It was my birthday Last Thursday! I was looking back on my career over the years and reflecting. I’ve been working in early years ever since I left Sixth Form College more years ago than I care to admit. My work with babies began nearly 15 years now as a night nanny and even though I've not had much sleep over the years I've loved every moment of it.
I love love love working with babies!! I love how small they are when they are first born, their smell, the softness of their skin. The way they hold their limbs tight to their bodies when they’re new-born. The way they stick their butts out if you pick them up when they’re sleeping, and the smell of their breath. I really enjoyed working with new parents, sharing in the joy and love of having a new baby. I feel like I’m really doing something to help in allowing new mums a little respite overnight. I love supporting and empowering new mums determined to master breastfeeding and reassuring the mums who worry they’re not doing things right (They usually are!) Giving them the opportunity to recoup and relax for a few hours after the excitement, exhaustion & overwhelm of giving birth. Sharing my knowledge, and experiences of babies and sleep both, as a night nanny and a mother, is way more rewarding than I ever could have imagined when I stumbled into night nannying back in 2000.
Working nights on a full time basis has taken its toll though, I’ve missed family and social functions because I’ve committed to work and have missed putting to bed or being there before my daughter wakes up every morning. And after years of light & irregular sleep at night at work, I now feel drunk and groggy when I do get a full 8 hours, the morning after. So a few months ago I decided to cut back on the night work for a while & go back to working in early year’s day care.
My first ever job in a nursery was in the baby room, back in 1998. That's right back where I'm at the moment. I'm back working in day care and I have to say I love every moment of it. I took on a role as room leader and third in charge in a nursery and again have found it far more rewarding than I anticipated. I'm still going to night nanny at the weekends (I’d miss working with new-borns too much) but am relishing my work with under twos right now. Spending the day with 8 little rascals aged between 6 months to 16 months has been the most fun I've had in a long time. Playing with them, observing them indulging in messy play and outdoor fun, playing a part in their development. Helping them to cope when mummy or daddy has to go to work, forming an attachment with them, getting to know their personalities is so fulfilling I've really missed it after years of night work.
My long-term goal is still help new mums and dads understand & get to know their new babies, to help them learn to bond with their babies, understand their cues, needs and respond to them. And gently guide their little bundles to sleep well at night. I turned 3? on Thurs. gone and I think now is the time to focus on a new direction in my work with babies, toddlers and parents I haven't figured out how exactly way yet.