It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Ah, holidays

That title? Is a happy sigh. Not, of course, that I’m on holiday any more. I’ve been back for a couple of weeks.

The reason for that happy sigh is not my current state of employment, but my current state of mind. I am ready to go back to work! Not just ready, enthused. It’s a good feeling.

There’s an ebb and flow to these things:

1. I have some time off. Needs to be at least a week. By the end of that time, I’m recharged and ready for the tots. We are going to have FUN! We are going to LEARN LOTS!! We are going to be KIND and PATIENT and CONSIDERATE! (All of us. Including me!)

2. I work for a while. Weeks go by. The enthusiasm gradually fades as the fatigue steadily rises. I am no longer up to BLOCK CAPITALS OF ENTHUSIASM!!! We are going to … get through our days. We are going to … not squabble or be contentious. We are going to … keep ourselves occupied. We are going to … keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I go from aiming for the positives to simply attempting to avoid the negatives. It’s a short and slippery slope from that state of mind to being overwhelmed by the negatives, battling the irritability, annoyed by this or that behaviour’s intractability. To, if I’m to be completely honest here, to being annoyed by that particular child. Their good points fade behind the glare of their prickly bits.

(Yes, it’s true. A daycare provider can find your child annoying. We don’t tell you the parent that, not if we’re kind, and we do our damndest not to show it to the child, not if we’re professionals, but we feel it! It’s generally a passing thing, as the child passes through a particularly obnoxious phase.)

But! Just about the time I hit that phase — “Oh, my GOD, you’re annoying!!!” — another holiday comes round. I get a break to refresh, to renew.

Thank goodness. For all of us.

Sometimes it’s just a long weekend, which tops up the energy and enthusiasm tanks for a month or so. And sometimes it’s a whole, luscious, lovely week off, as I just had, and then I’m good to go for … well, I’m not quite sure. Two months? Three? Before the slide starts?

Right now, I am filled with enthusiasm. Happy to be back. Fully of ideas, creativity, strategies, hope, willingness, and energy. Wheeee!

Moral of this story: I need a week off every quarter. No, really? Ten days.


January 13, 2014 - Posted by | daycare, holidays


  1. Oh, every word of this resonates so strongly. I felt GREAT about being back to work. And I still have more energy and enthusiasm for things than I did during the entire month of December. It’s funny though how quickly certain behaviours will resurface – especially from that one particular child – and I think to myself “oh riiiight, this is why I needed a break so badly I was actually crossing days off on the calendar”.

    I’m still ready for the challenge. We’re in the January thaw right now which helps – outside time is actually fun for the kids as opposed to being a kind of endurance test.

    Ha! I’ve so done that: the calendar countdown. But really, I wonder, is there anyone who hasn’t, at one point or another? If there is, they’re very fortunate to love their job so much. Either that, or they work part-time…

    Comment by Hannah | January 13, 2014 | Reply

  2. I soo relate to this! I am a full time nanny and honestly do love my job! I also genuinely love the kiddos I care for. BUT when I am working long days consecutively…I find myself getting a little less enthusiastic about every craft/activity/book…After a little break or a long weekend, I am good to go! I come up with new fun things to do with the kids and get really excited about seeing them again. We all need a break from time to time!! 🙂

    Exactly. Just a pit stop to fuel the tanks on what is overall a very enjoyable journey!

    Comment by Kim | January 13, 2014 | Reply

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