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Old 06-18-2015, 07:03 PM
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Unhappy My Home Isn't My Home! - Advice Needed

This is long. I need advice from people who have their daycare in their home.

How do you guys handle having your home always be public? I feel like I can never get any peace because someone is always showing up at my door. Like last Sunday.. I was looking like a mess, cleaning all day and playing with my kids. All of a sudden there's a knock on the door.. so I answered it not knowing who it was, and it was someone looking for daycare! I was in raggedy old clothes with my hhair literally piled on top of my head from the night before. It was MYYY day to look like a mess if I wanted to. But now I can't stop having anxiety attacks about these parents telling the whole town that I'm unprofessional and dirty.

Plus, with the day to day I'm always worried about how my home appears and about having parents show up unannounced. Had a ton of garbage this week? Well it looks awful overflowing at the top of my driveway on trash day. Kids are all napping and I need to poop? NOPE parent shows up when I'm smack in the middle of my business. Cooked some delicious food last night? Well that gross food smell is lingering in the morning when everyone is dropping off.

I feel like I'm ALWAYS on duty, even off hours

Someone help me figure out a balance!
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Old 06-18-2015, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Jujube835 View Post
This is long. I need advice from people who have their daycare in their home.

How do you guys handle having your home always be public? I feel like I can never get any peace because someone is always showing up at my door. Like last Sunday.. I was looking like a mess, cleaning all day and playing with my kids. All of a sudden there's a knock on the door.. so I answered it not knowing who it was, and it was someone looking for daycare! I was in raggedy old clothes with my hhair literally piled on top of my head from the night before. It was MYYY day to look like a mess if I wanted to. But now I can't stop having anxiety attacks about these parents telling the whole town that I'm unprofessional and dirty.

Plus, with the day to day I'm always worried about how my home appears and about having parents show up unannounced. Had a ton of garbage this week? Well it looks awful overflowing at the top of my driveway on trash day. Kids are all napping and I need to poop? NOPE parent shows up when I'm smack in the middle of my business. Cooked some delicious food last night? Well that gross food smell is lingering in the morning when everyone is dropping off.

I feel like I'm ALWAYS on duty, even off hours

Someone help me figure out a balance!
You're putting WAY too much thought into it, in my opinion. Your clients know; or at least mine do, and yours should, this is first and foremost, my HOME! It's not going to always look perfect, there will be messes made and left to clean up later. Trash will be overflowing the garbage can, especially after Christmas! My families are all very understanding and know that this is also my home. They also respect it as such.

WHY is someone showing up on a Sunday? I wouldn't be worried about what I looked like when I was telling them to get off my porch. Weekends are my time, I don't do daycare stuff on weekends.

Call me; email me, text me. If I'm not busy, I'll respond. But don't come to my house. And if they have anything to say about you being a hot mess, ask them what they wear when they clean the house?

I do feel pressure a lot of the time to keep the house cleaner than I would just for my family, but none of my daycare families would ever complain if the house was a mess as long as it wasn't a health hazard. There are days where we don't clean up at the end of the day and the mess remains in the morning at drop off. I couldn't care less. The messiness of my house doesn't determine the quality of care I give.

I actually stress HEAVILY to my new interviews that there WILL be messes. My primary focus is on the children I have here. If they require my attention, no I'm not going to ignore them to clean up the spilled water.
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jujube835 View Post
This is long. I need advice from people who have their daycare in their home.

How do you guys handle having your home always be public? I feel like I can never get any peace because someone is always showing up at my door. Like last Sunday.. I was looking like a mess, cleaning all day and playing with my kids. All of a sudden there's a knock on the door.. so I answered it not knowing who it was, and it was someone looking for daycare! I was in raggedy old clothes with my hhair literally piled on top of my head from the night before. It was MYYY day to look like a mess if I wanted to. But now I can't stop having anxiety attacks about these parents telling the whole town that I'm unprofessional and dirty.

Plus, with the day to day I'm always worried about how my home appears and about having parents show up unannounced. Had a ton of garbage this week? Well it looks awful overflowing at the top of my driveway on trash day. Kids are all napping and I need to poop? NOPE parent shows up when I'm smack in the middle of my business. Cooked some delicious food last night? Well that gross food smell is lingering in the morning when everyone is dropping off.

I feel like I'm ALWAYS on duty, even off hours

Someone help me figure out a balance!
I refuse to give out my # or address in my ads... my website has the info a family might need to see if they want to use my services; they want to interview, "send me your info" thru my contact page... i never allow in person meet & greets unless I set them either; Tues - Thur only after my babies go home. It's a safety issue as I am a single person and my kids are grown & gone ( husband died years ago)
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Old 06-18-2015, 08:53 PM
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Thanks AuntTami, it's good to hear that other providers aren't super cleaning heroes either! Maybe I just need to address it with the parents so they know im not going to be a slave to my home. Im already a slave to the kids! Lol


LysesKids - I never give my address either. The state lists it and unfortunately this isn't the first time someone has just shown up It really causes me so much anxiety! I haaate unexpected visitors
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Jujube835 View Post
Thanks AuntTami, it's good to hear that other providers aren't super cleaning heroes either! Maybe I just need to address it with the parents so they know im not going to be a slave to my home. Im already a slave to the kids! Lol


LysesKids - I never give my address either. The state lists it and unfortunately this isn't the first time someone has just shown up (But last time it was a set of Jehovah's witnesses that wanted to talk about my spiritual/religious responsibility to the children I watch ) It really causes me so much anxiety! I haaate unexpected visitors
Maybe you could post a sign on or near your door with hours of operation listed? With a note at the bottom that all daycare inquiries should be directed to ..... (your phone number).

(And I always check to see who it is before answering. Esp on weekends
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:04 AM
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I don't have a doorbell but I do have 2 dogs that announce when anyone is here. Due to an elderly neighbor of mine that used to come over 2-3x a day, I hardly ever answer the door anymore. If I'm expecting dcps to show up, the dogs go into the bedroom. I also try to remember to keep my door locked. Nobody says you have to answer it, especially on a weekend! In all my 30+ years of caring for children, I've only had 1 potential dcf come knocking looking for dc.

As for neatness? I'm not going to sacrifice the dcks' time for making sure my home is spotless. I had a Saturday interview with my most recent dcf(last summer) My house was spotless and dcd asked me how I kept it so neat. I said well, it's Saturday. No kids are here and I was expecting you. I was honest that it wasn't going to always look like that.

I keep the floors picked up somewhat due to tripping hazards, and the dcks are expected to help with that. But by the time Friday rolls around, you can hardly see my kitchen shelves.
And the dcks can definitely be helpful in keeping it picked up, even dusting and simple chores like that, just the same way they should be helping at home. Don't think slave labor, think being part of a team.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:11 AM
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I remember a dcm I had, she had her only child in her early 40's and babied that child like you wouldn't believe. That child had more allergies, more visits to the chiropractor, etc., than you'd believe. She was allowed to do pretty much anything she wanted to...oh I could tell you stories. Anyways, dcm came in one day convinced her child was allergic to just about everything. She asked me what kind of vacuum I had, how many bags I went through vacuuming every week, even checked behind my couch to see how clean it was.
She finally pulled her dd because at the time I had all boys and her dd wasn't playing with dolls at home, she preferred cars and trucks. So she moved her to a dc that had more girls. What ended up happening was her dd did NOT get along with the girls there and dcm wanted to bring her back. Sadly I was full.
In other words, don't stress over it, and don't try to keep appearances up to the point where you're a nervous wreck and sacrificing your time, your family's time or dcks'. Any good dcf worth having will understand why there are toys scattered about, stuff on the kitchen shelves.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by childcaremom View Post
Maybe you could post a sign on or near your door with hours of operation listed? With a note at the bottom that all daycare inquiries should be directed to ..... (your phone number).

(And I always check to see who it is before answering. Esp on weekends
This.

If someone were rude enough to show up at my home at a Saturday without an appointment, I wouldn't care what they thought of me.

I feel as though my house has to be clean, but because I prefer it that way. I love that as soon as my work day ends, I put away the last few toys and my house looks like a house, not dc. I will NEVER have child sized furniture and posters hung "just so" for the kids. EVER. Just like a regular FAMILY house
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:53 AM
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You're putting way too much stress and thought into this. My house is open to DCFs from 6-6, m-f. Otherwise unless I've made an appointment with you, I'm off work and not "at the office". A parent showing up unannounced on the weekend looking for care will still be looking because I'm not going to even consider dealing with them.

You are running a service business out of your home. I'm not "on" for current or possible DCFs- I do things my way for the benefit of my family. If that helps clients, great. If not oh well.

If all else fails pretend you're in Frozen and sing "Let it Go" a few times
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Old 06-19-2015, 07:00 AM
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How rude!! You aren't a center, this is your home! Ugh. The nerve of some people... I have a business sign at the end of my driveway and, along with my business info, it also says "tours/visits are by appointment only". There's also one on the front door.
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:05 AM
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I have a large sign in my front yard advertising my daycare. I have gotten numerous in person inquiries, but they have all been within daycare hours. (Even that is a bit stressful!) Its just my personality to worry about the appearance of my house to strangers, so I completely understand your situation!!
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jujube835 View Post
This is long. I need advice from people who have their daycare in their home.

How do you guys handle having your home always be public? I feel like I can never get any peace because someone is always showing up at my door. Like last Sunday.. I was looking like a mess, cleaning all day and playing with my kids. All of a sudden there's a knock on the door.. so I answered it not knowing who it was, and it was someone looking for daycare! I was in raggedy old clothes with my hhair literally piled on top of my head from the night before. It was MYYY day to look like a mess if I wanted to. But now I can't stop having anxiety attacks about these parents telling the whole town that I'm unprofessional and dirty.

Plus, with the day to day I'm always worried about how my home appears and about having parents show up unannounced. Had a ton of garbage this week? Well it looks awful overflowing at the top of my driveway on trash day. Kids are all napping and I need to poop? NOPE parent shows up when I'm smack in the middle of my business. Cooked some delicious food last night? Well that gross food smell is lingering in the morning when everyone is dropping off.

I feel like I'm ALWAYS on duty, even off hours

Someone help me figure out a balance!
So glad I am not the only one who always feels stressed out - especially about lingering cooking smells.

The only advice I have is to remember that you are human and only capable of doing so much. Any worthy DCF will know and understand the same.
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jujube835 View Post
This is long. I need advice from people who have their daycare in their home.

How do you guys handle having your home always be public? I feel like I can never get any peace because someone is always showing up at my door. Like last Sunday.. I was looking like a mess, cleaning all day and playing with my kids. All of a sudden there's a knock on the door.. so I answered it not knowing who it was, and it was someone looking for daycare! I was in raggedy old clothes with my hhair literally piled on top of my head from the night before. It was MYYY day to look like a mess if I wanted to. But now I can't stop having anxiety attacks about these parents telling the whole town that I'm unprofessional and dirty.

Plus, with the day to day I'm always worried about how my home appears and about having parents show up unannounced. Had a ton of garbage this week? Well it looks awful overflowing at the top of my driveway on trash day. Kids are all napping and I need to poop? NOPE parent shows up when I'm smack in the middle of my business. Cooked some delicious food last night? Well that gross food smell is lingering in the morning when everyone is dropping off.

I feel like I'm ALWAYS on duty, even off hours

Someone help me figure out a balance!
Just the way I think of things....

This is my family's home, and I happen to run a daycare in it.

This is NOT a daycare that we happen to live in.

See the difference?

If you think and speak this way, your potential clients will learn to view it the same way. And if they don't? Eh, you wouldn't want to work with them anyway.

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Old 06-19-2015, 08:23 AM
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My kitchen counter also looks like a wreck by the end of the week. It makes me feel like a failure sometimes. I'm glad to know, that I'm not alone.
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Old 06-19-2015, 08:31 AM
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My kitchen is also a disaster by Friday but hey that's life. My kids are clean, fed happy and my house is clean and tidy (maybe not clutter free). That's what the parents really care about. They all have homes to and I'm sure mine is a heck of a lot cleaner then theirs and they only spend evenings and weekends in theirs. Mine houses 6-8 daycare kids on a daily basis. Plus my SO, dd, dog and cat. I think we all do pretty good
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Old 06-19-2015, 10:04 AM
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That's extremely rude, but probably most of us have been there. I think a small sign is a great idea, and never post your address anywhere. My door is always locked and I would not open it to anyone you don't know.

After experiencing rude and horrible parents over the years, I have gated my home and they pretty much are regulated to outside or to the foyer. I also have it written in my policy about kids kicking the door, ringing the door bell etc. because as a home there are other people, and neighbors to consider. For me, the changes I made after some incidents helped a lot. And now if I get a rude parent I don't mess around, I terminate them pretty quick if it's not going to work.
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:05 AM
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Regarding smells; because I'm always paranoid my house smells like dirty diapers...
If you aren't familiar with essential oils, they do work wonders. I don't buy into the direct sales ones (like Young Living or DoTerra, although I have used them and they work fine too), but I buy mine right off Native American Nutritionals website. They have one called Purify that removes smells from the air.
You diffuse it (so you would need a diffuser, which you can buy off Amazon for around $20). I think the oil was around $10.
I also have a car diffuser and use it in my van occasionally. Works awesome.
Some people also diffuse it to remove airborne germs, although I don't think that's a proven fact.
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jujube835 View Post
This is long. I need advice from people who have their daycare in their home.

How do you guys handle having your home always be public? I feel like I can never get any peace because someone is always showing up at my door. Like last Sunday.. I was looking like a mess, cleaning all day and playing with my kids. All of a sudden there's a knock on the door.. so I answered it not knowing who it was, and it was someone looking for daycare! I was in raggedy old clothes with my hhair literally piled on top of my head from the night before. It was MYYY day to look like a mess if I wanted to. But now I can't stop having anxiety attacks about these parents telling the whole town that I'm unprofessional and dirty.

Plus, with the day to day I'm always worried about how my home appears and about having parents show up unannounced. Had a ton of garbage this week? Well it looks awful overflowing at the top of my driveway on trash day. Kids are all napping and I need to poop? NOPE parent shows up when I'm smack in the middle of my business. Cooked some delicious food last night? Well that gross food smell is lingering in the morning when everyone is dropping off.

I feel like I'm ALWAYS on duty, even off hours

Someone help me figure out a balance!
I don't know how long you have been providing child care in your home....but time does have a way of helping with your issues.

You will learn how to set guidelines with interviews, etc. to meet your schedule. You will learn how to set up your contract to benefit YOU and YOUR FAMILY.

Do your have a support group or mentor in your area....maybe a child care resource & referral that could help you with some of this. Networking with other providers like on this forum will work wonders. Having someone actually hands-on come to your home to help would be AWESOME!

I only say this because I now mentor but still have a mentor as well and I could not make it some days without a text, email, call, etc. My daycare is still in my home but I have been blessed the past few years to have built on a large room with kitchen and batroom so I can close it off at end of day. to you as you grow as a provider. Hang in there
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:00 PM
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So glad I am not the only one who always feels stressed out - especially about lingering cooking smells.

The only advice I have is to remember that you are human and only capable of doing so much. Any worthy DCF will know and understand the same.
I have two teenage boys. I am always running around opening windows in the morning and hoping the, um, body odours are gone by the time I open
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:05 PM
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I have two teenage boys. I am always running around opening windows in the morning and hoping the, um, body odours are gone by the time I open
I have two sons 11, and 13 and y'all aren't giving me any hope for the future because I thought they would grow out of "who can be the smelliest"

Raising the window works the best for me because my motto is "the only thing worse than a stinky smell is a covered up stinky smell". I do not like using smelly fragrances to cover up stink. I like the old bleach solution that usually takes care of the smells!
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Old 06-19-2015, 05:41 PM
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Thank you all so much! I'm hoping to gain your confidence in the future. I did make a sign for my door today! I'm hoping for no more crazies
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