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Daycare Center and Family Home Forum>Burning Out
4LittleAngels 01:45 PM 10-29-2013
Does anyone ever feel like they are burning out? I am an Army certified FCC home I work from 0530 to 530pm if not later Monday threw Friday. I have been doing this for 15 years but as of lately I feel burned out tired of seeing my house look like a daycare center( per the army's requirements) We have to live in Military housing so the space is limited and suggestions out there would be greatly appreciated.
blessed mom 01:49 PM 10-29-2013
I also work 12 hour days. What helped me was riding. I used to always have horses and then when I had my own kids there was no time. Well, I got back into riding. Now after a full day I run to the barn. I am so much more energetic when I get home. I have something to live for again...not just a paycheck to pay the bills but something for ME. Best therapy ever...and a lot cheaper and I am a happier mom and daycare provider. Find your "thing" and do it!!
Blackcat31 01:55 PM 10-29-2013

There are some really goo threads here about provider burnout. The absolute BEST reply I've read on here is this one:

Originally Posted by Cat Herder:
I am so sorry you are feeling this way. I do have a lot of great info on Provider Burnout to share, though.... Know you are not alone.


In a study conducted at the University of Maryland, by Susan Walker, PhD, in-home family daycare providers were proven to be particularly prone to personal stress. The factors that they stated contributed to this were: long hours (average of 60 hours a week), low pay (an average of $15,000 a year), and the low value of their job to the public despite the huge need for care. All of these factors deem daycare providers at high risk for burnout.

There are three stages of burnout:

1. Stress Arousal Stage Persistent irritability and anxiety
Bruxism and/or Insomnia
Occasional forgetfulness and/or inability to concentrate
2. Stress Resistance Stage Absenteeism or tardiness for work
Tired and fatigued for no reason
Procrastination and indecision
Social withdrawal with cynicism
Resentful, indifferent, defiant
Increased use of coffee, alcohol, tobacco, etc.
3. Severe Exhaustion Stage Chronic sadness or depression
Chronic mental and physical fatigue
Chronic stress related illnesses (headache, stomach ache, bowel problems, etc.)

So how do you know if you or a loved one is suffering from burnout?
Here are the early warning signs.

Chronic fatigue - exhaustion, tiredness, a sense of being physically run down
Anger at those making demands
Self-criticism for putting up with the demands
Cynicism, negativity, and irritability
A sense of being besieged
Exploding easily at seemingly inconsequential things
Frequent headaches and gastrointestinal disturbance
Weight loss or gain
Sleeplessness and depression
Shortness of breath
Feelings of helplessness
Increased degree of risk taking
Isolation, withdrawal, self-destructive thoughts

What do you do if you are suffering from burnout?

Take a break!!! Get a massage, meditate, hide, stare at a wall...get away!
Ask for love ones to lighten the load and help with your responsibilities.
Simplify your life. What can you take out?
Relax and nurture yourself.
Seek professional help if it gets severe.
Reduce your stress!!!

Know thy enemy...

Studies has proven that in-home daycare providers are more prone to stress than the average bear.
Yet there are little or no resources to daycare providers for reducing and managing stress.
Why is this? We can only suppose that everyone is too stressed out to do anything about it!

In a study of providers in Maryland:
37% of providers rated themselves as experiencing very high
or somewhat high levels of stress in the past month
54.5% had effects on health behaviors
51.7% enjoy their job less than typical population
35% report feeling bad physically
33.6% experienced strong moods


Stress is the excitement, feeling of anxiety and/or physical tension that occurs when
demands placed on an individual exceed his or her ability to cope.

We need stress in many ways. It helps us to survive, it is our fight or flight response.
It helps us to cross the street, move out of the way when something is thrown at us, be frightened
when somebody yells “boo”. We want to stay out of the way of danger so our body physically
responds to surprises so we don’t kill ourselves and we fear things.

Stress response: When challenged, the body undergoes a progressive series of responses that are first triggered by an external stimulus termed the stressor. The more prolonged and accelerating reactions produce an intense and severe disruption called strain. All of this moves the body away from homeostasis, the maintenance of equilibrium of the internal body functions in response to external changes.


Psychological causes
Life changes--events, circumstances or perceptions
Overload--too much to do, not enough time to do it
Insufficient resources--not enough money or time
Frustration--lack of happiness or fulfillment
Trauma or loss--death of a close friend or relative

External causes
Environmental strain (noise, temperature, etc.)
Substance abuse (alcohol/drugs)
Nutritional excesses (caffeine, sugar)
Nutritional deficiencies (vitamins or nutrients)

Personality causes
Anxious reactivity, hypervigilance, worry
Need for control,
Time urgency
Anger or hostility

Major sources of stress in daycare include:

conflicts with parents
role conflict
not being able to balance work and family
fairness in housework
feeling overloaded
not having enough time for family activities
not enough time with family
not enough money
conflict with their own family
not having enough children in their daycare

Other things that effect our stress:

Poor resource management: Time and money are precious and limited resources. Wasting either of these creates serious tension and stress. Unwillingness to delegate or let go of control also increases stress.

Personal relationships: Romance and love are exciting eustress experiences while conflict, jealousy and resentment are common distresses when a relationship breaks down.

Self-perception: Low self-esteem and self-confidence together with the absence of feeling connected or empowered, can all precipitate stress reactions. Taken to excess (self-confidence) these can lead to egoism and cockiness which will cause different stress reactions.

Beliefs and attitudes: Family scripts like "A penny saved is a penny earned," "A job worth doing is worth doing well" can cause undue stress and force the person to live up to an unrealistic image.


muscle tightness and tension
decreased immunity, increased sickness
aches/pains in back and neck
fatigue and lack of energy
headaches, migraines
digestive problems
depression and/or anxiety
decreased ability of movement
accelerated aging
These can lead to: high blood pressure; restricted movement;
ulcers; heart attack; cancer; stroke; etc.


Simplify your life
Avoid over-commitment and over-responsibility
Learn how to say "NO".
Delegate your duties, have others help you.
Eat right, exercise, get enough sleep
Relax and breathe
Take some time for you everyday


"It's not what happens to you in life that matters,
it's how you react to what happens to you that counts."

4 areas that you can reduce stress in your daycare business:

1. Daycare environment-
How is your daycare set up? Is it cluttered? Are toys and activities easily accessible? Is it bright and cheery or dark and dreary? What colors are the basic colors of the room? Does the area provide space to relax or is it constantly high energy? Did you know that you can use color and scents to induce different moods and tones in your house?

2. Business Practices-
Do your parents drive you crazy? Do they know what is expected of them? Do you have policies in place? Do you act like a professional? Did you know that you can train your parents how to treat you and your business? How do you find the balance between giving the parents what they want and keeping your sanity? Do you run your daycare like a business or like a babysitting service? Do you have preschool programs? What can you do to enhance your services to the family that you can have fun with?

3. Children-
Do the children know what is expected of them? Are you consistent with discipline or is it something you have to continue to revisit? Do children have a balance of relaxing and stimulating activities? Is there enough transition time between activities? Is there enough variety of toys and activities for each child's interests? Do you have engaging activities such as music, exercise or stretching, yoga, dancing, that keeps the children interested and allow them to use fine and gross motor control?

4. Your self-
Do you take enough time for you? (HA!--we all say) Do you think you DESERVE time for yourself? Do you know how to nurture your body, mind, and spirit? Do you exercise some everyday besides lifting kids on and off the diaper changing table? Do you have a hobby that you have been dying to take up? Is your attitude positive? Can you learn how to make some time for yourself everyday? Are you too serious or do you laugh things off easily? Do you over-commit yourself? Do you ask others for help? Do you take time off?
There are lots more to read:
Lil'DinoEggs 02:14 PM 10-29-2013
Originally Posted by 4LittleAngels:
Does anyone ever feel like they are burning out? I am an Army certified FCC home I work from 0530 to 530pm if not later Monday threw Friday. I have been doing this for 15 years but as of lately I feel burned out tired of seeing my house look like a daycare center( per the army's requirements) We have to live in Military housing so the space is limited and suggestions out there would be greatly appreciated.
We have a small house on military housing and it is so fustrating that even when I clean up, I have to see my work every day. When I feel burn out coming, I try something new. I might make my menus easier for a month, raid the lending library for new toys. I even changed availability. PCS season is almost over and that left full time spots open. I am now full almost everyday because of drop in care. This makes it nice that I may only have one kid for lunch and nap, keeps my days varied, and I make the same money working less because I charge more for hourly.

Also, look at for other military spouses that may offer a dance program, a second language, music teachers, etc. I have a dance teacher come once a month (I will be increasing it to twice, maybe four times a month). The kids enjoy a new person and I have an hour that I don't have to worry about kids fighting or needing to be entertained.
Tags:burn out, burned out, burnt out, provider burnout
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