How can someone who works long days, late nights, and wakes up grumpy consider themselves to be a “better mother”? Well, if it weren’t for my business Pillar Cowork and Childcare, I would be in even worse shape as a parent. For those who don’t know, Pillar is a state-of-the-art coworking space that provides the exceptional amenity of onsite-childcare for working parents who need that support. When my business partner and I decided to start Pillar about 5 years ago, I knew owning a child
care meant being responsible for people’s most valuable possessions – their children! As a new mother myself, I decided it was a great time to start studying the field of Early Childhood Education (ECE) to educate myself and figure out how exactly to run a high-quality childcare.
Initially I thought my studies would help me learn how to be a better childcare owner, but it turns out I have learned so much about how to be a better mother to my children Salem (8), Liv (6), and Maasai (almost 4).
Once I began taking ECE classes at Diablo Valley College (DVC), I could not stop! My classes taught me about concepts I had no clue about, like developmentally appropriate practice (DAP), development milestones, learning domains, and early childhood philosophers and thought leaders like Jean Piaget, Erik Erickson, and Loris Malaguzzi, etc. My studies have opened my eyes to what it means to interact in the “right way” with young children. I quickly saw that my expectations of my 3 year old daughter were inappropriate and unfounded – why would I expect her to be about to control her emotions and avoid temper tantrums on her own? Her brain is still developing in the areas that control social-emotional development and self-regulation. She needs the right tools to do that, and someone with patience and understanding to help her. I’ve also learned that while some cultures (including my own) think spanking is a “normal” way to discipline children, early childhood experts view it as an abuse of power and an unacceptable means of disciplining any child. Go figure?!
I love being a mother, but if I’m honest, it’s super demanding and often leaves me drained after long days with my little ones. Now that my eyes are open to what is best for children, how to nurture their curiosity, vulnerability, and needs, I am better prepared to respond to it all.
I wish more parents knew the benefits of taking ECE classes like “Child Development and Psychology”, “Curriculum Planning”, “Principles and Practices of Early Childhood Education”, which all help adults better understand young children and how to care for them.
As a mother I’m far from perfect but if I hadn’t studied this field, I would be A LOT LESS capable of giving my children the foundation for them to grow into happy, healthy, mindful individuals. Not only does my new perspective help my business and the families we serve, but it has had a direct impact on my own children, family, and community. I’ve learned that children learn when they play, that they don’t need flashcards to learn the alphabet, that some things are learned more naturally at the right age (versus when we want to teach them), like toilet training and how to read.
As a new business owner I spend a lot of time away from home, working when I am home and thinking about work when I’m physically with my family. And yes, I feel guilty. But knowing the value of creating Pillar, makes me feel better. My perspective and knowledge base have grown 10X. I’m grateful the things I’ve learned will benefit my children, my children’s children and many others whose lives are touched by what we are building at Pillar 🤗