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  1. #1
    Shy
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    Feeling overwhelmed, stressed, stuck, impatient - need advice

    I am a provider of 3 kids plus my son. I have a 18m dcb, 2yo dcb, 2.5yo dcg, and my 3.5yo boy. I started daycare Jan 2015 to be able to stay home with my three kids and still contribute financially to our household. The daycare families are great, really can't complain - pay on time with few reminders, drop offs and pickups are on time etc.

    The last few months I have a lot of feelings of stress and overwhelm. I feel like I don't do enough with the kids (how much is enough when we get paid $3.50/hr?). We do crafts a couple days a week. We do pre-school learning (cutting, writing, letters etc). We occasionally go out shopping or to the library etc. With the age range of the kids its hard to find things to do for their comprehension level.

    The 2.5yo dcg is presenting some issues that need be addressed, and that too is stressing me out. She has her own way of doing things which is not like other kids her age. She is a good girl but the issues make me crazy. Her mom is going on mat leave beginning of Feb and they want to keep her here 2-3days/wk. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Ive had parents in the past with those same intentions and then they end up bailing part way in. (Then again, maybe her being here part time would lessen the stress?). I like this little girl, she is sweet and sometimes I feel bad for her for I expect more from her. (This issue could be a whole thread)

    I feel so housebound. We don't go out much, and now with winter unless its mild it will be even less. I try sometimes to go out in the evening but more times than not I'm too tired. So my errands and shopping wait. I used to have a helper and would go out more because of that but now I am on my own.

    I can't stand the messes. The toy-room disasters. The lunchtime food on the floor. Etc.

    The fact that I can't have anything nice. No couch pillows because they beat them or step on them etc. No sidetable decor because itll end up broken/damaged.

    I see time I'm missing with my own kids. I can't volunteer at their school. We're always last minute for forms, homework etc.

    I am wondering if I should continue on. I need the income but not at the cost of my stress and happiness. I need some help perhaps to control the issues that flare my mental state.

    Lastly, I will say that I am going to be taking some online courses (start Feb/Mar) to be able to start a career (37 years old and never had any meaningful career). I just don't know if I should move on or carry on?

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    I've been in this business for over 20 years and I see lots of people struggle this time of year. It's hard in the colder months when there's less outside time.

    For me, I've found that switching it up and keeping the children busy is the key. No more than an hour of any one activity including free play.

    I will say if you are getting a bit lax and justifying that to yourself as "what do they expect for $3.50.." you're probably getting to the end of your time in this business.

    If you have three day care children and are getting $3.50 x 3 then that's about min wage in most provinces before you have the expenses that go with providing care too. Maybe it's time for you to think about getting a part time job outside the home during school hours so you can still be home for your own children. Even a little job in Tim Horton's would likely pay min wage but you'd get some adult interaction too.

    For me, I find that you either have to fully embrace this business including the pay and the challenging children or the resentment will build and build and you'll never fall back in love with this career again. For some people, it's only ever meant to be a short term solutions and that's okay too.

  3. #3
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    Wow!! It seems winter blues is striking again. But, maybe you're burned out which is very common in our field.

    I used to feel just like that too. So, I really had to sit and give myself time to really decide what I wanted to do. Yes, I do understand that you might be missing things going on in your own children's lives but, I think everyone is in the same situation unless you decide to just stay at home mom and be only with your children while you study, I did homedaycare and studied and being also a mom was hard. My husband helped a lot.

    I searched for jobs that can pay reasonable and allow me to be at least few days off, well those are also hard to find. I went to replace a friend at her work for almost two months and definitely everyday I missed my home and my group of kids all their little laughs and hugs and also the awful days. Thanks God I had that chance to really value what I had.

    I have learned that my personal happiness wasn't out there, my personal happiness was inside me, every day sharing my life with my little ones and their families. My family too missed me those days when I was working outside. The house was empty when they came back from school. It was an eye opening for me and them.

    What I can recommend is:

    Do not stress out or put to much pressure on yourself. Children learn yes but not because we produce elaborated curriculums or trying to help them by teaching them academics, we have to first help them grow to be confident and to know their own strengths.

    Try to challenge yourself on how to make easier your work. I have a friend that cooking isn't her strength so, she gets food that is ready to warm and serve.

    Another one couldn't deal with tidying up, she gets a cleaning lady every two weeks. And she is happy. In my case I just decided to throw my overflowing toys and that did the trick, I taught children to tidy before snacks and before getting ready to go home. (It works amazingly for me, that way I only disinfect mouthed toys or fix things around or prepare next day activities, the children have learneD to tidy up also at their homes).

    Our jobs are isolating but try to connect with others in your area. We can get through this.

    It must be hard not to be able to enjoy your own furniture but also you can get ideas for creating just a space dedicated for your group.pinterest.com has dreamfull ideas.

    Messy lunches, not anymore here, I use trays so each one has their own and any spillage stays in the tray. I have also created a little handwashing station so it is easy to clean little hands and faces after craft, arts and lunch time.

    Once you have all working as you wish your job will be easier and more enjoyable. I dance a lot with the kids during winter. I really enjoy their company and parents can see that. Everyday, I take it as a new challenge for my group and me and I find ways to make as happy and funny for every one.

    Put this in your mind: " children just need love and patience "; they're forgiven you can make them happy with the most little things in life. Even just a hug helps them.

    I do not spend my time shopping or looking for the next big thing to keep them busy (instead I use that time to relax to take a nice warm bath, read, light a scented candle and think positively or just to sit or reflect or go to sleep earlier), here is simple, I recycle a lot we do arts and crafts twice or three times a day during winter time and when we cannot go outside. My arts or crafts is mostly focused on process not product so I take pictures of those for parents to see.

    Check in pinterest you'll get ideas on how to keep children really engaged it is amazing I got done few ocupational activities and they get really quiet when they work on those. Giving you a little break here and there.

    I have six boys in my care. And they work really hard to get their little projects done. We go outside even for 20 min. It does a huge difference in our days.

    And when you see your program running smoother, then step back and think if this field isn't really your path. By then at least you can say you've did your best but, you must move on.

    I hope it helps.
    Last edited by Peacefulbird; 12-23-2017 at 07:32 AM.

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  5. #4
    Expansive...
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    It may be a good idea to take some time away from daycare and try a new career.
    It may be you are in a panic about the online courses and doing the daycare too....would it be easier to try and get a job related to the online courses and work outside of your house.
    Then see which career suits you better.
    good luck

  6. #5
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    I found the end of day tidy up a frustrating and depressing part of the day so just a note on toy room disasters: Having very large containers that snap or screw closed, or bags that zip closed, helps. This way, the very young or naughty children can't undo all the effort. I was getting frustrated by toys being dumped over again - same feeling as shovelling snow when it's starts snowing again! I have several containers that sort blocks, balls, dinkie cars, play food, stuffies, etc and they stay shut. The older kids like the sorting. The containers I use are empty house projects ones from Canadian tire or bulk protein shake containers. The plastic zip bags I use are from bought pillows or comforters. I punched small holes in the plastic for safety. For washing the toys I just take a container to the kitchen sink and then dry everything in a big colander or on tea towel. Small changes can help improve things while figuring out what u want to do.

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebhappydc View Post
    I found the end of day tidy up a frustrating and depressing part of the day so just a note on toy room disasters: Having very large containers that snap or screw closed, or bags that zip closed, helps. This way, the very young or naughty children can't undo all the effort. I was getting frustrated by toys being dumped over again - same feeling as shovelling snow when it's starts snowing again! I have several containers that sort blocks, balls, dinkie cars, play food, stuffies, etc and they stay shut. The older kids like the sorting. The containers I use are empty house projects ones from Canadian tire or bulk protein shake containers. The plastic zip bags I use are from bought pillows or comforters. I punched small holes in the plastic for safety. For washing the toys I just take a container to the kitchen sink and then dry everything in a big colander or on tea towel. Small changes can help improve things while figuring out what u want to do.
    I used to think same, while picking all sorts of toys. I decided to apply the "less toys; more joy" ideas. And it absolutely made a huge difference, now when I get in my playroom I feel inspired I feel in peace, I want to spend more time in there even my teenager mentioned that she feels relaxed and inspired in that room. The children are more engaged it is peaceful. I discharged large quantities of toys, I've read articles and textbooks about setting up children environments. I bring few toys and rotate them weekly also books. I have set up more hands on activities very attractive. It definitely helped on how I feel working there everyday. I enjoy it, they are happy and it makes me happy.

    I have the following thoughts to share;

    Our playrooms are our work place, during winter we spend most time indoors, shouldn't it be inviting, inspiring, motivating, relaxing to you too? And not just the children? I've read some books, they were amazing it was informative to know on how even choosing relaxing colours helps our mind state. Or on how over stimulation and stress occurs when you see flashy colours or messes also the light plays a role on it.

    Try to make it look very a tractive and soothing to you too. Think what is that you like most (flowers or plants, relaxing vacation pictures or your own family pictures or the scent of cookies and vanilla candles, cinnamon in your tea, etc)
    Last edited by Peacefulbird; 12-23-2017 at 08:00 AM.

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