This post isn’t a tutorial like many of my other posts. It’s more of a sharing what’s been on my heart and mind lately. You are welcome to read on and find out why my 5 year plan doesn’t include a bigger preschool…and maybe yours shouldn’t either.
Why I Won’t Expand My Preschool In the Next 5 Years
How Do You Define Success?
Many people define success in terms of finances. The person with the biggest house, most expensive car, or best clothes is seen as the most successful in this life.
My dreams have never been that big. Success to me would have been being a mom, building a house, and having enough money to feel secure.
But now, my version of success could be simplified as security and free time.
What’s the point of having the fancy house if you’re never there to enjoy it? Or if the mortgage payment is so big that you’re always worried about money? No, I want time to do the things I want, but enough money that my family’s needs are met, too.
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
Weighing Job Stress
Don’t Work Too Hard
To be honest, I don’t handle stress well! Now, I’ve learned a lot of coping skills and I’ve gotten used to handling my six daycare kids on my own. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy or not stressful.
In fact, even fun or productive things can still be stressful. They can take work and use up a lot of energy.
So, if I have a limited amount of physical and mental energy, l’d rather spend it on something fun or productive.
How about you? Are you already looking forward to that day when you’ll retire and be able to choose what you do each day? Or do you like your job, but feel pressured to look towards a promotion or further schooling?
The reason people higher on the corporate ladder get paid more is because they have more responsibilities. Maybe these responsibilities are no extra stress for an individual.
But maybe they are! It comes down to who you are and what you enjoy. Some people feel great satisfaction by doing their job.
In fact, I have great satisfaction in doing my blogging and TpT job! I also love daycare and preschool, but it’s definitely more stress. It’s hard to schedule my family and our appointments around the daycare schedule when I’m the only employee.
Bible Verses About Working
They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. – Luke 6:48
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17
Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
7 It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
8 yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest. – Proverbs 6:6-8
Don’t Work Too Little, Either
God promises over and over again that He will provide for our needs and we should not be anxious (stressed). But that doesn’t mean we don’t play into the equation!
Have you heard that joke about the man who was stranded on a piece of wood during a flood, but when a boat comes by to rescue him he refuses and says, “God will rescue me”? The next boat that came by, he gave the same answer. Even another boat came to save the man, but he denied their efforts and claimed God would save him.
When the man drowned and arrived in Heaven, he asked God, “Why did you not save me?” God replied, “I sent three boats to save you!”
Now that I’m a parent, the idea of being God’s child makes much more sense to me.
For example, sometimes I do things for my kids that they can do themselves, because I love them and I don’t mind. Other times, I say, “You can do that yourself, I’ve taught you how.” God does that with us, too.
Sometimes the way He provides for our needs, still requires some work on our end! Yes, God wants us to enjoy life and have time for Him without it being a chore. But, we also need to do our part while He does His.
Balancing Work and Play
The older I get (I’m only 26 but I act like an old woman), the more I realize how much life is about balance.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-14
What About Growing and Becoming Better?
This is where God’s work comes in. We do the sowing, and He blesses the harvest.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans. – Proverbs 16:3
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart. – Psalm 37:4
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord. – Isaiah 55:8
So, yes, we should make plans. We should have goals. But you don’t need to work yourself to death over them. Work your plan and allow God to bring in the results.
AND make sure that your goals are realistic, and aren’t stressing you out. If you’re overly anxious about your teaching career, or if your preschool job stresses you out, maybe it’s time to reevaluate those goals.
Let’s Get Personal
Why I Won’t Be Expanding My Preschool/Home Daycare
There’s a few reasons that a child care center or preschool center is not on my list of goals. Most simply,
- More stress
- Same money
Wait a minute, didn’t I say I wasn’t all about the money? Yes, I did. But it is about the stress.
Since my first year of daycare, I always said that I like knowing my kids personally. I know their favorite foods, I know their personalities and how to help them when they’re having a bad day. More kids means more to know, and less time for each kid.
It also means more parents to keep track of, more paperwork to keep track of, and less time for the kids. In fact, most directors of daycares spend more time in the office than with the kids.
Though the thought of the “success” is tempting, it really doesn’t sound like fun to me. I hate paperwork.
So, I’m going to pass on the daycare center. I’d rather be able to take an hour a few days a week to spend with God and my horse than be successful in the world’s eyes.
But What About My Calling to Teach?
Well, I’m keeping my preschool part time.
Right now, with my daughter in school, I want to be able to attend her school plays and take my own kids to the doctor when they don’t feel well. That’s just really hard to do when I have kids here from 6-6 everyday.
So, I’m sticking with a few kids I have just a couple days a week, then I will have a couple days free for appointments and school.
I’m also reaching more kids through this blog and my Teachers Pay Teachers store! By creating resources based off current research and learning standards, I’m helping more preschool kids reach their potential than I ever could in my own home.
What I’ll Be Doing Instead
My husband and I have been talking a lot about self-sufficiency. We want to build a house, so of course we’ll need some income for that and our bills.
But generally, we’d rather eliminate as many bills as possible, so we can focus our time and energy on things we enjoy, rather than working meaninglessly for the income.
We want our efforts to go towards providing for our home and our goals.
So we’re going to work enough to pay the bills (daycare, blogging, and his business), be careful with our spending and eliminate the remaining debt we have (this book is an awesome resource), save for a house, and spend the rest of our energy to become self sufficient.
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you. – 1 Thessalonians 4:11
Better a little with the fear of the Lord
than great wealth with turmoil. – Proverbs 15:16
Wait a minute, self sufficient? You mean, like, farming? Yes!
We actually live on property that has been in my husband’s family for generations. Right now, we have beef in the freezer from our farm, pork we bought from a friend’s farm, and tons of canned goods we grew and canned ourselves.
My goal this year is to have less daycare hours so I can help hubby more with the garden and in a year or two we can raise our own chickens and pigs, too. Raising our own food also helps cut down on our expenses.
Being self-sufficient in this way isn’t possible for everyone, and not everyone’s goal, I realize. But it’s ours.
We both take a lot of pride in providing for ourselves this way and get a lot of satisfaction from working our homestead. I love the feeling of shopping the cellar instead of the grocery store! And, it tastes better too! Not to mention that it’s all organic food.
Maybe you have similar goals to live a quiet life that you don’t need to take a vacation from.
Or maybe your goals are to open a huge preschool center. That’s ok too!
We each have a different calling and God has placed different desires in our hearts. A quiet life is mine. I encourage you to discover yours. ♥