So, I'm writing this out, in the hopes that I can find others who can commiserate with me, or that, somehow, if I write it out, I will feel better about the situation.
Recently, I feel like I SUCK at being a nanny, and at taking care of kids. I just feel like I majorly suck at it.
I feel like I am not patient enough with the girls. Too often, I feel like I get frustrated over something that really doesn't matter at all.
I feel like maybe I don't do a good enough job explaining things to the girls, that too often, I'm tired, and I'm focused on too many things, and my explanation is not full enough, not good enough. That, when answering tricky questions, when considering "if I explain it this way, would that be a statement that your parents would agree with/be okay with?" I lose the explanation that I really wanted to give.
When I have the girls choose an activity or craft instead of doing free play, I feel like I'm doing a bad job because I'm forcing them to do something, instead of following their lead.
When I follow their lead, I end up feeling like we aren't doing anything productive, and that we really should be doing something.
But, I KNOW that none of this is true.
I know that these thoughts come from some part of me that thinks that I am NOT good enough,
I know that I am crazy patient with the girls, that, even when I am frustrated, I never yell. That I always speak in a fairly calm and sweet voice. That my most frustrated statement is usually, "Okay, like I said before, right now I am working on something with your sister, but if you wait a minuet, I can help you with what you need, okay?" in a slightly harried voice. That, even though I sometimes slip up and say something that could have been phrased better, for the most part, I stay pretty calm. But, COULDN'T I BE DOING BETTER? Why is my voice ever harried? Why am I ever frustrated? Why can't I be a goddess-like paragon of patience and virtue?
Because no one can be. I'm working of being patient, on being loving, on being the best that I can. It's hard. No one is perfect.
I know that when it comes to activities, I'm struggling with my personal desire to keep a schedule. And honestly, this summer, I have been doing a pretty good job of veering from our general schedule, and going with what the girls want to do. Things have been a little bit hectic this summer, and we have had a lot of changes, but, as a unit, we've mostly been going with the flow, and we've had a pretty awesome summer. I should be happy with what we've done. I've let go of a lot of my personal desire for control and schedule, even though it has not always been easy for me. The girls have had tons of opportunities to explore their interests in ways that they enjoy, and we have done many, many cool and fun things this summer.
Drawing with chalk (one of our summer activities)
Celebrating Raksha Bandhan
As far as working with tricky questions, I've been doing the best that I can. The parents for whom I work are amazing, kind, and super cool people, but they use a parenting style that is drastically different from mine, and their general worldview is extremely different from mine, as well. Sometimes this is difficult, but I've been doing the best that I can, considering the circumstances.
I know these things. I know that I'm doing my best.
I love the kiddos that I watch. The are sweet, intelligent, fun, creative, and lovely kids. I am so, so lucky to be able to spend time with them. I treasure the hours that we spend together. I enjoy watching them play and grow. And I know, at least hypothetically, that I am doing a good job caring for them.
And yes, there's that nagging voice. You known the one.
The one that says, "You aren't good enough. You could be doing so much better. You sucks at taking care of kids. You're going to be a horrible mother someday. You should never even have children."
I hate that voice.
But some days, it's really, really hard to make it go away.