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One Month After Closing: Do I Even Still Exist? LOL

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  • One Month After Closing: Do I Even Still Exist? LOL

    I'm writing to see if this is a common experience. My gut tells me it is. Since closing my daycare about a month ago, it is as if I never existed to the families I served. Maybe that's a bit dramatic. If they see me at the park, they will say hello and be polite. But I certainly feel that any interest in me as a human being was solely because I was providing a service. I have one parent who claims we are friends. Maybe we are. But in the two years of watching her kids, we have hung out one time. I have suggested probably 4 or 5 times that we get the kids together for a visit. She enthusiastically agrees. But it never happens. I know people are busy, but I just don't buy it.

    My husband does not want to believe that my uncomfortable feeling of being forgotten is accurate. He wants to believe people are nice and caring. I am of the mindset that people, except the ones who really love you, only socialize with you if you are of some kind of use. That is why his social life is so active, and mine is not. He is a very useful man with many connections and lots of expert advice to give on a variety of subjects. Me? Not so much. I do intend to seek a social life and build one that is strong, but I do it with the understanding that it will be based on my usefulness, what can I teach, what can I provide, what can I give someone?

  • #2
    It’s very common. They were a big part of your life but you aren’t a big part of theirs. Kwim?
    Yes, you cared for their children so you felt close to them and their family and knew a lot about them but in their eyes you weren’t a part of their family as they didn’t spend everyday with you although their children did. Much like teachers.
    Hoping that makes sense? Your feelings are very common though.

    I doubt they don’t care, it’s just that your intimate relationship with their children meant being close to the kids. It doesn’t automatically mean the parents feel the same though.

    Comment


    • fivestarday
      fivestarday commented
      Editing a comment
      That makes a lot of sense. But it hurts! LOL I'm laughing at my own sensitivity here.

  • #3
    This just proves how, at the end of the day, we are a business! The closest family I had was a family with four children which I cared for over a 9 year span....always dreaded them leaving as it SEEMED we were so close! While it didn't end badly, it just simply ENDED! Just thought there would be more aforethought and feeling. Taught me a valuable lesson!

    Comment


    • Blackcat31
      Blackcat31 commented
      Editing a comment
      True! It doesn't mean we aren't a valuable service it just means we were a service. From a parent standpoint, I don't keep in contact with my children's old provider nor do I stay in contact with any of their elementary school teachers etc.

      It used to bother me but I've learned over the years that there will always be families that still try to keep in touch and are definitely the exception to the norm but a majority of families rarely keep in touch so it is what it is and it makes it much easier to deal with if we accept from the beginning that we are a business first and foremost.

    • Annalee
      Annalee commented
      Editing a comment
      Yes, BC! very few stay in contact UNTIL they have a grandchild, niece, nephew, etc LOL

    • Alwaysgreener
      Alwaysgreener commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree with BC, we are a business and when you see someone that you deal with outside of their business do you insist on having a conversation or lunch with them, I know I don't.

      I have two old clients that work for businesses that I frequent and other than small talk at the counter or a small wave I do not converse with them or try to make plans.

  • #4
    When I closed I wanted the clean break. The idea of parents contacting me the first few weeks after I closed sounds like a low layer of H e l l. I keep up to date with some former families on Facebook and am glad to run into them at the store and such. Otherwise I had zero interest in interacting with them after I closed. But while open I also had a hard and fast “no socializing with clients” rule after a DCM tried to cross a major boundary early in my career.

    The thing that sent me off the deep end a couple times was our local R&R. They didn’t take me off the provider list despite multiple emails & calls. Getting “do you have openings?” calls for a year afterwards was frustrating to say the least

    Comment


    • Annalee
      Annalee commented
      Editing a comment
      Agree with the no contact! I play dodge-the-kid & family at Walmart many times... LOL

    • fivestarday
      fivestarday commented
      Editing a comment
      I guess what I was hoping for was getting a bit more credit for the time spent. I got paid for it and I should be happy with that. But overall I feel like we lack community where I live. I wanted to build a kind of community through these families, so we could support one another and just enjoy the social aspect of being parents of young ones a little more.

  • #5
    I went to a birthday party of someone in my daughter’s class this year. Saw two families I used to care for, they wouldn’t even look at me. Lol. Did NOT leave on bad terms either. Both were very friendly and engaging while their kids came to me. One I expected. She was always just straight business. And when I saw her in school previously I would try to make eye contact to just wave and say hello and she would ignore me. The other, I was shocked. Normally she would say hi. She had contacted me a year ago to watch her son after school actually. And I got back with her and let her know I could and then I heard nothing. So I don’t know if that had something to do with it. Maybe she never got my text and thought I ghosted her??? Who knows. It did throw me. It did hurt my feelings. Regardless, it’s just best for me to be all business, no going to birthday parties, no socializing outside of work and if I see someone outside, a wave and a hello is sufficient.

    I have seen other families though out that I used to keep and they approach me and everyone is friendly and normal. 🤣 and this was after I was done watching their kids. So it makes me feel better it was more a them issue and not a me issue.

    Comment


    • fivestarday
      fivestarday commented
      Editing a comment
      LOL See that story right there just makes me think about how completely odd people are. There are definitely families I would not speak to because they left on poor terms. But others not so much. I don't know. I think I'm actually pretty lucky compared to a few of these stories. I am always friendly to a woman who used to watch my son if I see her out. I know what kind of work she endures and I just think she is cool, period.

    • MissCait
      MissCait commented
      Editing a comment
      Even if I had not done this, I can’t see myself ignoring my old daycare provider. If I was in a hurry, maybe see myself dodging them so I don’t have to stop and say hello. But not ever in a way where it would be obvious I’m ignoring them. Like seriously?? It is odd. This area I live in though, I’m not a fan and I have very differing views than A LOT here. I don’t really fit in anyway.

  • #6
    Oh sure. There's only been an occasional family that I even checked in with over the years.
    Most of them, I'm SO glad they were done (since most leave around the age 5 and I HATE that age). I still wish them well and am grateful for the experiences I've had while doing this job. But in the end, it was just business.

    Comment


    • fivestarday
      fivestarday commented
      Editing a comment
      I totally get that feeling. Is 5 more talkative than 4? Please say No. LOL My son is 4.5.

  • #7
    I had a family leave yesterday. Dcd see you around and I commented back with, actually (other then dcm cousin who I see at church) I never see families "around", it is very rare. He was surprised.

    I don't avoid them, other then my favorite term, I just don't see them.

    My town is not "small" but not big either.

    Comment


    • #8
      The first teacher I can remember was in 3rd grade. I expect that is common for most kids.

      The families I am close to are the ones with grandparents I went to high/trade school/college with or babysat in high school/college.

      In my first 15 years in business, I rarely kept in touch. Things changed when I became older than my clients by 10 years or more, I became more like an aunt to the DC parents. Those previous parents my age group or older kept their distance after leaving to keep their secrets on their own. They had their training wheels off and were racing through parenting, they wanted all the credit while competing with the other PTA moms. Having me around reminded them of a time when they did not have it all together and that is unpleasant and awkward. It feels like a regression, kind of like having to stay a couple of weeks with your parents in your late 30's. "No, I won't feel better with a little rouge and lipstick, Mom!! I am just going to the mailbox!"

      Comment


      • #9
        Anytime a family has left, I was more than ready for them to leave!

        I only have one family I keep in contact with. They were my very first family enrolled and my favorite! The only reason they left was because DCD lost his job while DCM was pregnant. They couldn’t afford to keep sending the older kid. After DCM had their second baby, she decided to stay home because they couldn’t find infant care. She reached out recently - but the cost of childcare isn’t worth it for her to go back to work - and I don’t do favors.

        I posted on another thread recently about a DCF I termed last summer. I see them constantly at DD games and know there is always a tension. I finally did smile and say “Hi!!” to DCM one day when we made eye contact. She didn’t say a word back! I shrugged it off and DH laughed with me later.

        I’ve learned that people’s salty, negative behavior speaks volume of their character, not mine.

        Comment


        • #10
          That's the part that I'm forgetting. This is essentially just a business. Our heart is in it, but to our families it's a service that they would rather not have to pay for, but they have to. I get nervous about taking vacation after this long, but their lives are still their lives. So ours should be too.

          I think that's why I've mostly chosen to not go to dck birthday parties and things. To just celebrate them here during business hours.

          I've only talked to a few families out and about. They're usually very friendly, but....it was time for them to go.

          Comment


          • #11
            Every childs' party I went to early on, I was asked to work in some form or another. "Oh, he only wants his Mrs. Cat Herder, isn't that cute? I will be right back, I just have to catch a plane to the Philippines to get those thank you cards. I will be right back in a few days. Everyone, Mrs. Cat Herder has volunteered to watch the kids, who wants to come with me?" - No, not really, but pretty close.

            Comment


            • #12
              With having my own young kids I struggle with telling my kids no that we can't go to dck bday party or invite them to yours or go to their houses for playdates. I just don't know how to say that it is business, not personal, that dcm and are not friends. That I really don't want to spend my day off with dck, especially SA boy, he is here enough.

              Now that I that, it does seem odd that we are so close to the kids in a personal way but at the same time strangers to their parents.


              Comment


              • MissCait
                MissCait commented
                Editing a comment
                Having my kids with me all day while doing this did make things harder. Kids got attached to my kids and vice versa. Mine throw fits too that we don’t go to birthday parties. I’ve felt this job will be a lot easier once all my kids are in school and don’t want to associate with my daycare kids.
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