Why do you blog? A friend asked me that question last week. A simple, yet somehow private question about a public forum. The answer is more complex. At first glance, I blog because I teach young children and want to share what I know works to help them play and learn. I want to leave my own personal mark for future generations who care for young children. Much of that is true, but there is more; reinventing myself at age 51 just might come closer to the truth.
I am a teacher and a licensed group family childcare provider of over 28 years now. I love children and have cared for 500+ children and their families in a private childcare home setting. I have five adult kids, four granddaughters, and a 7 yr. old still at home (yes, I had my last son at age 44). I have spent my entire adult life with children, and yet, there is much more to my story.
I am passionate about social media and technology. I have garnered some of the best relationships with people I have never met face-to-face. I know their story, their business, their families, and their work. I also know the sacrifices, even unspoken, required to build a blog: the sacrifice of time, the writing and pictures, the hours spent replying to social media, the true “grit” to withstand the days of publishing when you have NO ONE who knows you have a blog, and the discipline it takes to work a full-time job (whether parenting or outside the home) then write online when your children go to bed at the end of a long day.
I entered my own study of technology many years ago as a way to introduce my children to an online world I did not know. I had an Apple IIe and a daisy wheel printer. Now, I integrate mobile technology daily into our home to teach our children skills that the world will ask of them. I am an entrepreneur at heart. I think of new ideas daily; I write down notes in a notebook by my bed because I really do dream things; I reinvent new ideas as I’m working with the old; and I read and learn from most everyone….everyday. That’s what I do. I’m old enough (or wise enough) to know this is what I was designed to do. I need a creative outlet…modern technology offers it to me.
I blog, because at age 51 I can. I am an average, educated, middle-class American woman. I work 45-50 hours a week with children and blog at night (or on the weekends) when my 7 yr. old goes to bed. I am richly blessed by a large family that supports me, respects me, and continues to allow me the time to do what I love. I know that my time doing full-time childcare is limited. I love kids, but I am ready to enter the next “phase” of my journey. In the next five years, I will mentor my youngest daughter who will graduate in ECE…hand over a family childcare business to the next generation should she still desire to have it. Our world needs compassionate and loving care for our children. I have met many wonderful individuals and companies in my work online. I am fortunate to have the luxury of time, God willing, to explore exactly what the “end” part of my life’s work will be. In the meantime: I teach, I learn, and I blog.
About the author: Darla is co-founder of The Preschool Toolbox and has owned a licensed group childcare/preschool home for the past 28 years. Darla has a passion for creating environments and activities that help facilitate play and learning for young children. She writes primarily at: The Preschool Toolbox Blog, but also at Squidoo and Sixty Second Parent.