I am thinking seriously about changing jobs...I am thinking that I might want to get out of the childcare field. Not because I don't like children or because I don't like my job running the daycare at the school. I feel like I don't have enough to give anyone and I don't want to do a less than ideal job. I think part of my burning out right now might have something to do with needing a change.
For most of my adult life I have done daycare. The first nineteen years were spent running a daycare out of my home which enabled me to stay at home with my children. I went through a divorce and lost my home in the process. At that time I was needing a change so for the first time I got a job working outside the home.
I worked at a group home taking care of low functioning non verbal children. Then they moved me up to a lead position in running a group home for high functioning young adults. Plus I worked with clients that lived on their own. I loved it! There were more opportunities for me to move up and they were going to pay for me to take more schooling in order to do this. I loved my job and I was in it for the long haul. I thought I had found my calling...until I got brutally attacked by one of my clients.
I have a skull,neck and partial brain injury because of this attack. I also got post traumatic stress disorder which was just as bad as the others, if not worse to deal with. I spent 2 years having surgeries, getting intense therapy, and being on very strong narcotics for the pain. During this time, I did not leave my home out of fear, unless I had to go for medical care. After 2 years of this, I went into the hospital for 5 weeks for a pain program which took me off all the medications the various doctors had me on. I was told that I was on enough pain medication for a 300 lb man and I was 115 lbs! I was very glad to get off all that in spite of still being in pain. I was taught pain management while I was there and basically they helped me to accept that I will be in pain for the rest of my life. I am in pain 24/7...some days are worse than others...some days are pure hell and in weak moments I want drugs to take this pain away but deep down I know I can't live like that ever again.
After my hospital stay I was okayed by the doctors to work 20 hours a week...no more than 5 hours at a time and with some pretty high restrictions. Try to find a job under all that and it felt impossible. I did find one...running the daycare at an alternative high school and I have now worked there for 4 years. I mainly care for the children of young moms but we also have classes for adults wanting to get their diploma and an English second language class so I care for those children as well. They also allow me to bring my 2 little people with me to work. Although the pay is significantly lower than my other job, I have been just thankful to have a job. I have loved this job in the sense that I love it's purpose. I have a passion for young people...young moms, kids in trouble...most likely because I was one of those kids at one time.
I love my moms like they are my daughters...for some of these girls I am the only "mom" in their lives that they can talk to or depend on...it is my passion to see them graduate and go to college and make a life for themselves and their little ones. My goal is for them to believe in themselves just as I believe in them. I love the little ones like they are my grandchildren...sadly for some of these little ones, I am the only grandma in their lives. I get to witness a lot of success stories but there are many sad stories too and these are the ones that break my heart. Sometimes I have to report these moms to social services because no matter what we are trying to do for them at our school, some of these moms just don't get "it" and their children suffer because of it. I cannot stand for even one child to suffer so sometimes I have to use tough love.
This is my dilemma...even though I am working in the area of my passion for young people, I am starting to not like it in the sense that I am drained...I feel like I don't have anything to give to all these needy young moms and their very needy children. But, the thing is I can't just quit because in order for me to be compensated by worker compensation I have to be working the 20 hours and under the restrictions I have from the doctors. I live in rural Minnesota so the job market is not overflowing with jobs that fit under all that. I am awaiting approval to go to another pain management program and then my case worker says we will go from there once I have completed that. I do have a lawyer but have been told that it takes a long time for everything to be settled and done with the workers compensation company.
My heart is torn between my wanting to do something I am passionate about, not wanting to let anyone down even though I know someone else could do my job just as well, being exhausted and not knowing what I could possibly do for work if I am not doing daycare and of what my future holds. I also don't think it's fair to those I work with if I am not able to give in the way they deserve. I would love some outside suggestions. I know that my thoughts and feelings are filtered through the lens of pain right now but also through my fears. This is exhausting for me...writing it all out does help but really all I want is to figure this all out...I just want to know where my life is going next?