It's easy to see all the positive aspects of caring for kids for a living, but as a former daycare worker and nanny, I can say, without reservation, that there are some things I never enjoyed about my role. The smiles, hugs, silly jokes and general wackiness that is a workday spent with kids is ideal, and they can certainly make you smile and make you feel that your job is worthwhile. However, there exists a whole bunch of things no one likes doing with other people's kids.
I have the greatest respect for childcare workers. They have our most treasured, beautiful babies in their care and work long, hard hours for little money. During my years of nannying I worked for some amazing families. Unfortunately, I also experienced some bad treatment at the hands of a few ungrateful parents, including not being paid on time, not having my vacation honored, being shouted at in front of the children, and falling prey to the notion that a nanny is a 24 hour a day commodity.
On my busiest days working in a infant room in a city daycare, I sometimes changed up to 15 diapers. So, yeah, that's not exactly a career high point, and neither were the following because, truth be told, not everyone enjoys being around someone else's kids.
Changing Their Diapers
Dressing Them For Outdoor Play
After fastening every clasp, zipper, and button combination out there, I know which clothes are easy to get kids into and so they can get out of the house on time. However, it seems as though many other parents didn't get the memo.
One of the things I hated the most about caring for other people's kids, was trying to help them into ill-fitting or poorly made outdoor wear, including boots that allow snow and rain to get inside and gloves that don't stay on. This isn't an issue of cost, as all my son's outerwear items are hand-me-downs or bought in a consignment store. However, they are made for cold weather, which is required in winter.
Spaghetti sauce all around a baby's face is infinitely cuter when it's your own kid. Feeding other people's children can be a bit gross and messy.
Looking After Them When They're Sick
Cuddling up with your own little buddy when they are ill isn't exactly a spa day. However, because you feel so sorry for them it takes the edge of the "ick factor."
With children you're not related to, you're just trying not to throw up yourself from the smell, feeling resentful that their parents sent them to daycare when they are sick, and trying to hold your breath so you don't catch it, too.
Wiping Their Nose
Wiping my kid's nose or getting a bothersome booger clear out of his passageway is strangely satisfying and kind of like popping a pimple. Wiping other people's kid's noses, while just disgusting, has the germaphobe in me triple washing my hands and holding my breath.
Sharing Your Food
Kids are food thieves, but sharing with my own child doesn't really bother me too much. (Unless it's chocolate. I never share chocolate, as it's a personal mandate.)
However, when other grasping little hands demanded a bite of my sandwich, and we shared no genetic information, I felt put out.
Taking Them On Public Transit
Taking any kids on public transit is a little unnerving. You're hoping they will behave and sit nicely, keep their feet of the seats, and the noise down to a dull roar.
But when I took children that I wasn't related to on a bus or train, my anxiety levels shot up. I practically sprained their little wrists trying to keep a tight rein on them in order to keep them safe.
Not Having Any Privacy At all
There are some small erosion's of personal privacy that become expected when you have children of your own, like using the bathroom in peace or changing your clothes without an audience.
Sometimes, when you look after children for a living and especially in a private home without another adult to take over, you may need to do some things in front of other people's kids that you'd really rather not.
Honestly, the fact that I don't mind doing most of these things with my own child makes me love him even more.