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Old 09-23-2012, 10:45 PM
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angelicpretty angelicpretty is offline
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Default Exhausted-Managing my time with 5 toddlers

Hi everyone. I posted in the past about working with school-agers. I currently got a new job working at a center in the Toddler room, with babies ages 12 months-18 months. My new job is a MUCH better fit for me in terms of the age level of the kids, I'm happy

But...

I find that i'm really struggling with managing my 5 kids in my room. I spend the majority of my day trying to keep on top of diapering, sanitizing, feeding, and soothing during nap time for all 5 kids. I only get help (a co-worker sits in my room) during diaper changing times and putting kids down for nap. I barely get to do anything fun or enjoy the kids, I feel like i'm just trying to stay on top of basic needs for all of them and we rarely even get to do any art, etc. Going outside for walks/park is also a huge struggle because it takes forever to dress everyone and load them into the stroller to go anywhere. I sometimes get the feeling my kids are bored and they are often crawling all over my legs and clearly want my attention.

We have a very structured daily routine but like I said, most of it is feed, diapers, snack, park, lunch, sleep, etc and all those tasks take a lot of my time especially cleaning. This might be laughable to some of you more seasoned providers, but I feel like 3 would be the perfect number for me but unfortunately I am at capacity with 5. I also have two boys who for whatever reason are constantly at each other, pushing, taking toys from each other, etc....so I have to keep on top of that too.

Is there anything I can do to infuse more fun into my day, both for myself and the kids? Any way I can curb my exhaustion?

We are understaffed (in my opinion) but there is nothing I can do to change that.
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Old 09-23-2012, 11:57 PM
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Nickel Nickel is offline
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I am sorry. I cant give you any advice. Unftunitely your room is understaffed. When i worker at dc center we had 3 teachers to 12 children. I absolutely loved working the 12-18 mnths. It was a lot of fun. But one teacher could.play or entertain while we had the other changing diapers, cleaning up snack, getting the cots out, dressing for outside. It was a lot of team work. I am so sorry you are not having the same experience. I really loved working with that age. I am sure you will get faster with diapers and stuff as time goes on... Hopefully some more seasoned providers will offer better advice?
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:42 AM
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My3cents My3cents is offline
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I am one person and have the same, sometimes more and I do it.

You have to be on top of your game all day.

Pre plan. Do more with the kids, or do less, look for the way they want to be lead.

If they are rowdy, get them outside, they need to move, or do planned activity, that separates the issues.

Also look at your space and see if you can make changes there that will be better for the group that you have.

Routine, even little like to know what is going to come next in the day.

best
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:50 AM
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SilverSabre25 SilverSabre25 is offline
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I have been there/done that/don't ever wanna do it again.

The best advice I have for you is a) get fast. b) learn to multitask and c) don't expect to get much done outside of the basics. Not with that many in that age group.

When I did it, I did a lot of assembly line style stuff. I sang songs and chatted about stuff during diaper changes. Read books while they ate lunch or snack. Everyone got their diaper changed, everyone sat at the table, everyone stayed until everyone was done, everyone got hands and face wiped at the same time, we moved as a big amorphous blob all of the time. And really, there was only about one block of time in a day when we weren't eating/diapering/napping/etc. And then, if we wanted to do anything, it had to be ready ahead of time, ready to just set out and let them go to town.

It *is* exhausting, it *IS* draining. It is very difficult but can be very rewarding if you don't set your expectations too high.
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Old 09-24-2012, 08:51 AM
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Is there anything I can do to infuse more fun into my day, both for myself and the kids? Any way I can curb my exhaustion?

get good sleep at night. Makes a big difference and when you can take a break, like nap time do it.

plan more and don't stress if your plans fizzle. separate the boys and teach them-

it sounds like your doing all this. Childcare is hard work and if your not wiped by the end of the day, it would make me wonder. It is mentally exhausting, physically exhausting and non stop. I have days where I wonder how did I do it? Mondays are usually hard. kids have been home for two days and they have to get with how daycare works again, because it is different then how home life is.

Sleep vitamins, and tons of pre planning and being good to myself on my off time are ideas on how I roll.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:06 PM
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thanks everyone!
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:36 AM
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cheerfuldom cheerfuldom is offline
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I think you are pretty much stuck....with that many young ones, really the only thing you can expect from yourself is to keep everyone clean and feed and (hopefully) napped. I would get the kids outside if at all possible because that should curb the fighting and attention seeking behavior. Besides that, you just hang on for dear life. Unfortunately, with that ratio, you will have to lower your expectations for anything other than basic needs.
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