View Full Version : Hard times. Advice needed!

05-03-2013, 10:12 PM
I have been childminding for just over a year but only recently ( about 6 weeks) been childminding full time 7:30 till 6:00. I have 2 children of my own, 1 is 3 and 1 is 7. I can have 4 under 8 of which 2 can be under 5 of which 1 can be under 1. Now I am full everyday pretty much and I am finding it quite a juggle. Hubby has recently been made redundant and is now trying to get his own business up and running, he's out mostly 6days a week doesn't get home till late. I'm feeling really down, I honestly don't stop. I feel my whole life is taken over by childminding. I love the actual time I spend with the eyfs children but am finding the schoolies harder. All of them are great kids and on their own re no problem, but put them together and they mainly argue about arguing. It's not all the time we do have some good days but I do find it hard with my children because they can be quite moody and when they play me up or ignore me I think they all think they can. Feel like I'm constantly telling them not to throw in the house, stand on my sofa, play fight, say silly things, be kind to each other, to treat my belongings and my children's toys with respect! Hmmph :(
I spend at least half a day at weekend doing accounts and planning and lj's. There's just no stop. I look on here a read about all the other things people do and think " should I be doing that as well"
I feel I need to regain some of my life as its all putting quite a stain of my relationship with my husband as we both seem quite resentful towards each other. Me because I feel like a single parent working 50+ hrs a week trying to hold the family together and him because I nag him about not being around enough. I know he has stuff he needs to do but it's like there's him then there's me and the kids. Feels like we are drifting apart :(
What can I do! I could cut back on children but how do I decide who goes? I feel I have a responsibility to each family and would hate to leave them in the lurch and them feel badly about me or I look for something else to do, but I've nearly finished my level 3 and put so much effort into making this work.
Anyone else ever felt like this? Think that would be easier if my 2 were older because although they say they like me childminding, sometimes it's enough just having to deal with them!

05-03-2013, 10:21 PM
I dont have advice just didnt wanna read n run without sendin a hug x

05-03-2013, 10:26 PM
I too didnt want to read and run.
We all have difficult times, I do when hubby has different days off to me. But it is a job and you do need to earn too.
Get the children to make a notice for rules in your home.....no jumping off sofa, sharing and have a reward chart with stickers to show who is doing them.
Dont be too hard on yourself reading what others are doing we are all different and teach the children we mind in different ways. As long as they are happy thrieving and learning you are doing a good job.

Sending a big hug too

Carol xxx

wendy latimer
06-03-2013, 12:18 AM
I have been there were you are now.a Last year i had two full time children leave through redundancy and was £500 down a month.every penny i earn goes on bills and they seemed to go up all the time.My other half was out of work (under my feet) and were i live their didn't seem much call for childcare.I did think of
finding another job but when i started to look with only having qualifications in childare i got very disheartened.My youngest is in last year of primary school so would need looking after,and he didn't like the idear of going to a childminder as i have always been at home for both of my children. We all fall on hard times in our lives and at that time everything got on top of me.I managed to put a brave face on every day trying to keep on top of paper work and keeping a happy house.eventually work started to come my way and mr got work again so now managing to catch up on bills now.sometimes we have to look on the bright side of life.who know's what's round the corner keep smiling things can only get better:)

06-03-2013, 01:03 AM
Aaw this could be me..
Hugs to you x x my oh works most weekends so has his days off the days I work 90% of the time.i too feel like a single parent and am finding it hard working stupid hours and keeping the house ticking over.He helps, but needs asking. Why can they not just see and do I don't know! Ok, they can.. Some just dont..
It can be hard with your own , Esp when they play up in front of the mindies. My 2 yr old chooses his battles for when parents pick up at the moment. As if I'm going to give in to him to keep him quiet !
I sometimes have 4 sibling after schoolers and their love of winding each other up, while I'm cooking their tea usually, after a 7am start, makes me want to work nights! We did a contract between us and they signed it. Mainly to respect my home and my sons toys that he kindly shares for my job! They then wanted to beat each other to be the best at obeying it, and tit tale the ones that werent.so an improvement. The ones I used t have regularly were harder work than my littlies and sadly I wasn't to distressed when they moved towns. As horrible as that sounds, I gained my evenings back for a while.
I put my son into nursery to give me a few hours to get paperwork done . Or sit and blast music! I get 2 hours once mindie goes home that day. Hardly worth it ,once I get started its time to collect but he enjoys the time out too .

Can you afford to reduce your hours? I couldn't but did end a contract with a family but there were other factors. I am now finished by 5.30 most days which is nicer. And would reducing your children solve the issues? If its them fighting , then try the ground rules. Get them to note take and design a poster. Are we allowed to do 100 lines as a consequence?? Lol
Deep breath x

The comments that keep me sane are the ones that say don't over do un necessary paper work!

christine e
06-03-2013, 06:45 AM
Last night I had 5 after schoolers and one under 5 so I know exactly what you mean.

First of all we don't come straight home we go to the park so they can burn off some energy - if park out of question then we sometimes go to the library where at least there is more space. Also I sometimes split some children up (not literally) in that I might get one helping me set table whilst another is on computer just because together they can be a bit overwhelming.


06-03-2013, 07:58 AM
Being outside more has really made a difference here this last week, to the kids AND me! With walking to and from school more, a trip to the a park on the way home, and then the garden being more accessible once we get home, none of us are feeling as 'cooped up'.
Sometimes too, it's best just to let them argue it out between themselves - exploring their reasoning and point of view :laughing:
Being consistent and firm is a must - I have a 3 strikes you're out rule and I stick to it!
All the kids know I mean what I say, including my own two, so that helps.
Everyone made the house rules, there are only 8 of them, but it covers every eventuality:
We are kind to each other
We all like good manners
We do not hurt each other
We put on our listening ears
We are respectful of everything around us
We do not break our toys
We keep ourselves and each other safe
We don't put things in our mouths

I am a single parent so I understand how hard it is to juggle everything, but try not to start resenting your hubby, he is after all trying to find work - was it slow to get your business to where it is now? I know I wasn't working for months and it drove me nuts!
I was disappointed in myself and fed up that the more I tried the more I failed, maybe hubby is feeling just as fed up...?
Was hubby supportive whilst you were waiting to get work, if so, then now it's his turn... x

Re paperwork: Don't worry about what everyone else is doing! If you are covering the stuff you need to do and you and your parents are happy with it, then that's enough. Maybe look at anything you're duplicating and see if you can change that aspect (SEF then taken care of ;)), maybe you're doing too much?

Re home life: I live my life through lists! It saves me soo much trouble! I set myself time limits and organise my day as much as possible. Shopping list once a week, if I don't have time, goes through online and up to 9pm the night before I want it, and can save me a good hour or two by not having to go to the store. I can then use the time saved there to do paperwork if it's needed - normally my accounts stuff and LJ's.
Do you have a dishwasher? If not, have you got space for one? Washing pots was the most boring, time consuming, activity of my day. I saved nearly an hour a day there too lol, plus, I can wash some of the toys in it! Bonus!

Housework: Set aside a small amount of time a day to do chores - spend x amount of time doing whatever you can in each room, what doesn't get done, gets done if I have more time that day - kids going home earlier is great, instead of breathing a sigh of relief and flopping on the sofa :laughing:, or gets done the following day. Do a web search for fly lady threads
Can your 7 year old earn pocket money by doing little jobs that would help take some of the pressure off you. (My dd used to do the washing up, sort the washing into piles for me, dust and brush up/hoover downstairs - wood floor) It wasn't much, but it made her feel important and helpful, and of course she liked pay day, and that was BEFORE I started minding (I worked long days when I was employed too)

It's all about time management really, where can you utilise, what little time you do have, to improve your quality of life?

Wow, I've waffled there haven't I?!

06-03-2013, 08:01 AM
It is hard and this group reminds us we are not the only one! Which is of great help personally :-) big hugs to you chin up your obviously doing a great job and do you know what sometimes things have to sit on the back burner - like housework for example, chill out at some point over weekend and spend some quality time with just your own children even if its just a DVD n chocolate xxx trust me it works!

hectors house
06-03-2013, 08:07 AM
First of all wanted to congratulate you on nearly finishing your level 3 and for being so busy with your childminding business - think of the positive things first, then look at each problem you raised in your post - write them down in order of which bugs you the most - then try to think of a solution for each one.

Would it help if you didn't do after school children or are some of them siblings to the under 5's?, 6pm is quite a late finish - are the parents on time or does it drift into being 6.10 when they arrive and 6.20 by the time they have gone?, if so try to address this with them - be on time and prompt hand over.

I like the ideas of getting the older children to work together to think of and endorse house rules and giving them little jobs to do, that the replies above suggest.

Are you doing too much work for the LJ's - I know I am alot of the observations I do and write about, don't actually tick off anything in the EYFS or it may be something that has already been covered but I do it for the parents benefit rather than Ofsted. I know I do far more than the local nurseries.

Give yourself permission to cut back a bit - I'm sure the parents wouldn't mind especially when the other option for them is you giving up and they have to find another fantastic childminder.

06-03-2013, 11:15 AM
Lots of good advice here, so I will try not to repeat too much. I have been there too about 3 years ago. In the end I had a long, hard look at my business and decided to stop looking after schoolies and kids older than my own two - as this was causing all sorts of issues.

My day was getting longer and longer (7 until 7 most days) and the house would often still be in a mess / kiddie chaos when my DH got home. So my evenings and weekends would be spent tidying, cleaning and doing paperwork. Not great for marital bliss :-(

My own two kids were getting stressed out and problematic due to me being so knackered all the time and mainly arguments over toy sharing. Basically, I stopped enjoying my work and it became 'getting through the day'.

So I have stopped doing after schoolies and now mainly have little ones during the day while my own kids are at school. Because they are so much younger, we don't have the issues over toys that used to cause massive stress. They are not seen as a 'threat' in the family setup, in fact, my kids often help by playing with them because they are cute and little! And they do a slightly shorter day, so I can concentrate on my own life past 6 pm.

You probably just need to make some 'tweaks' - take a long hard look at which placements earn you the most for (relatively) the least stress.

I'm sure after schoolies work well for some CMs, perhaps with older kids of their own or no kids at home. But they didn't work for us.

Good luck & HUG x