I am a Christian wife and mother with three in the home. I received my psychology degree and have worked or volunteered periodically in the mental health field.
While I enjoyed working outside the home, my heart always draws me back to work with children. I enjoy learning, sharing new things I find and watching people grow in their talents.
SB: You have operated your own in-home daycare for several years. Was this the reason why you wanted to write this book
MM: Yes and no. I actually had no intention of ever writing a book dealing with daycare. I’ve written poetry, short stories and songs since I was a child, so I always thought that would be the area in which I published. As I was starting my blog, I thought about the encouragement I got from friends to stretch my writing and decided to write a book for providers. While I was writing that book, I thought I should address concerns of parents as well and decided to focus on their concerns.
SB: How important is it for parents to know the pros and cons of choosing the right childcare program for their child?
MM: On a scale of 1-10 the importance factor flies off the charts. The person you choose is going to have a huge impact on your child’s well-being and will heavily influence his day-to-day actions. While the parent will have had the child from birth, the caregiver will be spending hours upon hours with this child day after day. Young children are still developing their personalities and are highly impressionable. What the provider provides at meal and snack time will directly affect the child’s physical health. How the provider interacts with him will affect his ability to interact with others. His mental health and self-esteem are either built up or torn down by words and actions of the provider. Many times new words and mannerisms are learned in care. Parents must be proactive in finding a caregiver that shares the same values. While not every preference needs to line up exactly, the more closely the family fits, the better overall experience they will have.
SB: How will parents benefit from the information you provide in Daycare Days for Parents: Answers & Tips from a Provider?
MM: I’ve watched and listened to many parents over the years and many have the same questions. They often don’t know how to ask some. I probably spend more time than many during interviews because I don’t like to leave questions unanswered. I want parents to know that their concerns are valid and give them options and ideas to help empower them, particularly the first-time parents, during the search and the child’s time in the care of someone else.
SB: New childcare providers and caregivers can also benefit from this book. Please explain further.
MM: Not every daycare provider is a parent or understands the responsibility of caring for a child all day every day with no time off for breaks. I remember that my patience was shorter with parents before I had a child. I was courteous but I had difficulty sympathizing with a parent who delayed leaving for work. I had no idea the time crunch parents felt rushing to daycare to rush home, fix dinner, work on homework, bathe kids and attempt to clean and sleep. It’s easy to see our side because we’re on it. If caregivers can understand some of the challenges, frustrations and/or guilt parents may feel needing to use childcare, they may be more forgiving and search for ways to assist parents.
SB: Your book touches upon checks for child abuse which is never easy to talk about let alone to write about. How did you map it out in the book so parents would feel comfortable reading about it and not feel frightful?
MM: I remind parents that some things can be misinterpreted as abuse or neglect but they are their children’s advocates and must do what is necessary to protect their children. The effects can be deeply rooted and affect children for years to come. I point out some examples of abuse and how it might play out with young children. I then offer simple ideas they can use to proactively to keep an eye out for any signs that may indicate their children are being maltreated.
SB: What would you consider your biggest success so far with this book?
MM: I would say that I’m excited that both inexperienced new parents and parents that are grandparents have found the book to be useful. I still get asked these questions on a regular basis so I know these are still current fears and concerns. I get to reach more people in less time.
SB: Have you met your publishing goals at this point?
MM: I would say I’ve met most of them so far. I will be starting one that is a bit more spiritual in nature soon. One day, I hope to have my songs recorded and publish my creative writing compilations. Daycare Days for Parents just came to me one day so I’m not going to make any promises about another version because I actually spend most of my writing time in Bible studies, lessons and storytelling.
SB: Do you have any writing habits?
MM: I don’t have any writing habits or styles. I’m working on becoming more disciplined in that area since I write freelance articles occasionally. Honestly, I write when I feel like writing. As long as I’m inspired and motivated, I can write nonstop. When I’m finished, I might not write in that area again for weeks, months or years. I don’t try to force anything of my own because I won’t like it.
SB: What are you reading now?
MM: I just finished reading Therapeutic Abortion and the Christian since the book went along with a recent discussion. I’ll be reviewing several children’s books again soon to determine what I’ll be using with my lesson plans.
To purchase DayCare for Parents: Answers & Tips from a Provider, click here.