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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Do You Feel Pulled?
EntropyControlSpecialist 05:14 PM 03-16-2014
Do you feel pulled in a million different directions? I am feeling like there is just too much I want/need to do...

I currently send home e-daily reports each day, report cards 3x a year, plan curriculum, pull out everything for the week, menu plan, launder the billions of washcloths and towels, tag hundreds of photos of kids so I can upload to each child's snapfish album, take care of my infant in the midst of this, etc. I feel like I have to in order to compete around here . Nothing can really be "let go" ALTHOUGH we are now having relaxed fridays where we just do fun things (show and tell, no writing practice, a science experiment, etc.).

I would LOVE to spend big $$$ on a new addition to our curriculum, plan better meals (have time to cook them?!), cook more for my own family, have a cleaner house, exercise, have SOME alone time, etc.

I feel like a turkey with its head cut off. I know we have discussed time management on here before but does anyone have tips for picking what is MOST important for business/family/self?
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Play Care 05:50 PM 03-16-2014
I stopped doing it.

I was sounding a lot like you do now. One day I was lamenting to a dcp that we hadn't had time to do the craft that went with our theme. She said to me "oh, I don't mind that he doesn't do that stuff here. That's why I send him to preschool"

But it was really my eye opening moment. I gave myself permission to stop planning so much and not feel every second had to be an Educational Moment.
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melilley 05:54 PM 03-16-2014
Yes! Today alone I: did 3 loads of personal and dc laundry, vacuumed, washed all my walls where the kids touched, wiped down base boards, dusted, made b-fast and lunch, cleaned 1 and a half bathrooms. Plus I'm trying to get things together for taxes.
Then this coming week, Tues is dd's music concert, Wed. is dd's conferences, Thurs. taxes, and then Friday dd's school carnival.

I don't do anything online for the dc families right now, I would have no time!

I know how you feel!
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CraftyMom 06:06 PM 03-16-2014
Originally Posted by Play Care:
I stopped doing it.

I was sounding a lot like you do now. One day I was lamenting to a dcp that we hadn't had time to do the craft that went with our theme. She said to me "oh, I don't mind that he doesn't do that stuff here. That's why I send him to preschool"

But it was really my eye opening moment. I gave myself permission to stop planning so much and not feel every second had to be an Educational Moment.
I scaled way back too! I was feeling so overwhelmed and had the same epiphany, that kids went to preschool for all the preschool things I was doing.

I find it double sided though...some parents don't expect a whole lot, while others you just can't please...the more you do the more they expect
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KidGrind 06:34 PM 03-16-2014
I feel some type of way. I can’t put my finger on it right now. I feel numb.

It looks like it’s going to be another snow day tomorrow.

for my DCFs…..

happy face for me.
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melilley 06:54 PM 03-16-2014
Originally Posted by Play Care:
I stopped doing it.

I was sounding a lot like you do now. One day I was lamenting to a dcp that we hadn't had time to do the craft that went with our theme. She said to me "oh, I don't mind that he doesn't do that stuff here. That's why I send him to preschool"

But it was really my eye opening moment. I gave myself permission to stop planning so much and not feel every second had to be an Educational Moment.
I have one set of parents like this. Everything dcb does here is either folded up right in front of me or they would mention it being left in the car or they would just look at it and not mention anything positive about it to dcb. I also used to do newsletters but only one dcp would actually pay attention to it so I stopped writing them.
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melilley 06:57 PM 03-16-2014
Originally Posted by melilley:
Yes! Today alone I: did 3 loads of personal and dc laundry, vacuumed, washed all my walls where the kids touched, wiped down base boards, dusted, made b-fast and lunch, cleaned 1 and a half bathrooms. Plus I'm trying to get things together for taxes.
Then this coming week, Tues is dd's music concert, Wed. is dd's conferences, Thurs. taxes, and then Friday dd's school carnival.

I don't do anything online for the dc families right now, I would have no time!

I know how you feel!
I guess I'm thinking more of at home rather than for dc.
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sahm1225 07:39 PM 03-16-2014
Yes. It feels like there's not enough time in the day, then I start not being able to sleep because I'm stressed, then I'm tired the next day and accomplish even less.

What works for me is reminding myself that I'm not superwoman and that it's okay to not get everything done. You run a very successful preschool (you are successfully self employed. That's a HUGE accomplishment!). Your kids won't remember how spotless your house was growing up, but they will remember the time you spent with them.

Stop putting so much on yourself. It's okay to Sometimes sit back and relax. You NEED that sometimes. Your dck will survive if you don't make new meals (some might even like it better that your lunches are the same favorite ones).

I get overwhelmed when I write a to do list, but it felts to refocus me. Pick 2 things off your list to accomplish every day, that's it.

How about exercising with your dcks?
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BumbleBee 09:34 PM 03-16-2014
Yes, I feel the same way. Though unlike many of you ladies here-when I feel overwhelmed with everything to do I end up doing nothing. The daycare area is clean & put together. Everywhere else in the house is the exact opposite. I'm embarrased to even admit that. It's disgusting.
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Meyou 01:17 AM 03-17-2014
I totally feel that way about home life. I'm currently on strike from cooking for one week other than dinner. Noone helps me clean without begging so I'm not doing anything extra this week to make extra work for myself. My teens had their rooms cleaned while they were at their dad's (eye opening!) since they took off without cleaning them AGAIN. I even bought paper plates to use for the DC kids for the next week.

My goal is that they will be hungry and want to do dishes more by the end of the week. Ambitious? Yes. Am I bitter? Double Yes! WIll it work? Probably not but at least I won't be chained to the kitchen.
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Meyou 01:19 AM 03-17-2014
Originally Posted by Trummynme:
Yes, I feel the same way. Though unlike many of you ladies here-when I feel overwhelmed with everything to do I end up doing nothing. The daycare area is clean & put together. Everywhere else in the house is the exact opposite. I'm embarrased to even admit that. It's disgusting.
I've been there. Set a 15 minute timer, grab a basket and put things where they go for 15 minutes and see how much better it looks. It helps alot, I promise. I used to be a terribly overwhelmed housekeeper but the 15 minute thing helps me out daily. You can do anything for 15 minutes, right?
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Cat Herder 06:49 AM 03-17-2014
"tips for picking what is MOST important for business/family/self?"

Write down each goal on notebook paper,double spaced. (like family dinner, dck's photo album, your kids photos albums, report cards, laundry, creating childhood memories with your own kids )

In the border rate them on a 1-10 scale of importance to:

* your FAMILY in red.
* your DCK's in blue.
* your DCP's in green.

That will make it all a bit clearer.

After you have done that decide what stays, goes, can be done more efficiently and what can be done less often, write that under each goal. There is your starting point.
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cheerfuldom 07:06 AM 03-17-2014
I cut back a lot on daycare a couple years ago. I don't offer preschool curriculum but surprisingly (or not ) all of my kids have gone off to preschool or kinder and done well. I am happy to be a babysitter only. No preschool curriculum, no forced crafts. I keep the kids clean, happy, and safe, thats it. No reports home unless the parents provide the sheets or apps....only one parent took me up on that. No regular photos, no website, no facebook group......just take a break from whatever you need to do. I dont even take enough photos of my own kids, definitely not going to use my family time tagging hundreds of daycare photos.

Its up to you what you want to provide and if the sacrifice is worth it. All I am saying is that it is OKAY to cut back. You know what? I am still almost always full, still have happy families and good references, recently raised my rates.
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Scribbles 08:19 AM 03-17-2014
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist:
Do you feel pulled in a million different directions? I am feeling like there is just too much I want/need to do...

I currently send home e-daily reports each day, report cards 3x a year, plan curriculum, pull out everything for the week, menu plan, launder the billions of washcloths and towels, tag hundreds of photos of kids so I can upload to each child's snapfish album, take care of my infant in the midst of this, etc. I feel like I have to in order to compete around here . Nothing can really be "let go" ALTHOUGH we are now having relaxed fridays where we just do fun things (show and tell, no writing practice, a science experiment, etc.).

I would LOVE to spend big $$$ on a new addition to our curriculum, plan better meals (have time to cook them?!), cook more for my own family, have a cleaner house, exercise, have SOME alone time, etc.

I feel like a turkey with its head cut off. I know we have discussed time management on here before but does anyone have tips for picking what is MOST important for business/family/self?
I haven't been a frequent poster but I have been a frequent reader and I notice that you have some of the same issues as other providers....keeping kinds enrolled, finding new kids to be enrolled, pain in the butt clients, parents dropping sick kids off, families pulling their children for preschool attendance etc so I guess the way I look at it is why are you giving up so much of your personal and family time for parents that don't give even half that to you?

From your posts, you seem like a really great provider and one that runs an excellent program so if I were you, I would really take a long hard look at what things you can let go of. I'm sure the parents will hardly even notice some of it. And the stuff they do notice, you can just tell them with all the follow up you've had to do for families who haven't been following your rules and policies, you just don't have the time anymore to go so far above and beyond.

I read a post by someone on this board that said she required parents that wanted documentation or daily reports to print off their own and bring them to her daily and the parents of course didn't do it...so it just goes to show you that they want you to do the work but they don't care about it if they have to do it.
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Laurel 08:21 AM 03-17-2014
Originally Posted by Play Care:
I stopped doing it.

I was sounding a lot like you do now. One day I was lamenting to a dcp that we hadn't had time to do the craft that went with our theme. She said to me "oh, I don't mind that he doesn't do that stuff here. That's why I send him to preschool"

But it was really my eye opening moment. I gave myself permission to stop planning so much and not feel every second had to be an Educational Moment.

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dalman 09:40 AM 03-17-2014
I fell into this back in December. I decided to only do crafts/projects when it worked for me. The curriculum I have has craft almost everyday and it was too much for me. The most important goal of children before kindergarten is to learn social skills, large motor skills and some of the basic pre-k concepts. Why was I stressing myself out to run a preschool? The parents don't expect it. They take their kids to preschool in the mornings (great break for me). They just want a safe, loving, relaxed learning environment for the children. Children learn through play more than seat time. And I think the children are happier now. I rotate large playsets to promote imagination and social skills. A creative thinking child will grow to be a creative, thinking adult. I love to hear the children playing together.
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Laurel 09:48 AM 03-17-2014
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom:
I cut back a lot on daycare a couple years ago. I don't offer preschool curriculum but surprisingly (or not ) all of my kids have gone off to preschool or kinder and done well. I am happy to be a babysitter only. No preschool curriculum, no forced crafts. I keep the kids clean, happy, and safe, thats it. No reports home unless the parents provide the sheets or apps....only one parent took me up on that. No regular photos, no website, no facebook group......just take a break from whatever you need to do. I dont even take enough photos of my own kids, definitely not going to use my family time tagging hundreds of daycare photos.

Its up to you what you want to provide and if the sacrifice is worth it. All I am saying is that it is OKAY to cut back. You know what? I am still almost always full, still have happy families and good references, recently raised my rates.
Exactly!!
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daycarediva 10:48 AM 03-17-2014
I have two college courses, 55-60 hour work week, 4 kids and a husband. I do what I can.

Here is how I get it (or MOST of it) done.

I do paperwork (state and sheets for each kid) during AM free play.

I do anything else on my to do list at nap.

If it doesn't get done at nap, I seriously don't do it until the next day.

I plan and put out 1 new center a MONTH now. I have a stockpile, but I used to do a new center every week. TOO MUCH. For both me, and the kids.

Something different is out daily, but it's something I rotate, not something new.

Free art is the basis of our art/craft time, I do a processed art project on occasion, must be SUPER SIMPLE.
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daycarediva 11:15 AM 03-17-2014
Also- I no longer plan my own curriculum. I used to purchase it (MGT) and it was just too much teacher led. I come up with things the children are interested in, and plan activities and centers around that. Teacherspayteachers.com is the BEST resource. I go under category, prek, and find awesome free (just push print!) or very low cost ($1-$5 for a bundled pack) of center ideas, games, etc all related to that specific theme.

Now my 'lesson planning' time is "Hey kids, what do you think you might like to learn about next week?" they give me ideas, we take a vote, I go on teacherspayteachers and push print. 15 minutes for the week, TOPS.
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melilley 11:48 AM 03-17-2014
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom:
I cut back a lot on daycare a couple years ago. I don't offer preschool curriculum but surprisingly (or not ) all of my kids have gone off to preschool or kinder and done well. I am happy to be a babysitter only. No preschool curriculum, no forced crafts. I keep the kids clean, happy, and safe, thats it. No reports home unless the parents provide the sheets or apps....only one parent took me up on that. No regular photos, no website, no facebook group......just take a break from whatever you need to do. I dont even take enough photos of my own kids, definitely not going to use my family time tagging hundreds of daycare photos.

Its up to you what you want to provide and if the sacrifice is worth it. All I am saying is that it is OKAY to cut back. You know what? I am still almost always full, still have happy families and good references, recently raised my rates.
Same here. I thought about doing a more formal "preschool" curriculum, but my kids seem to enjoy doing what they are interested in. Sure, I have a weekly theme, but it's geared towards what the kids like and I don't have to do it. My parents are all happy with what I do too. I honestly don't think anyone would care if I did do a more formal preschool curriculum. But I also don't think of my dc as a preschool either.
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jenn 01:06 PM 03-17-2014
Originally Posted by cheerfuldom:
I cut back a lot on daycare a couple years ago. I don't offer preschool curriculum but surprisingly (or not ) all of my kids have gone off to preschool or kinder and done well. I am happy to be a babysitter only. No preschool curriculum, no forced crafts. I keep the kids clean, happy, and safe, thats it. No reports home unless the parents provide the sheets or apps....only one parent took me up on that. No regular photos, no website, no facebook group......just take a break from whatever you need to do.

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misslori50 03:53 PM 03-17-2014
just let them play they are small children
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EntropyControlSpecialist 04:11 PM 03-17-2014
Originally Posted by misslori50:
just let them play they are small children
Wish that was what parents wanted but it is NOT.



Thank you everyone else for your suggestions!!
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Annalee 05:06 PM 03-17-2014
Originally Posted by EntropyControlSpecialist:
Wish that was what parents wanted but it is NOT.



Thank you everyone else for your suggestions!!
I felt like you at one point, but then at a parent meeting I literally took each play center and showed how each areal taught something.. literacy, social emotional, physical, etc.....I explained that we do have group time with some instruction but the majority of the time the children are learning through the environment of my program. Each month brings different materials depending on the themes I have chosen. It is much easier and less stress doing this....for me anyway! I do give calendars for the month and each day has a specific idea/activity, but my parents understand most things are hands-on. There is always the 1 or 2 parents that are thorns in my side about this, BUT after 20 plus years.....they can get over it! Good luck to you !
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