On Wednesday April 10th, I had a job interview at the child care center on campus. I had applied for the assistant GSRP position for the fall, but received a response rather quickly. I was asked if I would be around this summer and was invited in for an interview. Before going into the interview I was slightly nervous, as I wasn’t sure if emotionally I could handle it. Since my miscarriage, I had struggled to be around kids, besides my three year old nephew. I hoped and prayed that whatever happens would be okay.
At the interview I tried to show confidence, enthusiasm, and willingness to learn. I was asked many questions about my experience, how I feel about working with children, and what I hoped to get out of this job. I was honest with the child care director about my love for children, but I chose not to disclose my recent miscarriage. I didn’t feel it was relevant and or appropriate to discuss at that time. I was given a tour of the child care center, and I honestly wasn’t very impressed. It was very small, cluttered and kind of concerning as I felt the space didn’t have a lot of fire exits… but who was I to judge. After the tour I was offered the job on the spot and accepted.
On Wednesday April 17th, a week later I started at the child care center. My shift started at 8am and I walked in excited and ready to start this new journey. I was excited to work with kids again. When I walked in, I met with the director. She had just finished talking with some parents and came over to me.
“Hi, so I have some bad news.” She said to me with a stern face. Oh no, my stomach instantly turned into knots. No, I don’t need another bad thing to happen.
“Okay.” I said confused and concerned. Did she change her mind? Did she not want me to work here anymore? Did I do something wrong?
“So, we just got news this week that the university is cutting our funding and we are closing June 14th.” She said sternly. My heart broke. This would happen. I got excited for something and again it was torn away from me. This sucked.
“Oh.” I said plainly. I didn’t know what else to say. I was in a bit of shock and selfishly wanted to know what this meant for me.
“So, we are glad you are here and I am hoping you will stay with us until we close. And I am willing to help you try and find a job.” She said reassuring me. “Our staff found out this week, and parents were notified last night via email.” She said. She then told me how to clock in and directed me to the classroom I would be working in. As I met with the teachers I would be working with for the next two months, my head was still spinning. I wasn’t happy for this job anymore. I didn’t want to be here anymore.
As I went about my day working in the preschool room, there was a really weird vibe. It was a vibe of anger, depression and confusion. I could tell all the staff members were upset because the center was closing. As I interacted with the kids, I too felt sad. But I was sad for other reasons besides the center closing, I looked at these children, and I had the sad realization that my little Mackenzie is never going to be in preschool. She will never be able to build with blocks or run around the playground. She will never be able to get spaghetti sauce all over her face or sing songs at circle time. It was a heart breaking realization, but I tried my best to keep it together. I found myself distancing away from the kids. I didn’t want to love and attach to these kids. I didn’t want to create relationships with these children or families if in two months I would have to say goodbye anyway. I faked my way through the rest of the morning.
On my break I called my mom. I tried my best to play it cool… it didn’t work. I was upset. I told her how the minute I walked in, I was told the center was closing. My mom was now upset. She didn’t think it was fair that my director let all of the staff know on Monday, but neglected to tell me until I came into work on Wednesday. She made a good point. I explained to my mom how hard it was for me to be there, and how I honestly just didn’t like it. My mom helped me talk through my emotions and made me realize I didn’t want this job anymore, and that’s okay. Even though the center was going to be open for another two months, it was likely that since I was the last one hired I would be the first one fired. I may not be there until June anyway.
I finished out the rest of the day, and sent an email to my director telling her I quit. She understood as the center closing was unexpected and not an ideal situation. It was hard but I knew I made the right decision to quit. I got my old job back at the dining hall. Through this experience, I learned I wasn’t ready to be around kids yet. I also learned I was still slightly unstable when it came to unexpected things happening. I still had some things to work on.