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Old 08-16-2019, 12:18 PM
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Unhappy Burnt Out?

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I don't think I can keep running a daycare anymore. I think this is the burn out stage. I watch 8 kids right now. 2 are my own, 1 is part time, 2 are extremely difficult toddlers. The parents I have are pretty good to work with most of the time. I'm just so tired of my things being destroyed, my kids' things being destroyed, the snot and germs and drool. I've worked as a custodian at a university and the nastiness these kids bring around by far outdoes everything I encountered as a custodian. AND IT'S IN MY HOME... All the damn time! Parents are always pushing at my rules. Kids tantrums are getting so tiresome. Imagine my peaceful, quiet home in the morning and I'm relaxed wandering through the house getting stuff ready for the day and then... piercing my walls from the driveway comes the sound of an extremely angry toddler because of a blanket. The flopping on the floor, screaming, snotting, and drooling continued until I put him in his crib to calm down. He's 2 and produces more snot and drool then I have ever seen in my life as well as having an oral fixation. Ugh. Not how i like to start my day and it usually happens every day. I have the argumentive 4 year old dcg who will not take responsibility, follows everyone around repeating the same thing over and over for hours until she annoys the daylights out of the other kids and me but refuses to back off or take no far an answer. I have one dcb (almost 4y) who hasn't pooped in 2 weeks (common occurrence- of course he doesn't feel very good) I can't believe his parents won't take him to a Dr. I have the 2yo who hits, takes toys, wrestles, and is just plain mean (he thinks it's all fun and games). My 2 own kids aren't usually difficult but they get annoyed with all of the others in their space and get tired of the daycare rules/scene in their own home. They have different rules during family times. My part timer is also very easy to care for but is a relative so similar parenting style. The 1 year old is also super easy but bites the obnoxious 2 year old when he picks on her.

My life is: cook, clean, break up fights, scold, put in time out, change diapers, wash hands and faces, take potty... Repeat...repeat...repeat...

When I try to do fun crafts and activities it turns into chaos and demands and fights among kids.

And I get paid terrible. Like 17,000 per year after expenses even with the food program terrible. That just doesn't seem worth taking care of 8 demanding children for 50hours a week not including the fact that I spend one of my weekend days doing business stuff (invoices, menus, food program data entry, etc ), getting groceries, prepping for the next week of hell.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:00 PM
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Can you term the difficult ones and keep the rest? I don't think its the children I think it's the parents
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:15 PM
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Can you afford to cut back on one of the stressful families? Making it easier for a while could help you to get back to your groove.
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:50 PM
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Can you cut back on the amount of children you care for and get rid of the difficult parents or kids.

I was so burned out at one point, that i ended up terming a bunch of families. After a lot of thought on what my kids and I needed, I decided to close on Fridays and I started to offer part time care ONLY. I offered families only 2-3days a week so I never had to spend that much time with a difficult kid or parent. My area had a NEED for part time providers, so it really worked well for me.

I also felt having Fridays off made a huge difference for my kids, who were getting a little sick of the daycare rules and crowd all week long. I also learned to term if things just weren't working out. I learned to be very communicative with parents about issues and found my backbone about enforcing rules, including a 3 strikes and you're out policy.

Best of luck, I hope you find a groove that helps you get through the day! If it makes you feel any better, I closed about 2.5 years after making all these changes. Sometimes daycare just isn't for everyone
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:49 PM
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Can you see yourself getting out of dc entirely? Get into a different field? Would you be able to take a month or two off, regroup and start out with a whole different crew, different policies, etc.?
Burn-out is a hard thing to deal with in this job because there is just no escape. It's in your brain, day in, day out. It becomes your life. If you can narrow your burn-out down to the major issues and reinvent your job somehow, it can work out. If you can find some inspiring and motivating classes to take, that can help re-energize you.
I've bounced in and out of burn-out so many times I lost count.
Let's face it, dc is not a glamorous job. And it's draining. Take care of yourself first so you can take care of others.
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Old 08-17-2019, 09:58 AM
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I can totally empathize with your situation I don’t have difficult kids but definitely can relate to some of the other stuff.

Please get the book “finding your smile again” and read the sticky on this page about burnout. Some great resources. I think it is easy to say give up but if this is your only way to earn money I would do that as a last resort. Boundaries are key and from your post I can see that you feel exhausted, under appreciated and without any joy because of a lack of boundaries and tolerating way to much crap that you do not want to take. You have to know yourself and what you can handle and then stand up and create some boundaries around your mental health. My kids had their own toys and daycare kids were not allowed to play with them unless my kids said so. They also had different rules from the daycare kids and that helped a lot. They felt special. I went to an educator conference and the people there said this was a healthy thing to do.

Right now for me it is boredom so I am trying to make a plan to get rid of boredom as best I can. I also hired a cleaner to do some of my cleaning so that on the weekends I can get out of the house and have fun! I want my entire weekend to be devoted to getting out and having fun. No more cleaning on the weekend. Every little bit helps
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Old 09-30-2019, 12:56 PM
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Thank you so much everyone! I was very "stuck". 2 kids started school and I termed the "germy" tantrum 2 year old. I love my job again . It's amazing the difference it made! The other naughty 2 year old behaves a bit better in a smaller group and is finally starting to respect the other kids when they tell him no or move away from him when he's being aggressive. I have 5 during the day now but will be adding a baby soon (my nephew). The pay cut is hard with only the 5 (1 is mine so only paid for 4) but it's worth it.

If I fall in a rut like I did before I'll probably cut the aggressive one to keep my number at 5 or switch to only pt as suggested. Having my Fridays off would be amazing. I work all day sun now so being able to actually have 2 full days off and use that 3rd day for trainings, taxes, grocery shopping, appointments, etc. Sounds so tempting. Im a little nervous about starting a part-time adventure though because in the past part-time parents try to flip flop days which I hated and it's really hard to get kids on a schedule so I stopped taking pt and drop in. Maybe it'd be worth it for that Friday off though!
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Old 10-01-2019, 11:10 AM
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The decision to let a couple kids go last year made all the difference for my sanity. It was like a light switch got flipped. I was able to be so much happier!
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Old 10-08-2019, 10:46 PM
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I am terribly sad about your situation but wishing you the best and reminding you that you are doing the best you can.
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