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Old 10-23-2018, 03:48 AM
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Default Finding That Spark Again??

For those who have been in this biz for awhile and are experiencing burn-out, how do you once again get to the point where you like what you do, want to learn more and improve, change things around, etc.?? Even short term providers....how do you stay motivated and interested/ing and can see yourself in it for the long haul??
I attended a food program workshop last night and embarrassingly admit, it's the 1st in person training I've attended since the last FP workshop a year ago.

I stayed very quiet last night, not wanting to be there and felt like an outsider to the whole thing. I recently turned 65 and the only thing I can think of is maybe retiring next year at 66. Well, I happened to sit beside a person, who I remember saying the exact same thing last year at a meeting, and last night she mentioned she's going for her bachelors. How does one change their mindset from wanting to get the he!! out to furthering their education in the field?? I can't even find the motivation anymore for attending trainings or hosting dcf events. My whole soul feels just all done in and tired.
I've withdrawn from the STARS program. I'm at the point where if I don't attend tonight's network meeting, then I'm done with those too.
Has anyone come back from feeling like this, to being engaged once again? I'd appreciate any and all insight because I am truly at a loss here.
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Old 10-23-2018, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Josiegirl View Post
For those who have been in this biz for awhile and are experiencing burn-out, how do you once again get to the point where you like what you do, want to learn more and improve, change things around, etc.?? Even short term providers....how do you stay motivated and interested/ing and can see yourself in it for the long haul??
I attended a food program workshop last night and embarrassingly admit, it's the 1st in person training I've attended since the last FP workshop a year ago.

I stayed very quiet last night, not wanting to be there and felt like an outsider to the whole thing. I recently turned 65 and the only thing I can think of is maybe retiring next year at 66. Well, I happened to sit beside a person, who I remember saying the exact same thing last year at a meeting, and last night she mentioned she's going for her bachelors. How does one change their mindset from wanting to get the he!! out to furthering their education in the field?? I can't even find the motivation anymore for attending trainings or hosting dcf events. My whole soul feels just all done in and tired.
I've withdrawn from the STARS program. I'm at the point where if I don't attend tonight's network meeting, then I'm done with those too.
Has anyone come back from feeling like this, to being engaged once again? I'd appreciate any and all insight because I am truly at a loss here.
I am the same way. I am much younger and simply feel done. I have training for the fp tonight as well. Wednesday my mandatory food handlers class at the health department. Then Thursday I go in for my biopsies results. I feel like that is gonna determine what I do next. I have been hired to teach adjunct for the local college and for an online school. It won't be quite enough starting out for me to close completely. I need experience teaching at the college level to get a full-time position. I have 3 families that I will keep and most likely give notice to soon on the rest. I loved this job but it is now too much stress on me. The parents have gone down hill in my area. The regulation changes make no sense. I too am burnt out and looking forward to the day I can close. I am hoping that it is soon.
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:09 AM
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I’ve recently gotten my mojo back (mostly), after feeling like you described for several years. I was super stressed out and sad from things going on in my life...my mom and brother both passed away after battles with illnesses, so that had a huge impact on my overall happiness. I’m over the big hump in that department now, and am finally having fun with daycare again.

I’ve started going to monthly in-person trainings again, presented by an early childhood teacher who is fun and excited about what she’s doing. The food program workshops don’t do much for me, but this lady has tons of great ideas, and I leave there ready to use them. Our local daycare association also brings someone in once a month to train on different topics. I plan to jump back in to those meetings as well. I think it keeps fresh ideas coming in, as well as helping us not feel so isolated.
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:20 AM
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I closed and got another work from home job. Im just over my year mark with the new job and I don't like it 😂 I miss the kids and the ability to do other things while being on the clock (spending time with my son, cleaning, meal prep, etc).
I'll end up taking 1 yr 8 months off before reopening as a half day preschool. I don't want to have other kids around 50hrs a week but I think I handle 16ish hours a week 😀 oh and it's going to be a school year only program.

Im ready to be back in my zone.
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:20 AM
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For me, my spark returned after I left the STARS program. We are back to art and pizza fridays, more free play, weekly themes, parties, and stomping in the mud. Yes, I still do the structured stuff and serve good food, but we live a little too.

I spend less of my time documenting my worth for people that will never read or acknowledge it. I put my energy back into the kids and they have soaked it up. The changes in them and I have been palpable.

I now choose my training classes based on my interests and the kids' current needs instead of checkboxes. It really has made a huge difference, here. I don't feel the need to sink more of my family's' money into a degree that will have no financial return for us. I am enough, already, and am priced out for my area as is. Sure the improved stats of degreed providers would help my State grab federal dollars if I got a degree, but it does not help my family or the DCK's.

Before QRIS, when I was feeling heavy and dragged down, I would pull out my copy of "Finding my smile again" or any book by Torey Haden. Torey has a way of inspiring me, I go in on Monday morning like Rocky takes the stairs. She reminds me of the greater purpose, not the drudgery.

Finding your smile again. : https://www.amazon.com/Finding-Your-.../dp/1929610939

Torey Haden Books: http://www.torey-hayden.com/the_books.htm
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:21 AM
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I know this is beating a dead horse but the only answer I've got is switch things up.

I've had years where curriculum is the main focus.
Hours spent on Pinterest and teacher sites collecting lesson plans and ideas, hours spent in educational stores looking for classroom display ideas and things to make teaching easier and more fun. Time spent making sure every kid I had in attendance knew "10 things all kids should knwo before going to Kindy" etc.. Going above and beyond not only meeting but exceeding the stars requirements.

Then I've had those years where I literally don't do anything other than play. Then it's hours on Pinterest looking for fun ideas and experiments that I can do with the kids. Thinking of ways to make memories and lasting impressions for every kid I have in care. Then scrambling during nap time and other small daily breaks making sure I atleast met the minimum requirements for the stars program.

I've also had years where I've focused on professional development and strived to find any and all educational classes and trainings that I could find...anything to continue being relevant and purposeful in this profession.

Sometimes, its business only... and I spend weeks, days, hours re-creating my forms, my handbook and my website and any paperwork or policies associated with my business.

Never though have I done all those things at once. It seems to go in streaks. Depends on so many factors and what area of my life I am seeking to fill at the time.
Sometimes I'm bored, sometimes I feel overwhelmed with state and star regulations, sometimes parents burn me out and sometimes it's the kids.

But every year, whatever part of "me" I feel is lacking is what dictates my purpose or focus at that time.

I think it's important to recognize which stage you are at; not in life so much but in general at the time, and then work hard to fulfill that.

If you are tired, give your self permission to relax and step back. Just being there for the kids physically is enough sometimes. Snuggles and hugs go a long way.

If you are mentally drained, then give yourself permission to not have to meet so many requirements for stars etc and just play. Play is awesome for adults too.

I dunno the right answer for you but I do know that we all go through it. I think the key is recognizing that you need change. Figuring out what part of your day, your program, your business or you yourself that you need or want to change is personal and something only you can answer but bottom line... I think it's a journey we all travel.

You are not alone.
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:57 AM
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I am only 1.5 year in, but I don't see this as long term, mainly because we will be taking over the family farm eventually. I changed my hours this year and it was huge. I also let go of a drama causing family. I watch teachers' kids only so no holidays or summers.

Can you pinpoint what is causing the lost mojo? Also, it is very common for most people to switch careers more than once in their life. Let yourself know it's ok to do so if you're not in it.
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Old 10-23-2018, 07:38 AM
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Hang in there, Josie! I do alot of online trainings and also attending face-face. Having a support system is huge....I have providers to text, call, email with. Even if I don't get a response, I feel better when I let things out because when I let them out, they don't seem so bad. KWIM! FCC can be so isolating...Some times it's two steps forward and ten back but some days it's ten forward and only two back but FCC seems to keep chugging. One thing I have tried to do is not allow what parents do to affect me. Bottom line, they either abide by my rules or they go....I am too old to deal with drama....not mastered this but am so much better at it. I think as we get older, too, things on the outside of daycare become bothersome....again...realize what can be changed and what can't!
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Old 10-23-2018, 08:14 AM
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While I can't offer much advice, I can let you know you are not alone.
I have been doing this 1.5 years next month and I wish I could quit.
I loved what I was doing when I first started!
Then I had some families take advantage of me, complain about everything, pay me late, send their sick kids here, complain when daycare would be closed but would send their children to me when they didn't have to work to have "a day to themselves". It's so mentally exhausting. I always joke that I never have a problem with the kids, it's always the parents.
I also struggle with not being able to leave my house. I can't go check mail really quick, I miss out on our son's school parties and assemblies. When I or my children have an appointment and I close daycare, some parents act annoyed like I work for them and need to cater to their schedules. It really stinks sometimes.
I tightened up my policies and that helped some. But some of the comments and complaining that come from a couple of my families is enough to drive me crazy sometimes.
It's draining.
BUT...I have some really awesome families who always let me know they appreciate me and what I do and that helps so much! It feels so nice to be APPRECIATED. Most of the kids I watch are also great, so that's a plus!
I hope not to do this for a really long time, but I could never make what I make at another job in our town, especially since I would have to pay for daycare! I also love getting to be home with my own kids, so I think of the really great things about this job and it makes me feel so much better
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:22 AM
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I have been there but managed to turn it around this year. I read an articke that someone posted on here about caregiver burnout and the one piece of advice that stood out was “look at ways that your situation is not working and think of ways to change it” which is what I did. I had one stressful kid leave for kinder and my day to day got so much better. I brought my kitchen downstairs so no more kids in my main areas ever, which relieved a ton of stress for me. I stopped stressing about feeding kids super uber healthy organic food and started feeding them food they enjoyed instead (still healthy!) and started making a plan for my week to do one or two focused activities to build upon and get back to my educator roots but putting zero pressure on myself.
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:32 AM
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CH, I actually have that book; need to pull it out and reread it.

I've gone through burn-out many times in the course of all my years doing this but it's never lasted this long. Maybe it's seeing the colder months coming again, maybe it's because I've pretty much taken myself away from the support system, maybe it was due to more regs., extra courses required, moremoremore, I don't know. Instead of bucking up and fighting to stick with it, slowly I've let everything slide where I just don'twannadoit and nobody can make me.
I'm happy just caring for and playing with the children. I don't want people expecting all that other stuff out of me anymore.
Two of my current dcfs came via referral through a former dcm who saw me in peak performance. Ya know, tons of fun family events, take home crafts every other day, involved with community stuff everywhere. Then burn out hit and I've stepped away from a lot of that. These 2 dcfs still seem happy here but can't help but feel I'm not what they were expecting. One dcm keeps hinting at having a potluck with everybody. I just can't even think about it anymore. Last 1 I hosted was a year ago when she first started; big autumn fest type thing. Can't/won't do it again.
Maybe it's the way I want to go out in this job, quietly not chaotically.
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:03 PM
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I started a program here that is called rooted in relationships. It is based off the pyramid model social emotional training. We have a coach that comes in once a month to help us learn strategies for our room. Its a 3 year program, the first year training was 4 times, second 3 times, and third year twice. I have learned so much and it has changed my whole attitude and room environment! You may want to see if anything likecthis is available in your area.
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Old 10-23-2018, 12:58 PM
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I was feeling very burnt out recently as well. I have only done FCC for 4 years and I plan to be done in 2-3 more only. Knowing that I was on the “way out” of this profession actually zapped my motivation more. To turn that around I decided to majorly simplify. I don’t buy much of anything new for the daycare and I am working on using up all of my arts and craft supplies etc. I also do only one activity per day on the same weekly rotation (Tuesday is park, Wednesday is sensory tubs, Thursday we paint and Friday is playdough). I have all 2-young 3’s so this works well both developmentally and for their interest level. I change each activity to suit our (loose) theme and to keep myself interested. I serve the same menu every week (with some variation of course) which also takes so much less “brain power” than I used to put in. Basically I made this job all about routine and consistency and spend the “extra” time I have now playing with the kids or doing a little organizing while they play together (always in the same room of course). I have decided that the biggest factor that helps parents feel satisfied with their care provider is that their child wants to come through my door everyday and they have fun here. I have tons of rules just like everyone else here but my shift in attitude has made all the difference. I end the week feeling accomplished for following my routine and I don’t stree thinking of how to prepare for the next week. The kids (my own included) feel the difference and enjoy me more as their “teacher”. This is the only way I can do this job now. Parents who want Pinterest and way-too-early academics won’t choose my program and that is just fine by me.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:52 PM
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I understand.

I'm 64, been doing this 34 straight. I've taken few days off and fewer vacations.

I was done last May. I lost 3 kids in one week. I wanted to quit. Unfortunately, I still need my income. I plan on quitting for my 65th birthday next May, unless I win the lottery.

For me, things changed when I decided to keep my 2 two year olds and not take anymore.

We do whatever I feel like doing. I have no daily plans beyond meals and nap. I feel like dragging out the paint, they paint. I feel like puttering in the yard, they go outside.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by daisymay View Post
I was feeling very burnt out recently as well. I have only done FCC for 4 years and I plan to be done in 2-3 more only. Knowing that I was on the “way out” of this profession actually zapped my motivation more. To turn that around I decided to majorly simplify. I don’t buy much of anything new for the daycare and I am working on using up all of my arts and craft supplies etc. I also do only one activity per day on the same weekly rotation (Tuesday is park, Wednesday is sensory tubs, Thursday we paint and Friday is playdough). I have all 2-young 3’s so this works well both developmentally and for their interest level. I change each activity to suit our (loose) theme and to keep myself interested. I serve the same menu every week (with some variation of course) which also takes so much less “brain power” than I used to put in. Basically I made this job all about routine and consistency and spend the “extra” time I have now playing with the kids or doing a little organizing while they play together (always in the same room of course). I have decided that the biggest factor that helps parents feel satisfied with their care provider is that their child wants to come through my door everyday and they have fun here. I have tons of rules just like everyone else here but my shift in attitude has made all the difference. I end the week feeling accomplished for following my routine and I don’t stree thinking of how to prepare for the next week. The kids (my own included) feel the difference and enjoy me more as their “teacher”. This is the only way I can do this job now. Parents who want Pinterest and way-too-early academics won’t choose my program and that is just fine by me.
Thank you for that!!! It's kind of been what I've been aiming for but feeling guilty that I feel like it's not enough anymore, according to new age parents' standards(think academics only), state standards, etc.
Two days a week I don't have the 5 mo, which is kinda nice because it means I can take the 2 toddlers up the hill for a walk, watch all the farm animals, enjoy nature. I've started looking forward to that special time every week.
Guess I just need to keep stepping back, tweak my schedule a bit, not make a big deal if everything doesn't go according to plan, and learn to laugh a little bit more again.
I'd still retire if I ever won big money. But simply coming here to vent, share worries and get ideas, know I'm not alone in my feelings and struggles....it all helps.

And I'm already on board with the simpler menu, and using all the arts/crafts supplies that I already have. Saving money there and less stress trying to figure out what I can feed the kids that will actually get eaten.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:59 PM
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Haha Sharlan, I find my days sometimes center around what *I* feel like doing too. You've taken away a lot of my guilt too.
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Old 10-23-2018, 04:57 PM
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Just before I was forced to retire (heart attack)I was feeling the same way.I at some level wished for an easy way out.That was not actually easy but it was a way out.I was devastated at first missing "my babies"and the business of the days.It took about 6 months to get myself used to the difference in my daily life.I was lucky that my husband had just gone back to work and we were covered by insurance.I eventually went on disability as I am on a lot of medications to regulate my heart. I miss the children and some parts of the days.I would tell you to do what makes your days happy.More play,routine and pick days for meals and activities just like other posters said.If you can Josie why not plan on retiring soon.Maybe then you could enjoy retiring sooner than later.Good luck.
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Old 10-24-2018, 01:37 AM
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Josie, if that dcm brings up the potluck again, ask her when she’d like to host it in her home!
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Old 10-24-2018, 06:27 AM
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Josie- can you add some "me time" days off? A day every few weeks aside from holidays to focus on you could be a big help. Otherwise- like Sharlan said do what you want with your program.
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:54 AM
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Josie- can you add some "me time" days off? A day every few weeks aside from holidays to focus on you could be a big help. Otherwise- like Sharlan said do what you want with your program.
Well, Thanksgiving weekend is coming up, and I just spent 4 days off, being sick, a few weeks ago. And taking the week of Christmas off; cannot wait to see my own kids!!!! Haven't seen my 2 dds since last Christmas and I miss them so much. Have a feeling that might be part of my issue too.
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Old 10-25-2018, 05:29 AM
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Ihope you took the day after Thanksgiving off.If not tell them now that you are closed that day.Anice 4 day weekend will do wonders. That day is an easier day to find care from relatives.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:23 AM
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Ihope you took the day after Thanksgiving off.If not tell them now that you are closed that day.Anice 4 day weekend will do wonders. That day is an easier day to find care from relatives.
Oh yes, it's in my handbook as days off; whether or not they all took note who knows. Have to do another note home anyways, to let dcps know of my upcoming schedule, going into the new year.

Rockgirl, I think I might have quieted the dcm down a little bit. Every once in awhile she'll suggest something like bringing a hot dish and she/I could hang out after work. She's such a wonderful and sweet dcm, she really is. But I told her by the end of my days I'm exhausted, and my nights are extremely quiet, just me and my dogs, I'm usually in bed reading by 7:30. No lie there.
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Old 10-26-2018, 06:57 AM
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Isn't it funny how sometimes daycare parents forget this is your job.Imagine how they would feel if their boss/supervisor wanted to bring a covered dish .Great I already worked 8 or more hours and you want me to stay late.Not to mention you would still have her child there.So now you are still working or at least having to clean up when they leave.If they leave late unless it is Friday night you will have to deal with a cranky child in the am All kinds of nope.Though we as providers are closer to our work its still a job.Idid know a provider that met with the moms once a month at a restaurant. No children even that for me nope.
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