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  1. #1
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    Going thru a rough patch?

    I have been doing home daycare for just over a year and a half year now.

    I find myself dreading the next morning. Anxious for the day's end. Not LIKING some of the kids. Am I just getting burnt out?? I take excellent care of them, great meals, clean atmosphere, safe environment, trips to the park, walks. But I find myself not spending alot of TIME with the ONE-ON-ONE lately. I think I am getting so fed-up with this ****.

    I think they are getting to me.
    any encouraging advice?

  2. #2
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    sometimes I feel the same way, I think it goes in waves. I know I am feeling this way when I start searching for new jobs online lol

    when was your last vacation? I find that usually helps.

    You can't be perfect all the time so don't be too hard on yourself for not spending one on one with the kids...

    If you are getting fed up, maybe it is time to do something different? What would you really like to be doing?

    I hope this helps, I feel this way sometimes too... hopefully it will pass.

    Feel better

  3. #3
    apples and bananas
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    I feel like this evey now and then too. Usually when I have to be up super early, or when my son is asking for a "mommy day" It fades quickly though. Usually when I'm outside, sunning myself, watching the kids play independantly. I think of my old job, stuck inside a building, not feeling like I had enough energy to even go for a walk at lunch and dreading the piles of laundry I've neglected at home praying for a day off! LOL

    All jobs have ups and downs. This job's ups are usually outside in my shorts when all of my friends are in uncomfortable shoes and small cramped offices.

  4. #4
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    The burnout potential in this field is HIGH ... even many people who invest $15,000 or more dollars getting a degree in Early Childhood Education typically do not STAY in the field for more than 5 years as it is an emotionally and physically draining job and maintaining that focus on the rewards and passion for why you wanted to go into this in the first place can be a challenge to say the least!

    Good news it is not impossible to maintain your passion ... it is a skill like anything in life ... it takes goals, maintaining motivation and reflection of how its going

    I have been in the field since 1988 ... I made it to 2002 before needing to 'take a break' and a year working in a factory with others was enough to remind me that THIS is the career for me - working with adults in a mundane job is not my forte

    My keys to success are ...
    • Eating well and making sure my diet is high in Vitamin B, D and essentail fatty acids they are key to emotional health and when I am low in these I tend to get 'pessimistic' about things and have to reflect on WHY I love this field more
    • Regular exercise to prevent strain and exhaustion - repeative bending and lifting leads to pain in your body and pain makes it hard to feel passionate
    • Making sure to make time for ME each week where I am responsible for meeting no ones need my MINE ... a hobby or something 'fun' to do outside the home helps
    • Networking with peers in my field who have a basis for understanding - both online and IN PERSON cause there is a different level of 'sharing' that can take place offline that leads to deeper 'rejuvenation' of ones spirit!
    • Having reasonable expectations and goals for your program .... children need time for FREE PLAY there is nothing wrong with spending portions of your days just sitting back an OBSERVING their play and interests so you can plan things to stretch and enhance those experiences for them and take their free play 'deeper' for them .... this can actually help you reconnect with the MAGICAL way children see their world even the mundane things we take for granted ... you do not need to entertain children every minute of the day and plan every minute of their day for them to be engaged and thriving - in fact IME quite the opposite is true ... more free repetitive play results in deeper learning and more creativity and imagination on part of the child - skills we need if we want to maintain our growth as a society
    • Make sure you find at least ONE thing to celebrate about your day with your crew ... during afternoon snack time I play the 'best and worst' part of the day with my crew ... we all share one thing we wish would could have done better or different in our day our 'goal for tomorrow' so to speak (worst part of our day) and than we all share the best thing that happened for us that day something we loved, were proud of and so forth ... helps to reflect that we have control over those 'worst' things by setting goals for tomorrow and it is a way to end the day on the positive note with our reminder that it was not ALL BAD! Somedays instead of doing our own reflections I change it up a bit and get them to give feedback to peers - name one thing X could have done better today and one thing they did really awesome to help children learn to think of others and support others!

    Hope that helps - your feelings are normal for sure and honestly children are human beings with personalities that vary and just like we do not LIKE all adults we do not LIKE all children who grow up to BE those adults .... however we do not need to LIKE someone to work with them effectively as long as we can respect them and have empathy for why they are 'harder' to like than others and put steps in place to help us focus on the things we 'do' like about them ... there is good in every person
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

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  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by inspired by reggio View Post
    [*]make sure you find at least one thing to celebrate about your day with your crew ... During afternoon snack time i play the 'best and worst' part of the day with my crew ... We all share one thing we wish would could have done better or different in our day our 'goal for tomorrow' so to speak (worst part of our day) and than we all share the best thing that happened for us that day something we loved, were proud of and so forth ... Helps to reflect that we have control over those 'worst' things by setting goals for tomorrow and it is a way to end the day on the positive note with our reminder that it was not all bad! Somedays instead of doing our own reflections i change it up a bit and get them to give feedback to peers - name one thing x could have done better today and one thing they did really awesome to help children learn to think of others and support others![/list]
    i love this!!!
    Satisfaction Guaranteed or Double Your Kids Back!!

  7. #6
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
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    For sure you are not alone! Don't be afraid of the one-on-one time (or lack thereof); I stressed early on about curriculum I wanted to cover with each, did individual crafts tailored to their age/level...honestly, a lot of times they are happiest in free play....and in my books, that's ok. But free play can make for long periods of time that although we are on high alert (counting heads), we are not feeling productive (as I myself feel that I constantly have to be). As for the not liking things/some kids some days...I soooo get that!! Human nature, I think...and perfectly understandable...let 's face it some days they have their monster mask on
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

  8. #7
    Euphoric ! Dreamalittledream's Avatar
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    I should also add that I find this forum a huge support in my day...just to know I am not alone, I can vent or celebrate at will
    Children are great imitators.
    So give them something great to imitate.

    ~Anonymous~

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  10. #8
    Euphoric !
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    This time of year is like that for the doldrums I think for us more so than in the winter when the media talks about it. It is the end of the school year and for some of us we tend to wane on the programming about now too as we enter the summer. It is a turnover time when we have kids leaving care and having to interview for the new year which seems far away but also daunting given how we are feeling now. It has been a long year for us. In many ways we are like teachers and look forward to June - just that we don't get the two months off to recharge - unless we take it for ourselves.

    That doesn't mean we have to empty our daycares for the summer but it means we need to give ourselves permission to relax our program for the summer. Will the children survive if they don't go on that outing, don't do that craft, don't get waterplay today or homemade brownies for snack. If the answer is yes - and it is - then go ahead and make those changes.

    I think a couple years into any job or even university training program for that matter it is a time to question. You have been doing daycare now long enough to have some perspective on the parts you like and the parts you don't and after looking at how or if it is possible to change the parts you don't then you can make a decision of how long you want to do the job before looking for another one. But as reggio said just remember the "grass isn't always greener on the other side" as the saying goes.

    If you can afford it financially it sometimes works to take a year of doing only part time care arranged so that you have some days to yourself or with just your own kids. Make sure your open and close times are close enough to make for a shorter day if possible.

    Over the summer as children go on vacation it is interesting to see how the pecking order changes and children interact. It is often the child you least expected or didn't realize is the one that for some odd reason upsets the applecart not by something specific they do but just because. It might be necessary to replace one or two children suggesting that their needs would be better met in a different type program.

    For me it is a positive feeling right now that I am losing my three oldest - all boys to JK. It is time and has been for a couple of months but we will hang in there as they all leave at various points of the summer. By September my whole daycare will be different - and I may wish I had the older boys back instead of new babies but for now the change is making me feel happy so I am going with that. As I said June is a month of reflection in this business and it is good that you are taking the time to think about what went right about the past year and what went wrong about the past year.

    Another factor that comes into play is the age of our own children and if their needs have changed. Many of us started daycare when our own children were very little with the idea of we got to stay home with them and they had friends to grow up with and we got paid for it. As they grow up and want different things we have to decide if we still want the daycare since it is now for us not them. Back in 1992 I reached the point where we had three kids and the youngest was heading off to JK so would be gone half the day. I started wondering if it was time to go back into teaching myself or something similar and had seen some ads for teacher's aids that really interested me. That was a short lived look because then I found out I was pregnant and well it was time to start the daycare with my own baby all over again. My "baby" is now 19 and somewhere along the line this time around I decided I liked the freedom of being in my own house all day.

    I also started a sideline business with my felt and that gives me a chance to get out and about a bit and to focus on something other than my kids or my daycare kids. As you reflect you may find that what is missing is your sense of identity in that you have become a fixture in the room to the daycare. It is also a sign of a good working group though when you can go through the days in a kind of robotic state and on sleep deprived nights I am glad for days like that but it isn't who we are and finding that again hopefully will give you a renewed sense of purpose for whatever you decide to do.

  11. #9
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamma_Mia View Post
    i love this!!!
    I actually learned about this as part of my pain management resiliency and depression counseling so cannot take credit for it - I have also heard it called 'high and low' for the day and a few other things .... but I figured if it is good for ME to do it to reduce stress and depression it cannot hurt to have kids doing it too might as well get in that habit early and help them have strong mental health from the get go!
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  12. #10
    Euphoric !
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    I feel like this some days too! I think for me because I have so many really little ones, I sometimes feel like it is hard to squeeze in the one-on-one time between all the diaper changes, snacks, lunch, naps, etc. Plus we do outings and art time etc. I am a huge fan of free play as Reggio mentioned...but then sometimes I second guess myself and wonder if I should be doing more planned activities. Also, there are days when they drive me nuts Usually those days are when I haven't had enough sleep or I am not feeling well...then the little things get to me. I love Reggio's idea of best and worst...not sure if my group would be able to contribute as they are all 3 and under! however, I send out a nightly email, kind of like a blog, to parents telling about our day and I think this is actually therapeutic for me because it forces me to think about the positives of the day and the kids...I try to say something postive about each child in terms of something they did or said. Vacation also helps a lot! Maybe you need one?

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