door at the end of the day. In a lot of cases, our child care providers are responsible for up to six kids. Think about that for a second - one person, six kids, eight hours a day, every day. Could you do that? I love kids like crazy but I'll admit it, I don't think I could. The passion, love and dedication they show to other people's children is to be admired. I would say that mustering up the energy and enthusiasm to do their job is much harder than what it takes to do an office job like mine.
When I look at our child care provider through the eyes of our children, I can see the huge and lasting impact she is having on their little lives. She shows up as our sixth member in random drawn pictures of our family. When we ask the kids where they learned something or how they knew something, their answer is very often, "From Patty." She greets them every day with a smile. They have inside jokes and secrets. She plays with them. She dances with them. She sings with them. She does crafts with them. I've been told more than once that I don't make tuna or noodles as well as Patty.
And most importantly, she loves them. And they love her. It's because of her that I can go to work every day feeling confident that even when we're not there, our kids are feeling happy, secure and loved. Having that confidence has an incredibly positive impact on my personal happiness as a Mom who works outside the home.
So whether it's Merci Monday, You're Terrific Tuesday, We're so lucky to have you Wednesday, Thank You Thursday or You're First in our Books Friday, I encourage everyone to let your child care provider know how much their efforts, dedication and passion for your kids means to you. To quote Winston Churchill, "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger - lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller