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Thread: Burnout?

  1. #1
    Shy
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    Burnout?

    How can you tell if you are getting " burned out" ? I am finding myself longing for the weekend more and more...I love the kids, but I am working more than 60 hours/week between two jobs and feeling "empty". I am a single mom and I run my day home on my own. I wish I could take a couple months off just to sleep and catch up on my housework! Plus I long for quiet! My littlest ones call my name about 20 times per hour! I would love a week of dead silence, no sound at all.
    Anyone else out there feeling burnt out by childcare?

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    Van

  3. #2
    Euphoric !
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    Quote Originally Posted by Home away View Post
    How can you tell if you are getting " burned out" ? I am finding myself longing for the weekend more and more...I love the kids, but I am working more than 60 hours/week between two jobs and feeling "empty". I am a single mom and I run my day home on my own. I wish I could take a couple months off just to sleep and catch up on my housework! Plus I long for quiet! My littlest ones call my name about 20 times per hour! I would love a week of dead silence, no sound at all.
    Anyone else out there feeling burnt out by childcare?
    Some last longer than others in this business. I can understand for sure that it's hard when single as the adult interaction isn't there at the end of the day but it varies so much person to person.

    I would think, for me, it would be time to reconsider if..

    1. I dreaded each morning
    2. Client's were annoying me for trivial reasons that wouldn't normally upset me.
    3. I was watching the clock waiting for pick up time.
    4. If the endless chatter became irritating more often than not.

    The questions and the chatter will never cease so that's something that you need to be able to tolerate. Even when it's quiet time, the reality is there is normally at least one non-napper chatting quietly to you or themselves.

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    Van

  5. #3
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    It happens... The hours are long, and it takes alot of energy and patience to keep doing it year after year. I'm in year 10, and have definitely been in that zone at certain points over the last 2 years.
    I have found a few things that helped me get out of that slump.
    Make sure to include enough vacation time for yourself to recharge. When I first began, I only took 2 weeks off a year. After about year 5, I increased my vacation time to 4 weeks off. Some is paid, and some is not. I realized that in order to be at my best, I really needed the down time to mentally/physically recharge.
    The next thing I did was shorten my hours by 1/2 an hour at the end of the day. I found that parents were gradually using longer times, and picking up right at closing even though they'd been done work for hours. When my latest pickup parent left, I cut the closing time back 1/2 an hour, and it made a huge difference, as far as getting dinner ready/getting my kids to activities/getting homework done/bath time/bed time etc.
    Also, take a look at your clients(the kids and the parents) because sometimes that difficult parent or child is taking more of a toll on you than you or the other kids in your group, than you realize. Just went through this, and a child left for school. Within several days, I couldn't believe the sense of relief I felt, and how easy our days flowed without the behaviour(from the child and their parents) It wasn't necessarily major red flags, but a bunch of issues that mounded up and parents wouldn't deal with over several years. I did't feel respected.
    When I interview clients now, I am picky! I don't take everyone who walks through the door, regardless of my financial situation. Be choosy, and pick one that fits well with your group, and parents that are respectful.
    If you'd asked me this 6 months ago, I was ready to quit. Then after that family left, I realized that my remaining families were awesome and respectful, and that I had let 1 family affect me negatively, to the point that I truly questioned my skills and abilities(and I'm an ECE)
    Also, try changing up your play space, or changing the order of the routines, or try to get out for walks more. Sometimes the simplest things make a difference.
    I can't imagine single parenthood and trying to do this job. It's grueling. Try making some changes to benefit you(if you can) We as mothers, have a tendency to ignore our own needs, and it's important to make ourselves a priority once in a while. If it's still not working after you try some changes, then perhaps it's time for a change. Good luck!

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  7. #4
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    Busy ECE mommy raises some good points.

    I close at 4.30pm without exception. While that does limit my potential client base, I've managed to fill my spaces consistently for the last 5 years with that closing time. I only need it to work for 6 client's and I'm unconcerned about whether it works or not for the majority seeking care. There is one local provider who I know has made snide comments about my closing time but so what - she's open until 6pm and if she feels she has to do that to fill her spaces, then that say more about what her program lacks. I've shown this market can cope with an early closing time so if she feels she has to work 90 mins longer, she can knock herself out.

    I also have 10 days paid leave and 5 days paid sick. I take every single paid leave day every year but the sick days I only take if needed and I've not needed many at all. Part of avoiding getting sick is because I allow myself time to regroup each day.

    One other thing I've learned is to vet clients and remember it's a two way interview. I will not offer a space to someone who I think is going to be problematic in any way. Late pickup fees are applied from the minute someone is late, every single time and because I enforce my policies my client's all respect the boundaries I have set in place.

    All that said, my 4 boys are long grown and gone. Our youngest is in his final year of University but he's out of Province in Toronto and we know that's where he intends staying even after this year is done. And I do have a wonderful, semi-retired husband who picks up the slack, and is very supportive in letting me vent.

    Any single Mom has my utmost respect because there is no break and no means to walk out the door and just catch your breath for a few mins. What I will say is when my husband was working, he would often work away and so for very short periods of a few weeks, I got a glimpse into your every day of doing it alone. Please don't forget you. As a person in your own right. I tell this to my daughter-in-law all the time. My son and daughter-in-law have a wonderful Downs Syndrome child but sometimes my daughter in law gets so absorbed with their child's needs that she forgets that she is a person still too and not solely a Mommy or wife.

    When you give all the time, your cup gets empty. And you need time out to yourself to refill it. You can't keep giving to your children, your friends, your client's when you are running on empty.

    Set some boundaries and be willing to enforce them. Sure, you might lose some client's as you figure out what you need but you will replace them with more suitable clients who are a better match. Don't feel you have to be everything to everyone and learn to say No. It's okay to say no to people and not justify your reasons for doing so.

    I don't know how small your children are or if you have any support in your local community but try and take some time for you. And don't feel guilty about doing that. If you have daughters, you will be showing them that Mommy's are people too and no Mommy has to pretend to be Super Woman until she's beyond exhausted and second guessing her choices. And if you have sons, then it's good that they see woman aren't these wind up toys that can just keep going and going without any escape.

    Perhaps there is another single parent in your community you could befriend? This isn't a pity us single parents move but it might lead into an arrangement where you take her children overnight once a month and she does the same for you. That at least gives you one night off to go and be an adult somewhere. Even if you just spend the time browsing the stores, and treating yourself to lunch or an evening meal out somewhere. You have to get some rewards and treats for the effort you are putting in raising your children alone or you will begin to feel invisible and unworthy - and no emotionally healthy adult should feel that way.

    Take up a hobby you've always wanted to try - so what if it means a little expense. If one of your children came asking to try a new sport, I know you'd try and find the money for him/her to see if this was going to become a passion of theirs. You deserve equally to have those opportunities.

    Do something for you - please don't wait until some imaginary time in future like when your loan is paid off, when the children are a little older, when it's summer, when there's more money - This is your life. It's now. It's not some wishy-washy date in the future. Show your children that when they get to be an adult, that life isn't about just working and working. If you can't justify it to yourself, then justify it by understanding that you are showing your children that adults are individuals too and that taking time out for yourself is healthy and wise. It enables you to return to your family or client's, refreshed, and with a clearer mind and with better focus. Spreading yourself so thin trying to be everything to everyone is a fool's game because no one is getting the best you.
    Last edited by Suzie_Homemaker; 01-16-2018 at 06:09 PM.

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  9. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Home away View Post
    How can you tell if you are getting " burned out" ? I am finding myself longing for the weekend more and more...I love the kids, but I am working more than 60 hours/week between two jobs and feeling "empty". I am a single mom and I run my day home on my own. I wish I could take a couple months off just to sleep and catch up on my housework! Plus I long for quiet! My littlest ones call my name about 20 times per hour! I would love a week of dead silence, no sound at all.
    Anyone else out there feeling burnt out by childcare?
    I really feel for you. It must be hard to be in your situation, my only suggestion would be to reach out, there are community support programs, perhaps you can find places to drop your kids here and there and that could give you some break. It is important the jobs you do but also is more important your health and well-being. Try to give yourself a priority, try to go bed earlier there are natural tea's to help you out and when you visit your family doctor perhaps they can give you a prescription for B12 or concentrated vitamin D, I usually get those around these season and it helps.

    The lack of sun also influences and try to check your diet too. I haD to change my morning coffee for apples and bananas and lots of water. It did the trick.

    Try to relax when you can as much as you can, I figured out that going out (in my case) wasn't helping my situation it was more depressing and stressful even the fact of driving or finding a parking spot or noisy children in a restaurant etc, etc. I now focus on peace, quiet, I read a lot, I force myself to go bed earlier, a nice cup of warm tea, I play soothing music, there are programs for your children on weekends and being single matter I'm sure there are at least tax deductible try them out. Take one step at a time, even cleaning make a list and accomplish it little by little. I had to throw all my clutter leaving my house only with the most basic (now it is not overwelming anymore) my husband thinks the house looks bare but very peaceful and it is organized in a breeze. I do not longer spend a day.clearing things out. And it changed my life style, I spend more time on me not anymore in things to do here unless is the basic and doesn't take much of my precious time. When you can leave the house with your kids and let them run arounD they will be tired and give you a break for a change.

    Remember there is absolutely "nothing more important than your health". Perhaps you can find a mom helper for few hours.that can also help.

    Good luck, and remember we are here to listen and support you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

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  11. #6
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    It is a good time to look at your life and see what you can change- maybe you can put the fees up a little that you can let the other job go , or maybe you need the outlet of the other job to keep you sane ? Look at ways to make your day better, I did change my play room around yesterday and I can't tell how good it feels and the children are playing so nicely. Also look at how many kids you have now and if any press your buttons a bit too much, or the parents- put it all down on paper as I find that helps me to vent and just get it out of my system.
    Also I look forward to just having a cup of tea on the weekends even when I wake up early I just chill out relaxing with several cups of tea and my notebooks to relax. Find out what would help you - maybe when a child leaves you can manage with less money as it may be less stress as I have 4 children every day and that is my magic number for me. Good Luck and a HUG

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  13. #7
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    I am on my 11th year....and realizing that I really don't spend much time taking care of myself. I work 60 hrs a week between my day home and a part time job that I work evenings and weekends. Overall, I have good families and kids. I think I need to find a way to either cut back my hours or take time to myself ( not easy as a single mom) One recurring problem I have is that I stay up too late instead of going to bed, but night time is the only time I get to myself!

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