Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Money and stuff

I have been kept awake at night the last couple of weeks worrying about money.

Not our personal finances but the money to equip the new child care centre and do some work not covered in agreements etc.

I am over-budget.

The stuff in storage was not as much as I thought.

There was way more of the small stuff we just hadn't factored in but when standing at the till paying adds up to more than expected.

Less was done in the building (or done wrong) than anticipated and we have to pay to install or fix.

But yesterday morning as I was in the building alone......dealing with some rising panic......

42 children ready to start, 11 staff, the whole upstairs preschool space still empty and on the back burner for now.......

Two things occurred to me:

1.  It will never cease to make me mad that funding for children is so hard to get.  Why is a small community non-profit being utterly depleted to offer this needed community service?  I know my fellow ECE's and Educators in the public system also lament the funding crunch..... I know this to also be a universal matter ... I read blogs and know organisations across the globe scratching around for pennies for children.  I know this is a problem way greater than my present circumstances and I should do more than just rage about it....but for today my energy and time allow for a hearty GRRRR.

2. The second thing that occurred to me, like a slap upside the head, is that these particular 42 children already have more stuff here than they need.....by miles.  Sure their parents are paying a ridiculous amount of money and have certain expectations of "stuff" and of course I want to provide the excellent educators I have hired with all the resources they need.....but really......why I am stressing that there are not enough toy cars or dress up clothes or cd players??  It is so easy to get sucked in to thinking we NEED all theses things but really (once regulation is met and quality care is assured) most of what we still "need" are really things that will make life easier not necessarily better.

I have kept a tower of cardboard boxes that much of the stuff came in or were used as packaging and I bet you those will be more played with in the early days than the $300 doll house.......

It's so easy to lose sight of truth and perspective when one is tired and stressed and feeling pulled and pushed in too many directions but that quiet hour in the building yesterday created enough space in my head and my heart to see a little more clearly......to have a bit of a reality check for myself and then to try and communicate that to others without sounding like I lost my mind.

How to communicate that to children is maybe a bigger yet no less important thing.  Maybe having a little less ( albeit by north american upper middle class standards) might lead to a little less entitlement, a little more care for what we do have and bit more understanding that sharing resources can make us all richer for the interaction it brings.

Here's to all of us considering our wants vs our needs and gaining some perspective.

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