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DCM Making Things Awkward

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  • DCM Making Things Awkward

    So I have a daycare family who tries to take advantage of me every chance they get…they thought I was going to save their spot unpaid for 3 months during maternity leave, they’ve tried not paying for closed paid holidays even though they’ve known the policies for 5 years…the list goes on and on. Recently the mom shows up right at 5:30pm (closing) to pick up almost every day and if she doesn’t pick up, the dad does and is 5-10 min late bc of his new job. During the summer he got a new job and she explained that it was a one time thing and he’d be picking up a couple minutes late that day bc of his longer commute home. Of course it’s happened multiple times since then. I usually just bite my tongue bc I’m not confrontational and I just want them out of my house at the end of the day. Recently though, they blamed my son for their daughter having roblox on her iPad (she downloaded it and then lied to my son, me and her mom— she’s a compulsive liar) and it rubbed me the wrong way. The morning after at drop off, the mom goes “Dcd will be picking up 5 minutes late today bc I have a dinner to go to, is that ok? I didn’t even stop to think to filter my response and just laughed and said “Um it doesn’t really sound like I have a choice?” She seemed taken a back and said well it’s either that or my mom plays with them for 5-10 minutes at the house…I wasn’t witty enough at the time but I later thought, if you have the option to have your mom pick up the girls on time and play with them why wouldnt you do that instead of making me work overtime? Instead I said we’d figure it out and brought the girls inside. For the rest of the week she didn’t make eye contact and neither her or her husband liked any of the posts I put on the daycare app. The day her husband was going to be late he somehow magically appeared 30 minutes early. Now I know they were just trying to take advantage of my kindness but now it’s awkward and it makes me anxious at drop off and pick up. I’ve already updated my late pick up policy that I’m going to pass out soon, I should’ve been enforcing it all along but in the meantime, it’s just annoying that they’re acting like I did something wrong. Even when I’m doing my best and I have so much planned for the kids, it’s the parents who always make me feel like shit even when I have a good week with the kids. Having a hard time finding the motivation to keep doing daycare.

  • #2
    Parents who (a) treat you as if their checkbook earns them the right to all 24 hrs in your day and (b) feel that they are paying you to do what they tell you definitely suck the air out of your life. Make sure that you OWN your business and have a solid handbook/contract. Then it’s a matter of tellingTHEM what services you provide; from there they can only decide to sign on or not. If they’re testing every limit, just let them know that if your services don’t work for them any longer, they can terminate the contract THEY SIGNED with two weeks (or whatever you have in place) notice. You can do this firmly, politely, and with a smile on your face. It’s especially effective if you can deliver it as if it doesn’t matter to you what they chose, but the choice needs to be made now.


    • TNord
      TNord commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for your reply! You’re right, I need to be more upfront and firm. It’s hard for me. My husband says I take everything too personally. I’m raising their kids and getting to know families and they feel like family friends until they try to screw me over out of nowhere. Some families bend over backwards making sure I’m ok and doing ok and others just think of me as “the help” which is disheartening. I am in the process of updating all my policies so I can print them out and send them home, possibly for the new year. It gives me anxiety thinking about everyone’s reactions but like you said, they aren’t entitled to my whole day and they can always go elsewhere. I need to work on not being so nice 😞

    • PB&J
      PB&J commented
      Editing a comment
      It’s good to be friendly; it creates a warm environment. That isn’t the same as being friends. They’ll stop being “friends” or even acting friendly as soon as they hear their first “no”. It’s a rare parent who will hear “no” and not suddenly remind you (in words or behavior) that they are PAYING you and you should just “do”. That s when you remind them of their contract, and what it is they are actually paying for. As friendly as you can manage it, at that point. 🤣

  • #3
    You can’t think of them as family friends, because they’re not. You own/run a business out of your home. They are paying you for the services you are choosing to provide. They’re customers/clients and should be treated as such.

    I started off with 6:00-6:00 hours. It made for a long day, so I cut my hours back to 7:30 to 5:30. When I cut my hours back, I thought I’d be kind by telling one of DCM (husband is a farmer and obviously works late during planting/harvest season) that anytime she needed me to stay open later to let me know since she was originally at the 6:00 hours. She didn’t leave her kids here that late all the time, but sometimes she did. She was good to me. She would gift me so many things here and there, as well as for my birthday and Christmas. She really made me like her.

    After several times of her being late, and only letting me know about 5 mins before closing, usually on a Friday, I realized she was taking advantage of my kindness and using MY personal time so she could go to the gym, attend a happy hour or go shopping. It pissed me off and I said I wasn’t going to do it anymore. At the beginning of fall, I sent out a newsletter reminding all parents of my policies, including the late pick up policy.

    Right after I sent that out, DCM was late, again. For some reason, I think she was testing the waters since I had just emailed them the newsletter. At 5:27 I pull my car out of the garage and get my DDs in the car because my oldest DD had practice. I see DCM is sitting down the street in her car. I’m holding her child’s hand standing in my driveway. She can see what I’m doing. Right at 5:30, I text her asking if she’s close. She pulls up at 5:31 and said something about being on a phone call and getting here “right on time.” I said “DCM, a 5:30 closing time means you should be off the premises at 5:30, not pulling in my driveway at 5:30.” That was awkward for her, not for me. Her phone calls aren’t my problem, but she chose to make it my problem that day. Since then, I don’t get showered in gifts and she totally forgot my birthday (😂) but she hasn’t been late and will make arrangements for pick up if she is going to be late.

    These families don’t care about you or your time. They don’t look at you like a “family friend.” They look at you like their babysitter (like they own you or whatever) and will take advantage of you until you start standing up for yourself and enforcing your policies for your business. Once I learned that, things got a whole lot easier for me.
    Last edited by GirlMomma; 11-16-2021, 06:03 AM.


    • #4
      You are the only one who can fix this. You created it. You will do it when you finally hit your bottom and demand change.