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Old 09-18-2019, 12:43 PM
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Ac114 Ac114 is offline Member
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Default Taking Time Off

Does anyone else feel guilty or struggle with taking time off and having parents upset. I know this sounds so silly but I have the hardest time making, keeping or attending important appointments for fear of taking time off. I donít have a back up person for things like this. How do you guys overcome this anxiety? I took off July 4th and 5th. Then had a vacation schedule September 9th-13th (first vacation since Iíve started doing daycare a little over 2 years ago) and now have to take October 7th off for behavioral therapy appt for my son. My husband is not his biological parent and they said I have to be there for the 1st assessment appt and then my husband can take him to his following appts. Iíve neglected seeing an ENT (for hearing loss), my annual female doctor visit and my husband takes our children to their ped appts but I would also like to attend these appts. This sounds insane as Iím writing this out that I feel like Iím taking too much time off. I donít have a limited amount off stated in my contract and only 5 paid days off, paid holidays and any days outside of that are unpaid. Anyone else struggle with this?
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:05 PM
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CountryRoads CountryRoads is online now Member
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I still feel some guilt, but not as much as I used to.

I'm usually open on Columbus Day, but I had to make an appointment and was able to get in on that day. All my families except 1 have that day off. I was thinking "great! It won't affect as many families as me having to go another day. Win for everybody!" But, I'm a little scared to tell this one dcm, because she loves having days without her kids when she's not working. I know she's going to be disappointed.

I look at it like this:

While I hate causing inconveniences for my families, they chose a home daycare. I would hope that means that they understand that I also have appointments and other obligations (just like they do) that sometimes cause an inconvenience. If they want guaranteed care with no closures, they can pay the premium prices at a center - although, even they still have closures. The center in my town is closed more than I am.

I took several days this summer where I closed down just to spend time with my kids and I didn't feel bad one bit. Thinking of all the times parents brought their kids to me while they had a day off and took time for themselves made it easy for me to not feel bad

I also have a section on back up care in my policies. It basically states that they are responsible for back up care and that I will try to give as much notice as possible, but there may be times when it is last minute.

I also don't charge when I close, so that also helps me not feel as guilty.

Try not to feel bad! I know it's hard and I struggle with it, too. You need to take care of yourself and your obligations, too
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:09 PM
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284878 284878 is online now
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Location: Michigan
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I just closed or closed early every other Wednesday this summer so that I could take care of all my appt. Then once that was done I went on vacation. I choose Wednesday because I only had one child that day when I made the appts. I offered to let her come on Tuesdays instead-but DCM turned me down, she was not working but she was looking for a job. (I offered because I do not charge when I am closed and it meant more income to me.)

As the summer went on, I added a child but that DCM was told upfront what days I was going to be closed.

I am now caught up on all my appts and won't have another until my six months dental in Jan.

I try not to feel bad, but there are some families that try a guilt trip.

I have all pt families, when I announced my days, I only told the family that it affected, I know that if I had told another family, that DCM would have flipped knowing I was closing that much.

To help me, I use to track the number of days that I closed for any reason. (illness, appt... ) It reassured me that I was not going overboard.
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:39 PM
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Josiegirl Josiegirl is online now Member
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I used to feel terribly guilty. I always gave them a lot of notice and tried to group appointments all on one day or make the appt. for the end of the day so I only needed to close an hour early. When I felt really guilty was when I got sick and had to take time off with very short notice. It's hard! But it's very important to schedule self-care in along with everyone else in your household!!
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:50 PM
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Snowmom Snowmom is offline Member
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Location: USA
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In the beginning, yes, I stressed a bit thinking I had to be open as much as possible.

Now, I couldn't care less what they think. What switched my thinking? Because I refuse to neglect my own needs in favor of those who do not appreciate the sacrifices we make for them. May sound harsh- but it's true.
Over the last several years, I treat this as business only. I have no vested interest in families other than an arm's length business relationship.

I do what's best for the business and what IS best is to keep myself happy, healthy and sane.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:34 PM
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Baby Beluga Baby Beluga is offline Member
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I feel guilty.

I go out of my way to schedule appointments on the weekend or on vacation weeks (one week in the summer and the week between Christmas and NY.) My summer "vacation" was anything but. It was filled with appointments and medical procedures for DH.

I get burnt out as what ends up happening is all of my holidays and vacations are not true holidays or vacations - they are tending to appointments. Same with the weekend. Weekends are spent going to the appointments I can't do during the week then prepping and grocery shopping for the next work week. It's insane. The last "fun" thing I did on a day off was in MAY.

DH really wanted us to take DS on a day date when DD is in school as that had never happened before. I do take my families schedules into consideration if I can and try to plan around that. I looked through school schedules (teacher clients + many of my kids have older siblings so I try to align days off with school days off as parents have already made back up plans.)

I found a day in October that worked, gave 30 days notice and a nanny who picks up read the notice and says "I think that will be okay because XYZ."

Ummm. No. There is no "I think." I am closing. I am not charging.

I was pretty offended, but tried to see things from her side (nanny position vs self employment position and the differing rules each role has.)
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:58 PM
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CountryRoads CountryRoads is online now Member
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I also want to add that I have had almost all of my families inconvenience me and my schedule at some point without caring how it affected me.

A negative way to look at it? Sure. But still true.

If your families are the same way, just another reason to not feel bad
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:46 PM
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e.j. e.j. is online now Member
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I do feel an obligation to be open when I say I'll be open so I do feel sorry - rather than guilty - when I have to close without warning. Having been a day care parent, I know last minute closings can be a major inconvenience so I try hard to schedule appointments around my day care schedule when I can but I do warn parents when they interview that I'm human and will get sick from time to time and that if they choose me as their provider, they need to have a backup plan. When I do close without warning, it's usually more because I went to bed feeling fine but woke up sick with something the kids have been passing around like a stomach bug or Strep so I'm usually too miserable to feel any kind of guilt! My thought process then is more along the lines of, "Well, if you hadn't blamed your kid's vomiting on 'something he ate' I wouldn't be sick and I wouldn't have had to close today!" vs. feeling guilty.

When my kids were younger (and more recently) I made the decision to close on Fridays. It allowed me to have one day of the week open to attend IEP meetings, doctor and dentist appointments, etc. It definitely helped to keep the feelings of guilt at bay since I was doing what I could to keep unexpected closings to a bare minimum. I know that's not an option for everyone, though.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:41 AM
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littlefriends littlefriends is offline
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I wouldnít say I feel guilty about it but definitely nervous that someone will get mad about it. But I agree with others that say itís a home daycare and they know Iím the only worker. Iím a human being too and thereís going to be things that come up. Sometimes you have lots of time ahead and sometimes you donít. Especially if you have kids of your own. My oldest has an appointment for school that I have to take him to and I was only able to give one weekís notice. I was able to work it out that Iíd just open an hour and a half late that morning. Still had one parent complain of course. She wanted to know if Iíd be prorating her tuition for that day!
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:43 AM
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Annalee Annalee is offline Member
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I take alot of days off and I get paid 52 weeks a year. When you add them up, it looks like alot but it's really no different than if I worked at another job....i.e. state holidays, extra days around July 4, Labor Day and Memorial Day, professional days, Christmas-New Years, some family/personal days, etc. My emergency days are unlimited. I tell my clients during interview so they come in "knowing" how it will be.

Another reason I close rather than get a sub is due to the state's guidelines. I do not want to risk a sub being unqualified as this is my livelihood and I do not want some state entity to come in while I am gone and the sub not know exactly what they want to see. Just too risky. I explain during interview that this is my business and supports my family and there are guidelines I have to follow therefore this is how it will be.

My peace of mind is much more important to me than in the beginning. I worry so much less about what clients think within reason. Not harsh, just realistic.
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:02 PM
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Meeko Meeko is online now
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Don't feel guilty.

There will always be parents who somehow feel you should be available 24/7 year round. I've had people cuss me out on the phone when they ask about weekends and I tell them I am M-F only.

I have kids in care right now that would be here Christmas Day if I said I was going to be open.

You will seldom please every single one of your daycare parents.

So take what time you need and they can like it or leave. You have a life...and just like them, you need to see a doctor or a dentist or go to an appointment. Anyone who doesn't understand that, needs to go elsewhere.
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:11 PM
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AmyKidsCo AmyKidsCo is offline Member
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Location: Wisconsin
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I don't feel guilty but I do sometimes worry that parents will leave for a group center because they don't have to close to give staff time off. On the other hand, parents take off here and there on days I'm not closed, so I feel entitled to my time off too. It's not my fault if they don't make sure their days off coincide with mine.
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Old 09-20-2019, 03:28 PM
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Ariana Ariana is offline
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You are a people pleaser, I am too. Once I sorted that out and read some books on boundaries and people pleasing it helped me a lot. I am not perfect but I have changed a LOT!! You feel bad because you think you are doing something wrong and upsetting others but you’re not! If they get upset because you took time off or erected a boundary that is THEIR problem.

When I read the book “Find Your Smile Again” he talked a lot about how providers don’t take time off for themselves and how it contributes to poor mental health and burn out
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:27 PM
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Pestle Pestle is offline Member
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Location: Tennessee
Posts: 1,668

I used to feel guilty. Then I started taking more time off so I could be present at my kid's school events, and I actually feel less guilty, because I'm paying attention to how often the school is closed for holidays and teacher work days.

I'm closed much less often.

When the kids age out of my program, the parents will have to find childcare to cover MORE days than they do right now.
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:36 AM
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daycarediva daycarediva is online now Member
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Originally Posted by CountryRoads View Post
I also want to add that I have had almost all of my families inconvenience me and my schedule at some point without caring how it affected me.

A negative way to look at it? Sure. But still true.

If your families are the same way, just another reason to not feel bad

I have a substitute now, but before I had her, I did feel somewhat bad for SOME families for taking time off.

I would close 1/2 days for any possible appointments (or ideally, early appointment, late opening to avoid parents picking up late.

I also scheduled all of MY OWN appointments on one day. Gyno, mamno, annual checkup, eye dr, dentist, even a hair apt one time on my birthday. I treated myself to lunch out and it was done for the year. A ROYAL PITB, too.

I did late openings for my own kids pedi appointments. Scheduled them at 9 am, opened for DC at 10:30. Plenty of time (most of the time).

I gave notice as far in advance as I could.

Now I have to give them notice the day of for my substitute, but I still take about the same amount of time off. Only my families barely notice. (my business account does though, it's expensive!)
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:09 AM
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Ac114 Ac114 is offline Member
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Posts: 577

So I informed all the families and no one seemed upset and if they did oh well. I was able to schedule 3 appts that day! Yay! I usually give as much notice as possible for appts or days off but my son’s behavioral therapy assessment could only be schedule within 2 weeks per the practice and even then they pushed it out as far as possible.

Thank you ladies for keeping me sane and making me feel better about the situation!
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Old 09-24-2019, 11:42 AM
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Annalee Annalee is offline Member
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i have found that clients can make it work if they want your services. My nurse mom contacts me every four weeks about the following months schedule for me as she plans her work schedule. While I know all jobs are not this compatible, some parents could plan better than they do. It is not my problem how they make it work; it is simply their responsibility to do so.
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Old 09-24-2019, 12:27 PM
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DaveA DaveA is online now Member and Bladesmith
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Illinois
Posts: 4,193

I don't feel guilty at all. I make sure I take all my vacation days (unpaid), added birthday and anniversary as paid holidays (10 total), and close (unpaid) if I need to do something for my family. I'm very upfront/ blunt with parents that while I strive to provide excellent value & customer service I run my business to suit the needs of my family first. I tell them that some of the main reasons I've made it 15 years when a large number of providers only last a year or 2 is

1)DCPs will hear the word "no" from me if they ask me to do something I don't want to.
2) I take enough time off that I can get stuff done I need to and still have ample time to have a life outside of work.

Do what you need to do and don't give it a second thought.
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