To Leave or Not to Leave

I have a question for readers: how did you know it was time to leave a job you really like? Specifically for those of you who worked in childcare centers or preschools or another field prior to becoming a nanny, how did you know it was time to leave that job? Yeah, I know " 'how can you leave a job you like with people you love?' " It's possible, and I think I'm either needing a change or it's all in my head.

Here's the story: I have worked in the field of early childhood education for nearly eighteen years, where I have worked in both childcare centers and as a nanny. I currently work full time at a center and part time retail. Prior to working retail I worked as a nanny on weekends, and sadly, that position ended due to a financial situation with the family. I've been at my center for nearly eight years, and love my co-workers, along with the children and their families.

Working with children isn't easy. Nobody said it was. Lately I've been questioning how much longer I can do this job. I find myself exhausted, drained (in a good way) and overworked. I feel like I don't have enough time to get everything done related to a lesson plan. I feel as though I am losing my energy. and at my age (mid 40's) I'm wondering if I am having a mid-life crisis in terms of work. The only jobs I have ever worked in my life are retail and early childhood ed. I have weird symptoms (stomache, pain. nausea) when I am at my full time job. and when I worked as a part time nanny or my retail job, I have no symptoms of anything.

Is something wrong, or am I imagining things?

The other reason why I am thinking I need to leave my center is due to lack of advancement opportunities, as my center promotes based on fluff and friendship regardless of experience and education. In other words, the last two people promoted to director have been twenty somethings with no experience or education, and legally, I could sue my center for age discrimination. I'm clearly director qualified according to my state's DHFS rules, and my center is very aware of this. But, they promote based on fluff, meaning they promote based on favorites, and that's that. The irony is that I could go to my state's largest city and work in a high crime neighborhood, mostly likely obtaining a director position.

Who has been in this position before? How did you know it was time to leave?


Anonymous said...

If you think something is going on- go through basics- enough sleep?, eating right?, stress getting to u? I have the same issue- I was running out of energy, tired ( and I only have one kid- 2 year old toddler who is 24 hour go go go!!) and running orders to home, appts, etc. I also have 3 doggies at my own home who need my attention. So I was 24 hours go go go. I started by writing down things I had to do and only do important things- also do a curriculum a little each day. So I don't have to do all at once. I also eat a good protein snack to boost my energy a few times during the day along with healthy small meals. I rest when I can. Since u have more children- do you have help in your room? Walk briefly outside for a short distance is also good. Drink plenty of water. If you still have tireness and your other symptoms- see a doctor- maybe he can recommend something I have mentioned. Best of luck. If you think its to much- downsize- maybe to one family (nanny) with an infant to begin.

Anonymous said...

You couldn't sue based on age discrimination. Just saying. You'd have to have proof that they overlooked you due to your age, but it sounds more that they overlooked you because of office politics...
Honestly, I'd see a doctor. First rule out any actual health issues before writing it off as work stress. If you're healthy, then quit your job and find something that makes you happy. I know you say you're happy and love your job, but obviously not as much as you think. My mom worked in childcare for over 20 years before deciding she needed a change and began working for an insurance agency. She loved children but knew she needed something more.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you are burned out! Do you have any vacation time ? If so take some time off and do something for your self, as child care providers we are always putting others before ourselves! When you go back after taking some time off see if you can hold on through the rest of the summer and start looking for a nanny position for starting with the new school year. I am in the same situation, teaching 4K, not enjoying working with my co teacher, had a nanny job lined up starting in summer for year around , excellent pay, acceptable hours, so I thought great family, until one week before I was supposed to start... The former nanny ( sister in law) decided she wanted to keep on working for them. So 4 wks into summer I'm still looking for a job. Where I'm from nannies are not really the thing or they all claim they want a nanny but want to pay you like a babysitter. Crap my teenager makes almost as much babysitting as some people want to pay a professional nanny! It stinks! Good luck let us know what happens!

mandynanny said...

I was just curious, last poster, where are you from that they pay Nannies like babysitters? I'm noticing that too here in the bay area (CA)!! Five years ago this wasn't the case but now that I live in the burbs, families just can't afford to pay the usual $20/hour that I would charge for one baby. I decided to change careers as well simply because of this fact . I love being a Nanny but the jobs usually only last two years and then day care is the more affordable route for most people.
I'm just finishing school now,and will begin my transition this month.
Good luck to all of you and let us know what you decided on,OP!!