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  • Struggling Lately

    I just posted a few days ago about a difficult parent. Well since then I am feeling so discouraged about doing in home daycare. My parents are so disrespectful and I don't feel appreciated in the slightest. I will text them and get no response, the kid will be out sick for days and I won't hear from them. They no call no show, which is fine but a courtesy text would be nice. I just feel like I am a babysitter to all of them and nothing more. I work so hard to teach their kids, provide a good curriculum, send lots of pictures and I feel it really goes unnoticed. I am starting to dread everyday and I don't want to feel this way. I use to really enjoy my business, I haven't even been open a year yet. Anyone else feel this way? Any words of encouragement? I just don't know how much longer I can continue this, but I also need the income.

  • #2
    What you are feeling is so common and will become a repetitive theme every few years. It is always worse during the summer and holidays, that is when parents tend to act the worst. I see a few things that may help you.

    1. Simplify. Photos on Friday, Crafts on Wednesday, etc..... space it out. Not too much take home. 1-2 pieces per week, max. Otherwise it become the expected and ignored.

    2. No curriculum in the summer. Use that time to plan for the preschool year and save some craft money back for emergencies.

    3. Text for no show, then call after 30 minutes (hot car policy). They will hate the ringing/messages and like Pavlov's dogs will react by responding before the calls, over time.

    4. Do less. The more you do the less they appreciate it. Some even resent it. Do child care well. Do curriculum, crafts, art and cutesy special fun a few times a month. That makes them special and makes the parent feel less of a heel when they can't match your energy on weekends/holidays with their own. Let them see you are tired from it sometimes, too. Think about Jan. Marsh, Marsha, Marsha!! Always does everything perfect..... Don't be Marsha all the time. Pull a Jan every now and then to build rapport.
    Last edited by Cat Herder; 3 weeks ago.

    Comment


    • Alwaysgreener
      Alwaysgreener commented
      Editing a comment
      Well said.

    • Gemma
      Gemma commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree 100%

  • #3
    Originally posted by Cat Herder View Post
    What you are feeling is so common and will become a repetitive theme every few years. It is always worse during the summer and holidays, that is when parents tend to act the worst. I see a few things that may help you.

    1. Simplify. Photos on Friday, Crafts on Wednesday, etc..... space it out. Not too much take home. 1-2 pieces per week, max. Otherwise it become the expected and ignored.

    2. No curriculum in the summer. Use that time to plan for the preschool year and save some craft money back for emergencies.

    3. Text for no show, then call after 30 minutes (hot car policy). They will hate the ringing/messages and like Pavlov's dogs will react by responding before the calls, over time.

    4. Do less. The more you do the less they appreciate it. Some even resent it. Do child care well. Do curriculum, crafts, art and cutesy special fun a few times a month. That makes them special and makes the parent feel less of a heel when they can't match your energy on weekends/holidays with their own. Let them see you are tired from it sometimes, too. Think about Jan. Marsh, Marsha, Marsha!! Always does everything perfect..... Don't be Marsha all the time. Pull a Jan every now and then to build rapport.
    It makes me feel so much better knowing that this is normal! My friend who has done in home for a few years said she has never felt that way so maybe I should just quit which was super discouraging. I want to go back to loving my job. I wish we were allowed mental health days because I think this would be the perfect time for one.

    Comment


    • #4
      I don't know who your friend is, but her time is coming. Hopefully, you will be more supportive of her than she has been to you.

      I think I may know what she was trying to say, though. This can be a thankless job and can really hurt your feelings if you let it. The key here is, if you let it. Only your expectations can hurt your feelings. The rest is a business deal. It is how you both respond to the same stimulus. EX: Your friend may send home Christmas Gifts, not get a thank you and think "Glad that clutter is out of my way. Bring on January 1st." where you might feel hurt. One views it as a business chore, the other a Christmas gift.

      You will have to change your mindset to "I am paid to do this, I will do the required amount." instead of "They will like this, this is awesome!". Hoping they will notice and appreciate it is what will break you down. Most likely they won't care, unless you don't do anything. They pay you to do it and won't see anything you do as being extra or special so you have to dump your expectations at the door. It get's easier over time.

      Comment


      • Alwaysgreener
        Alwaysgreener commented
        Editing a comment
        Completely agree, well said. I loved the term business chore, I am stealing that.

      • Cat Herder
        Cat Herder commented
        Editing a comment
        Steal away. We all work better together as a team.

    • #5
      Originally posted by Cat Herder View Post
      I don't know who your friend is, but her time is coming. Hopefully, you will be more supportive of her than she has been to you.

      I think I may know what she was trying to say, though. This can be a thankless job and can really hurt your feelings if you let it. The key here is, if you let it. Only your expectations can hurt your feelings. The rest is a business deal. It is how you both respond to the same stimulus. EX: Your friend may send home Christmas Gifts, not get a thank you and think "Glad that clutter is out of my way. Bring on January 1st." where you might feel hurt. One views it as a business chore, the other a Christmas gift.

      You will have to change your mindset to "I am paid to do this, I will do the required amount." instead of "They will like this, this is awesome!". Hoping they will notice and appreciate it is what will break you down. Most likely they won't care, unless you don't do anything. They pay you to do it and won't see anything you do as being extra or special so you have to dump your expectations at the door. It get's easier over time.
      That is true! We are different people and handle everything very differently! I need to stop taking everything so personally. I also need to stop trying to impress them and just do things I am required to do for my job. It's crazy that parents can completely change your perspective on the job and not even realize it. Having an in home has brought on some challenges that I never thought would be a problem.

      Comment


      • GirlMomma
        GirlMomma commented
        Editing a comment
        Ahh yes, the feeling trapped in your own home feeling? If that’s it, SAME! 😂

        I’m working hard to get my daycare out of here I can at least leave every day, I think people will take me more seriously if it’s not my home & I can hire more help/bring in more kids & income.

        The positive side for me: COVID happened. It prepared me for this. I was NOT the SAHM type until I was forced to. Then I couldn’t bare leaving my kids to be raised by someone else. I’m grateful for the pandemic in many ways!!

    • #6
      mamadaycare I haven’t been open a year yet either & I hit this point as well not too long ago. I sat down and made simple changes.

      Here is what is helping me:

      1) This is YOUR business, you have to treat it like one. Start by enforcing your polices immediately and keeping your emotions out of your business. This Forum helps me vent a lot so I can remain smiley and positive for my families and kiddos.

      2) We are not doing squat this summer LOL unless it’s raining outside, all arts and crafts and sensory bins are put up until September. It is free play all day! We have to let them little, too ❤️

      3) I follow a simple schedule when we are learning: Open, Breakfast, Free Play, Circle Time (Calendar/Weather/Story/Letters/Numbers/Shapes/Colors, etc) onto the Lesson Of The Day, Music/Exercise, Lunch, Naps, Snack, Free Play, Clean Up, Musics, Closing.

      The Lesson of the Day changes, Monday’s are sensory play, Tuesdays are our science days, Wednesday’s are arts and crafts, Thursday we
      review the things we learned during circle time (letter of the week, numbers, etc) and by Friday, we’re all burnt out and we do Free Play - ALL DAY! I do have centers set up for those that want to draw and some Friday's I’ll put out one sensory bin, depending on how much clean up I feel like dealing with.

      4) Because of the no call no shows and late drop offs out of a few bad seeds, I implemented a (generous) 10 AM drop off time, which is in-line with other DC policies in my area. If my bad seeds don’t show by 10, then I know to move on with my day and how much to make for lunch. The majority of my parents communicate with me, so if I don’t hear from them, I do reach out to make sure they’re okay. I love CH’s hot car policy.

      5) If a parent or child is giving you negative energy, terminate.

      I hope you feel better! Lots of hugs!!!

      Comment


      • Annalee
        Annalee commented
        Editing a comment
        Girlmomma, we are not doing 'doodly squat',,,,LOL My mom hates when I use the word 'squat' because I usually use the term 'chicken squat'. LOL

      • GirlMomma
        GirlMomma commented
        Editing a comment
        Annalee LOL that’s funny 😂

    • #7
      Oh and I forgot, if you can afford it — TAKE THE TIME OFF!

      I allow three weeks off a year, in return, I give the same to my families. This year I’m taking 3 days next week and I decided an hour ago I’m taking 12/23/21 to 1/3/22 OFF! My kids deserve time with their momma on winter break.

      Comment


      • #8
        Hang in there, mamadaycare! Yes to all of the above; taking time for yourself, in particular!

        Comment


        • #9
          Originally posted by GirlMomma View Post
          Oh and I forgot, if you can afford it — TAKE THE TIME OFF!

          I allow three weeks off a year, in return, I give the same to my families. This year I’m taking 3 days next week and I decided an hour ago I’m taking 12/23/21 to 1/3/22 OFF! My kids deserve time with their momma on winter break.
          I definitely need to take more time off. I had one week vacation at the end of june but otherwise all my days off are PACKED with appointments for my kids or myself. I 100% feel trapped at home. I was a SAHM prior to this so not being able to take my kids to do fun things is killing me. I am loving the idea of simpler days. I tried to do arts/crafts everyday and different sensory bins every week- they went along with the theme. And I enjoyed doing it all. But now it has all become expected and unappreciated so its time to draw back and do one thing a day. I decided the other day that I wanted to take of december 23 and 26! I didn't close this monday and i was beating myself up for it. How did you let your parents know? did you text them all? email? I need more days that I can enjoy my own kids that aren't weekends. That is the reason I started this business is because I was suppose to have more freedom with my kids and it has been the opposite. I feel so tied down and its suffocating me

          Comment


          • #10
            I use a school calendar template and give it out one year in advance. I take the same two weeks and federal holidays every year then pepper in a few Friday's and Mondays for appointments in advance. I basically put mine out at the same time as the public school calendar. When my kids lived at home, I followed the public schools calendar plus added the extra Fridays/Monday's for appointments. It made planning easier that way. School Calendar 2021 - 2022 -2022 & Academic Calendar Templates (calendarlabs.com)

            Using an academic calendar instead of the typical 12 months in order makes it much more functional since that is how most families actually live. It starts with July.
            Last edited by Cat Herder; 3 weeks ago.

            Comment


            • #11
              I’m right there with you. Lots of hugs! ❤️

              If I were you, let the kids have free play the rest of the month and see how you feel come August. Seriously. Unless it rains, put all the “stuff” up. I am more motivated now to do preschool in September than I was in April. I bought a lesson plan book from Amazon and new books to read, too. Another positive, my kiddos are being CREATIVE on their own! They were playing restaurant the other day and the older ones were serving them. LOL Kids need to find their own creativity and use their own imagination too.

              With my time off, I let my families know 90 days in advance as a courtesy… but I’m only required to give them 2 weeks. I send out a text to everyone and let them know. I like to give families plenty of time to plan. Next year, I’ll likely give my families my time off at the start of the year.

              I don’t get paid for my time off, in my area it’s not a common practice. But I know others on this Forum that do charge no matter what.
              Last edited by GirlMomma; 3 weeks ago.

              Comment


              • #12
                Originally posted by Cat Herder View Post
                I use a school calendar template and give it out one year in advance. I take the same two weeks and federal holidays every year then pepper in a few Friday's and Mondays for appointments in advance. I basically put mine out at the same time as the public school calendar. When my kids lived at home, I followed the public schools calendar plus added the extra Fridays/Monday's for appointments. It made planning easier that way. School Calendar 2021 - 2022 -2022 & Academic Calendar Templates (calendarlabs.com)

                Using an academic calendar instead of the typical 12 months in order makes it much more functional since that is how most families actually live. It starts with July.
                Are you closed the same days as the school?

                Comment


                • #13
                  Originally posted by GirlMomma View Post
                  I’m right there with you. Lots of hugs! ❤️

                  If I were you, let the kids have free play the rest of the month and see how you feel come August. Seriously. Unless it rains, put all the “stuff” up. I am more motivated now to do preschool in September than I was in April. I bought a lesson plan book from Amazon and new books to read, too. Another positive, my kiddos are being CREATIVE on their own! They were playing restaurant the other day and the older ones were serving them. LOL Kids need to find their own creativity and use their own imagination too.

                  With my time off, I let my families know 90 days in advance as a courtesy… but I’m only required to give them 2 weeks. I send out a text to everyone and let them know. I like to give families plenty of time to plan. Next year, I’ll likely give my families my time off at the start of the year.

                  I don’t get paid for my time off, in my area it’s not a common practice. But I know others on this Forum that do charge no matter what.
                  I will try that! Kids really do need free play, they have to learn to use their imagination. I get paid of the days I am closed, unless it is an unplanned closure.
                  I feel like we don't get paid enough for the things we do and put up with lol

                  Comment


                  • GirlMomma
                    GirlMomma commented
                    Editing a comment
                    No ma’am, we don’t! 😂

                • #14
                  Originally posted by mamadaycare View Post

                  Are you closed the same days as the school?
                  I was when my kids were in school. I have 3 and they counted in my ratio until they reached the age of 13 here. I also did not want to miss that time with them and the ratio issue gave me the perfect opportunity. Attendance is pretty low on those days, anyway, even now that I am open for them.

                  Now I take one week in fall (unpaid), one week in spring (unpaid), all federal holidays (paid) and a few self created three-day weekends (unpaid). That said, I figure my tuition rate based on 50 weeks instead of 52 to fully fund those two weeks off. The parents don't have to pay those weeks and since they are used to paying each week feel it is "unpaid" even though it is balance out over the year. For them it feels like extra cash available to pay someone else those weeks or in their pocket if they schedule their vacations with mine (most do).

                  Comment


                  • #15
                    Originally posted by Cat Herder View Post

                    I was when my kids were in school. I have 3 and they counted in my ratio until they reached the age of 13 here. I also did not want to miss that time with them and the ratio issue gave me the perfect opportunity. Attendance is pretty low on those days, anyway, even now that I am open for them.

                    Now I take one week in fall (unpaid), one week in spring (unpaid), all federal holidays (paid) and a few self created three-day weekends (unpaid). That said, I figure my tuition rate based on 50 weeks instead of 52 to fully fund those two weeks off. The parents don't have to pay those weeks and since they are used to paying each week feel it is "unpaid" even though it is balance out over the year. For them it feels like extra cash available to pay someone else those weeks or in their pocket if they schedule their vacations with mine (most do).
                    That is genius! I need to really look at my time off for next year and take some extra days. I have three as well but only one is schoolage at the moment. Gotta sprinkle in some mental health days as well!

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