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Old 03-01-2019, 07:58 PM
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Erma Erma is offline
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Default I Have Lost Myself In Daycare

Hi! This is my first post. I have been coming here for a few years, looking through threads and have found lots of great advice reading the posts of others.

I feel really lost.

I have a quality in-home program, degree in early childhood education, etc etc. I just... don't feel like I am anything but a person who takes care of kids anymore. I know my work/life balance is messed up. My husband is supportive and amazing, we have young children of our own. I have everything I need. And I just feel so worn out all the time. It is hard that I can't "punch out" and the daycare just floods into my thoughts so frequently.

It is winter, and cold and flu season and I am sure that has something to do with it, right? I went out to shovel, just to leave the inside of the house. I do volunteer work, also am in other meet up groups. I do not feel connected to anything right now, just like this profession takes more and more out of me. Not too long ago I loved it, and love the kids. It feels like something I don't know how to describe. Like I am merely some mothery child martyr archetype or something- I don't know if that really describes it. I know this has to be a hump, right? I feel so @#$%ing isolated and overworked. I question if what I do is meaningful.

It takes a lot of energy to pull a smile across my face and be chipper to parents, although I still feel silly with the kids a lot, I don't feel happy very often. Is this just- what it is? I want to spend my life with children, and would prefer to not feel this way, however I do not know what I am doing wrong, or need to look at or do differently.

How have you gotten through a hump like this if you have been through it?
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Old 03-02-2019, 07:47 AM
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Josiegirl Josiegirl is online now
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Glad you made yourself visible here and it'll help you to know a lot of us are experiencing many of your feelings and frustrations. Care-giving is a strong burn-out profession and I wish they offered more trainings on that very topic. And yes, this time of year is one of the worst for these feelings. It's so very important to make taking care of yourself and your own family, your first priority. Make sure you visit your dr., dentist, whoever else is on your list of health providers, regularly. That was a big mistake of mine. Then schedule time for just you, doing things you love and can escape real life with. Schedule time for your S/O and you, and finally schedule time for you with your own children.
Because this is such a personalized profession, involving ourselves with children and other families, we tend to give, give, give of ourselves before we realize we've given our all and have nothing left. I've gone through ups and down over my entire childcare career, swearing I was going to quit, but then that next month I was re-motivated either by seasonal changes or fun workshops I attended, changing up my dc or buying new equipment, tightening up my contract, etc.
Now I am in the final throes of offering daycare, haven't given anybody notice yet because I'm confused about a final date and not sure if I simply want to get out from under the state's thumb and only take the legal amount or retire altogether.
I do remember the most difficult years were when I was a mom of 3, still living with my dh, and most of the household chores were upon my shoulders. That was hard. I completely lost myself in that time period. Everybody always needed something and it was me they expected it from.
Perhaps you can delegate some of those types of responsibilities to someone else in your household? Can you afford to have a cleaning service come in once a month? Plan easy quick menus. Share babysitting services with a friend or neighbor to get out of the house more? Invite a friend over for coffee?
You said you do some Meet-up groups, good for you!! I wonder if there would be any way you could start one, involving motherhood and challenges or providers who are maxed out. Is there a good provider network you could join to gain insight into dealing with these feelings? Any fun workshops being offered? Can you take some long weekends? (I hope you charge by enrollment and not based on attendance? I learned that here because I never took time off, felt I couldn't afford it so that made it even worse). Find support whether IRL or online because nothing can help like other people knowing what you're going through.
There are so many ways to help alleviate burn-out. But if you've tried everything and it's gone on for far too long, maybe it's time to step back and re-evaluate where you want to go from here.
Good luck and hope something changes soon for you!!!
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Old 03-04-2019, 04:36 AM
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Cat Herder Cat Herder is offline
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It sounds like you may be hitting burnout. There used to be a huge sticky here about it. Found it: https://www.daycare.com/forum/showthread.php?t=66513

You are not alone. It happens to almost everyone. I added some tags below for you to check out.
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Old 03-05-2019, 08:47 AM
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LittleExplorers LittleExplorers is offline
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Hugs!

Can you find an outside group to belong to? Something to give you some me time? I started daycare 1.5 years ago and the lack of contact with the outside world daily is hugely noticeable. We get outside here if it is 0 degrees or above, even if it's only to walk down our driveway and get the mail.

I do daycare for teachers only so I get summer and all school breaks off. I am open short hours too. My husband teaches so we get a lot of family time this way. In all honesty, I am not sure I could do this year round without quite a bit of time off. I take a pay cut due to my hours but it is worth it!

Maybe you could look at what might interest you in a job outside of childcare and weigh the pros and cons. It might be that you need something else to feed your soul.
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