So I have a new gig in my life…well, it’s sort of new and it’s not really a gig. Anyway, I’ve started keeping the nursery for the women’s bible study that meets on Thursday mornings at our church. I don’t do it alone, I work with another woman. And we only have kids from walking up to age 2, so we’re not trying to juggle a newborn with a 4 year old and every age in-between.
This is just the kind of part-time job I was looking for. When I left my previous job I told Joe that the thing I was most excited to give up was my blackberry. I will be completely happy if I never own another one…that thing was such a pain in the tushie. I also wanted a job that would still let me be at home with Ella, and since this is just 2 hours a week and those 2 hours are when Ella is in preschool, this was perfect.
So I started doing this about 2 months ago (I don’t exactly remember). I really like it. I like having a job that keeps me consistently busy, but not a stressful kind of busy. I like that when I leave the church my job is over, I don’t bring it home with me. And I was really looking forward to being around the kids. The age I get to work with is so cute! They are walking all over the place and into everything (which is great considering we’re in a kid-friendly zone), and most of them can fully communicate what they want, which makes my job a lot easier. I love how they mispronounce certain words (like pack pack instead of backpack) and how they say things that they’ve obviously heard their mom say. I love that they still want to carry their cups with them everywhere just in case someone else tries to take it. And I love that they die laughing at the littlest things.
When I started this job I didn’t have a lot of expectations. I know that sounds bad, but considering where I am in life that is a good thing. And what I totally didn’t expect was to be impacted by caring for “normal” kids. I can’t help but think about what it would be like to parent a child without special needs. And I wonder how different our parenting would be. I wonder how we’ll change our parenting if we ever have a second child without EB.
I often observe how I respond to the kids vs. the women I’m working with. They’ve never had to handle a child with gentle hands, so they will pick them up in ways that I can’t imagine (not bad, just ways I could NEVER handle Ella, therefore I would never pick up a child that way). Whenever one of the kids falls down I automatically flinch, I can’t help it. 99% of the time they either laugh or stand up without a thought, but it takes all I have within me to not react. The first time I changed a diaper I think it took me twice as long as the other woman I was working with. I was changing it the way I would with Ella…gently. It has been a long time since I’ve changed a “normal” diaper.
All that said, working in the nursery has been a steeper learning curve than I ever imagined. In some ways it makes me long for the things I’ve missed, but in other ways it makes me even more thankful that I get to be Ella’s mom.