AOP: You are an Assistant Director for a local early childhood center. Tell us more about this.
AC: I am Assistant Director at Big Blue Marble Academy on East Glenn Avenue. BBMA enrolls children six weeks of age up to five years old. We offer after-school care and a summer camp for ages 5-12. We have a Global Based Curriculum where we learn about different cultures monthly. We offer breakfast, lunch and snacks through Greens and Beans, a local business that caters meals to children in early childhood schools and settings.
AOP: Was pursuing a career in early childhood always something you wanted to do?
AC: Growing up, I didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do as far as a career. I knew I wanted to help people, but I needed to figure out how. So I started in childcare, and it has become my life. I get to spend time with my babies while helping love on someone else’s.
AOP: What about your career choice brings you the most joy?
AC: Being able to watch my kids grow while being loved and cared for at BBMA, and being able to love and care for other children at BBMA.
AOP: What was the most unexpected thing you have experienced as a mother?
AC: The most unexpected thing I have experienced as a mom is going to the doctor in December 2022 and leaving there in an ambulance. I was told I had a pulmonary embolism and that it was a miracle that I was alive. I was in the hospital for 26 days. I had a cardiopulmonary bypass with a pulmonary endarterectomy – an open heart surgery that removed the blood clot. I am still recovering today. I have not physically lifted my kids since last year.
AOP: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a mother?
AC: My nurturing and calming nature. My ability to make any child feel loved.
AOP: What is your biggest fear as a mother?
AC: My biggest fear as a mother is my child not feeling loved or comfortable enough to talk to me as they age.
AOP: What is the most important lesson you have learned as a mother?
AC: Children are a blessing. When nothing in the world is going the course you expect, I can look at my child and know I am doing something correctly.
AOP: How do you handle challenging behaviors with your children?
AC: I always try to figure out what made them act that way or triggered whatever happened. We do breathing exercises. I ask questions:
- What happened?
- Are you hurt?
- Were you doing something you were not supposed to?
I typically take challenging behavior and make it a lesson so it does not happen again.
AOP: How do you help your children navigate social relationships and peer pressure?
AC: I tell them they are leaders, and being different is okay. I teach them that just because someone else has something you want doesn’t mean you have to have it too. I teach them that they are their own person for a reason.
AOP: What advice would you give to other mothers who are struggling with their parenting journey?
AC: Pick your child up. Hold them. Make cookies and bake cakes. Watch their silly shows with them. Get all the kisses that you can. Go to sleep every day knowing that if something were to happen to you, your kids would know you loved them. No mother is perfect, but we are in our child’s eyes.
Annquanetta Caldwell is the mother of three children: Armani (7), Amora (4), and Aydon (3). She loves her kids more than anything. Recently, Annquanetta became engaged to her fiancé Wynton. She has been working at Big Blue Marble Academy since 2020. In her spare time, she loves reading, drawing, and helping people.