11 Lessons You Learn from Working in Child Care

Over summer and again during Christmas break, I worked at a preschool for children ages two to four. While there were days that would absolutely drain me and leave me sleeping by 8 pm, dreaming of the bachelorette life for years to come, there were others that left me wishing I had more time to love on these little ones and be part of their everyday lives. There’s something special about working in childcare; no other job smothers you in hugs or craves your attention in the heartwarming way tiny humans do. In the months that I’ve been with this group of kids, I’ve been reminded of the things that truly matter. Believe it or not, children have a powerful way of teaching some of life’s most important lessons—even to us ~more worldly~ adults. Here are just a few of the lessons they’ve instilled in me, all while inducing the greatest headache and simultaneously warming my heart:

1. The simplest of things can spark the greatest of joys

2. Sometimes crying is the only way to express your emotions when you can’t verbalize your feelings

3. And after your breakdown, a tight hug from someone you love puts your world at peace

4. No matter how old we become, we never stop needing our parents

5. A delicious lunch and restful nap can hit the reset button on your day

6. On the topic of napping, it is okayno it is encouraged to literally throw yourself on the ground and pass out

7. If someone pisses you off, tell that person

8. If you have a crush on someone, tell that person, too

9.  Turn everything into a song because it’ll make whatever situation you’re in a little less stressful; not to mention, it’s cute (quirky?) as hellcue Jess from New Girl

10. When you break the rules, like climbing up the slide after being told not to, um, 40 times, a beautiful sense of adventure is ignited within you

11. Be honest, even if everything in you is afraid of the outcome. Or, in the case of children, owning it when you hit someone or leaving your SO of 3 days to date the cool, new girl with light up sneakers

Though destructive and almost demon-like at times, tiny humans have this magical, inexplicable gift of tugging at our heart and encouraging us to become the most loving, compassionate, and sometimes neurotic versions of ourselves. And while I am in NO rush to settle down, I look forward to the day that I get to experience all of these things with my own monster of a kid.

photos courtesy of Gabriella Dionisio and Miss Dee Dee's Afterschool