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Old 09-16-2015, 09:11 PM
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Default Exhausted/Frustrated

How do you long timers do it? I've been licensed a few months and I'm exhausted and frustrated at the same time. I signed on my first family before I officially had my license in hand so I figured that filling the other spots would take no time. Well its been a few months and I get mainly calls for infants. The 2 and up crowd I'm not having much luck with. If I do get calls for the older kids they ask my prices and I don't hear from them again or they set up interviews and are no call no show. I know some of the calls I get for quotes are my competition and that doesn't bother me because heck I did the same thing before I opened. What bothers me is the ones that call and act like my quote is too high ( I make about $3 per hour). I'm exhausted by the time the family I have leaves and I still have to clean and prep for the next day not to mention doing homework/projects with my own kids taking care of dinner, chores, plus spending time with my family. I feel like I'm under paid! My question is how do you ladies/gentlemen balance it all with out losing it. My husband told me I was over cleaning and that no daycare does a major cleaning everyday so I'm not as anal as I was trying to make sure the house was spotless for the next day but my fear is what if I have an inspection and they knit pick everything. I entered into this profession because I love working with kids but I need to be able to turn a profit to help provide for my family.
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Old 09-17-2015, 05:14 AM
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I think when my own kids were still young was when it was hardest for me too. Not so much getting clients, but making it all work with my own family and still having energy left over at the end of the day. And back 30 years ago, there were nowhere near as many regulations as there are now.
But the up side is that there is so much more support nowadays than there was back then too.
Do you belong to some kind of network or group of provider friends? Letting off steam, getting new ideas, etc., has helped save me over recent years. Clients will come, yes they will. This is definitely a feast or famine profession but as you gain exposure in the child care world, word will get around.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:23 AM
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You have to carve out time for yourself or you will burn out. If that means scaling down cleaning to a quick pickup or kids getting their homework done during daycare hours so they can help with supper, then do it.

As for the enrollments- it does take time but you will find them.

Startup is always stressful. You'll get there.
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:26 AM
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Not a long timer, so no advice but I completely understand. I think the first couple months are the hardest, for me at least. I had a great job, that I enjoyed and made decent money at. Fun coworkers, breaks, all the things that I don't have now. But I never saw my kids. And working the shifts I was working was making childcare difficult to find. The hardest thing for me to wrap my brain around is the fact that I work harder than I ever have in my life with these kids and I earn third world hourly wages. Oh, and the fact that I have always viewed the raising of children to be such important work and I feel like most other people in my life are like "so.......you're babysitting now?" I have young kids myself and my teenage brother in law so sometimes it's hectic, but on the whole I feel blessed. You're not alone and the women (and men!) on this forum are amazing. Hang in there!
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Old 09-17-2015, 06:55 AM
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I feel for you.When my children were young I found it most challenging.I would add what it would cost for me to put my children in afterschool care ,beforeschool care and or daycare.When you put that together with your pay its a lot more value.Like the comersials say being home when your kids are sick or have a day off priceless. As far as cleaning goes wash down table ,sweep or vaccum only if needed.Once a week for big cleaning is enough. Try to have down time for yourself daycare is a great job.Family time iss worth it.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:07 AM
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I also found it challenging when my children were younger. It just always felt like I was always working!

Some things that have helped me are developing routines. Whether you have one child or 10, start making a daily schedule of some sort. Get the kids used to some kind of routine. It doesn't have to be set in stone, but at least a general sense of what-comes-next. Ideally, this gives you down time in the afternoon (quiet time is 12-3 here) so that you can clean, chill a little, maybe start dinner, do some laundry, etc. It's not going to be perfect (I have a new one year old that isn't with the program here yet). But, it's good for you and for the kids to have some sort of routines.

Also, make sure to get out once in a while. Even one night a week where your DH is in charge and you do something away from the house will help. Cabin fever is a dangerous side effect of this job, especially if you are in a winter climate area!
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:26 AM
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Read up on provider burnout.

Get an advanced copy of "Finding your smile again" for childcare providers.

Stop seeking perfection, simplify what you can. Don't keep score.

Get organized.

Do not neglect your marriage. Do not be a martyr. At the end of the day this is still just a job.
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Last edited by Cat Herder; 09-17-2015 at 07:33 AM. Reason: adding meme that makes me laugh
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2015, 07:49 AM
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relax and be patent
what every one else says for sure
the longer you do this the better you get at it all
and the children will come
licensing does not care about an untidy lived in house they want to see a safe house
I do much my cleaning in the am when I feel more energised
sorry about the spelling ...still early here ...lol
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
I also found it challenging when my children were younger. It just always felt like I was always working!

Some things that have helped me are developing routines. Whether you have one child or 10, start making a daily schedule of some sort. Get the kids used to some kind of routine. It doesn't have to be set in stone, but at least a general sense of what-comes-next. Ideally, this gives you down time in the afternoon (quiet time is 12-3 here) so that you can clean, chill a little, maybe start dinner, do some laundry, etc. It's not going to be perfect (I have a new one year old that isn't with the program here yet). But, it's good for you and for the kids to have some sort of routines.

Also, make sure to get out once in a while. Even one night a week where your DH is in charge and you do something away from the house will help. Cabin fever is a dangerous side effect of this job, especially if you are in a winter climate area!
^ What she said. This job is just nuts if you don't get into some sort of routine and stick with it. It's the only way to make sure you get even close to everything done. This is my second year and I am still overwhelmed sometimes. I homeschool my own 3 kids and I'm taking a college class online as well, and I am never caught up. You sort of just have to be okay with that, I think. You learn over time how to prioritize what is really, vitally important and let the rest fall in as time/ energy allows.

I also second getting away by yourself at LEAST once a week. Last night my husband took our kids to church with him and I had the house to myself -- it was BLISSFUL. Nothing fun or exciting, but for 2 hours I could sit by myself in a quiet house without anyone fighting or needing something from me.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
Do you belong to some kind of network or group of provider friends? Letting off steam, getting new ideas, etc., has helped save me over recent years.
I belong to a few Facebook groups but they can be a bit intense at time. People getting offended easily or taking screen shots of heated conversations. I just lurk in the background and mainly pay attention to the craft or meal ideas. My fav is this forum. Thank you guys for your response. I feel alot better =)
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  #11  
Old 09-17-2015, 04:08 PM
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If you're interested in a copy of "Finding Your Smile Again" by Jeff Johnson, as Cat Herder mentioned, I have a copy you can have. It's damaged from a leaky ceiling but perfectly readable.
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Old 09-17-2015, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
How do you long timers do it? I've been licensed a few months and I'm exhausted and frustrated at the same time. I signed on my first family before I officially had my license in hand so I figured that filling the other spots would take no time. Well its been a few months and I get mainly calls for infants. The 2 and up crowd I'm not having much luck with. If I do get calls for the older kids they ask my prices and I don't hear from them again or they set up interviews and are no call no show. I know some of the calls I get for quotes are my competition and that doesn't bother me because heck I did the same thing before I opened. What bothers me is the ones that call and act like my quote is too high ( I make about $3 per hour). I'm exhausted by the time the family I have leaves and I still have to clean and prep for the next day not to mention doing homework/projects with my own kids taking care of dinner, chores, plus spending time with my family. I feel like I'm under paid! My question is how do you ladies/gentlemen balance it all with out losing it. My husband told me I was over cleaning and that no daycare does a major cleaning everyday so I'm not as anal as I was trying to make sure the house was spotless for the next day but my fear is what if I have an inspection and they knit pick everything. I entered into this profession because I love working with kids but I need to be able to turn a profit to help provide for my family.
Not a long timer, but my first year was awful! I had my three at home, plus my most difficult dck's. I frequently had random people commenting on how tired I looked. For me it just took some time to get into a routine that worked for me and my family, learning what can be let go and what can't. Of course, also applying the many good suggestions the awesome providers here have posted.
I realize I'm not offering any real advice. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone.
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2015, 03:16 PM
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I only had four dck when my own kids were preschoolers and the dck were.2-4 yrs. two full time, two part time. They were all girls and played so nice together!

I got back into DC when my kids were 2nd and third grade and built an addition. Dedicated daycare space is the only way I can handle family child care.

Do you care for really young kiddos? That can be draining. Do you have down time during the day? I always relax from 1:00-3:00. Do you relax in other ways? Take care of you? That's important.

{{{Hugs}}} to U! This can be difficult! Try different things.
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  #14  
Old 09-22-2015, 08:13 AM
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If this isn't working for you....think outside of what daycare is regularly. There is a huge niche of people looking for different hours, outside of the 5 day a week, 12 hours a day model. If someone needs Tuesday/Thursday only, charge a little more. If you only want to work 4 days a week and have a Friday or Monday off (for those 3-day weekends) or a Wednesday off to get you through the week, go ahead and do it. I've learned in the past 2 years that I had to change my schedule to what worked for me. I wanted to spend time with my own kids and not feel like they were actually making my life harder (VERY hard to do daycare with your own kids - something about having other kids in their home space and differentiating between mom and daycare provider).

When my 5-day a week baby moved...as much as I missed her...I realized it was a huge opportunity to change my schedule and fix my burn-out. I moved to a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday hourly rate format. I moved to an hourly rate, lower for potty-trained, higher for diapers, and just had more kids in those 3 days. I had to wait a little longer to get the right 2 and up crowd, but it worked out. Now, I make more per hour, but work less hours. It works out to what I was making being open for 5 days a week for 10 hours - about $550 a week. I have two under 2, one 4 year old on a regular basis and a 4 year old on a drop-in basis. It made my life soooo much easier! Now, I have 4-day weekends, and I can spend a lot more time on myself and with my family.

Final note: You don't have to do what everybody else is doing. Make your own way. You are a business owner, and you are the only one putting yourself in those restrictions. If you don't like it, change it.
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