View Full Version : How do you switch off?

06-10-2011, 12:48 AM
For the past month or so I've been driving myself mad. I just can't seem to switch off from work. I just can't leave the paperwork alone or I have to start prepping myself for the next day. Or thinking and thinking about how I'm going to squeeze everything into my tight schedules.

It would help if I could have a room in my house, like my lounge where there is no childminding stuff but my house is tiny and it has to be there. At the weekends I put all my childminding stuff away but during the week it all has to stay out (pointless putting it all upstairs only to drag it all back down in the morning and too much work lol). So I can't get away from it. And I'm too tired to be going out.
As childminders we can't really close the door on it can we?

My job has become quite stressful recently. I have a lot of parents who won't step up with any discipline at home times so pick ups are hell. Two of my kids have big changes going on at home also so their behavior isn't great. It's all generally quite hard at the moment. Plus I know I've got my two biggest earners leaving me soon but I don't know when. So everything is up in the air.

And I just can't switch off. I worry about the kids and what their parents lack of discipline is doing to them. How I can help, how i can get my points over to parents.....rah!

I've got to get real. childminding is my job and once the l kids leave my house, they're NOT my problem. So why can't I switch off?

How do you guys switch off after work?

06-10-2011, 05:43 AM
After a terrible nights sleep I totally know where your coming from. I am working full time and have just started my Level 3 this week. I finish work at six then, get my own children ready for bed then back to the books till about ten. I really could not turn off last night and then back up at half five to do it all again!!
However, I have now decided that I have to be more disciplined and makes sure that I do not do anything work wise at the week end and I have also just taken up zumba on a Monday and Saturday, that really does take your mind off work!! LOl! and I am completely shattered after it.
I think it is quite hard at the beginning and especially our home is our work or is it our work is our home?? lol! but when things become easier you will learn to shut off and relax.


06-10-2011, 05:52 AM
I find it almost impossible to switch off - even when I go out with friends or family at some point I will think about or talk about work.

Even on holiday when I am strict with myself - I do not takepaperwork, or childcare books / mags BUT I will be on a walk and I will see some stones or bark or something that I need to photograph to show the children. I see things in shops, on markets etc that I just have to buy.

Also it does not help that most of my friends are childminders or are people I met while working for LA

And then there is the forum!
Then my volunteer role for NCMA

No I never switch off

Penny :)


06-10-2011, 07:14 AM
I feel exactly the same, I can never stop my mind going over and over about work. I have never been like this in any other job. Last Saturday I treated myself to a full body massage, I felt great when I came out of the salon but five mins later I bumped to the serial biting LO, who has been causing most of my stress, and her grandmother, so I was back to square one :( .

I will be watching this thread to see if anyone has a surefire way of switching off.

06-10-2011, 07:20 AM
I am much like Penny1959 - when I go on hols I usually find something for the children - came home from Corwall with a toy gruffalo and some bibs last year! :laughing:

I have taken up geocaching and that gives me out and about time and with puzzles to solve sometimes it takes my mind away from stuff.

Most of my friends are CM - we were nannies when we met over 20 years ago and registered as we had our own children so it does become a topic of conversation - then we say enough of work! great support system though :thumbsup:

It does take some effort to switch off from work mode though :rolleyes:

06-10-2011, 08:32 AM
I don't switch off - I am in danger of rapidly running out of power soon!! :laughing:
seriously I haven't slept in about 3 weeks - and I have a feeling its not going to get much better as my granddaughter will be born on Monday and then I will be in overdrive worrying about her and SDD whilst they are in hospital, and then at home...... worrying that SDD is getting enough sleep etc - it doesn't help of course that my own little bundle likes to do the mexican wave throughout the night!! :D

i see childminding as being like a parent though, you never switch off from it. i am constantly thinking of ways that I can support this learning or that, what I can do to help so and so with a certain transition, how to stop X being so sneaky etc..... just the same as I think about my own children and stepchildren and worry how best I can support them. I swear I am definately old before my time!!! :D

The Juggler
06-10-2011, 10:38 AM
same here - I had a dream about buying and gettign stuff ready for childminding the other night :panic: :blush:

try to set yourself one hour 1 or 2 evenings a week or say 2-3 hours max per weekend and stick to it. anythign non-essential not done in that time can wait - it usually can ;)

06-10-2011, 08:23 PM
Glad to hear I'm not alone :)
just wish I could stop worrying and fretting about stuff :(
I'd love to take up some sort of evening activity but my feet cane at the end of the day lol

Kate M
06-10-2011, 08:42 PM
One of my childminding buddies said to me last week that Childminding is like running a multi national company but with out the pay!! How true.
There always seems to be something to do. Will we ever have finished the paperwork and finally be on top of it????
As for switching off????? I bought a dog and really enjoy walking her through fields on my own during the summer evenings, but now its lashing down, dark and freezing I'm a bit back to square one myself. Let me know if you find a way.
I am a bit embarrased to say that I am going to the school disco tomorrow night to sell sweets on the stall and actually looking forward to it!! :laughing: :laughing: :blush:

07-10-2011, 06:04 AM
I shut the living room curtains and I cant see the mess in the conservatory,, I also take the dog out in the evenings,, dosent matter what the weather,, ususaly only 20mins as my partner takes him out for longer in the mornings but its my time to switch off, I refuse to do paper work out of ours and ususaly do paperwork when the after schoolis are here as they play happily ,, only got one at the moment after school so we do an activity of her choice then she plays or watchs tv whilst i do the paper work.

07-10-2011, 06:40 AM
I can't and don't switch off as this is my business and I always look for ways to improve all the time. Like everyone else, when we are out I am looking for equipment/ideas for the mindees even Christmas shopping for me DD I'm looking for what to buy for Childminding.
It never stops as it is your home and your business. I have a 3 year old daughter so when the mindees have gone it's her time for toys etc.
I love my job but even if I bought a second house for my business I still wouldn't switch off, it's who I am and what I do :laughing:

buzzy bee
07-10-2011, 07:23 AM
A big glass of wine! :laughing: just kidding...

I don't think I ever do either but I do find it easier now than I used to...

So much of childminding overlaps with everyday life... I just have the one diary which I use for both as otherwise it would get too confusing looking at 2... so sometimes in evenings and weekends I have to get out the work diary and have reminders... also like you the room we spend all our time in is our family room too so I have eveything all around me... so I'm constantly looking around and noticing things that need to be done.

I try to stay on top of paperwork on a daily basis which helps - a good time is when we've got home from school and they're sat at the table having a snack or all playing happily and the little ones are distracted with the older ones - I stay in the same room but get out my folder and do my accounts for that day and update the registers and do the little ones' daily diaries, and any other little jobs I have to do - invoices, sorting learning journey photos etc.

I used to put aside an evening each week to do all this but found that I was doing work most evenings.

But really I don't think you can ever switch off totally because it's your business and your life!

Hope that helps!

07-10-2011, 08:07 AM
My playroom is in the conservatory and at the end of each day I make sure everything is in there and shut the door :D

Because I have been downstairs working I love to go up to my bedroom and watch TV there. I hardly ever sit on the sofa and watch TV as its work to me...

I do find myself collecting thins when on holiday too. I'll look in the little shops for buckets/spades or anything that is a good bargain :D

As for the children, I have two boys who are very boisterous and I've had lots of problems at home time. Ive given advice to Mum about things over the years and its up to her to do what she wants to do. Once I get them out the door its not my problem :blush: Sometimes they run off, other times I can hear them fighting to get in the front seat....Dont get me wrong, I love them to pieces but after working 10hrs a day I'm pooped and just want to have a sit down. Ive done my bit and enjoy my evening :D

Becky x

Oh yes...the G&T works too :D

Carol M
07-10-2011, 10:40 AM
My work/life balance doesn't exist!
Never switch off, actually starting to resent it :blush:
Carol xx

07-10-2011, 12:20 PM
It's really good to know that I'm not alone guys.
That's the fab thing about this forum. We are all in it together.
Have had 2 new starters this week and given notice to one [end of the road with his general behaviour etc] I am shattered.
I have 'lists' endless blooming lists!:laughing: but if I don't write it down, I don't sleep at night.
I also have my shopping due to be delivered this afternoon. Tried it years ago and it didn't work for me, but with 2 new full-timers the last thing I want to do is spend Saturday in Asda.
Hubs and I are going shopping and to the cinema tomorrow. Sometimes we have to 'force' ourselves to switch off as there are always jobs to do.

07-10-2011, 12:47 PM
I never switch off either even though I only set up the end of July I had my first mindee straight away. I also began setting up back in March and was constantly working on stuff. Now I am registered and full! I never stop theres always paperwork to do, resources to get, planning to do, activities to prepare etc etc. :laughing: never ending :rolleyes:

08-10-2011, 02:50 PM
Talking of not switching off..... What am I doing on here on a Saturday afternoon...

08-10-2011, 05:28 PM
Talking of not switching off..... What am I doing on here on a Saturday afternoon...

Me too!!!!! LOL

Only I'm actually online for positive reasons. I've emailed all my parents to tell them I won't be doing homework with the children after school anymore. It's becoming more and more and one night I don't get them home until almost 5 because of after school clubs. I also have to feed everyone! They're picked up at 6pm and one night some of the ones that need feeding are picked up at 5!
I don't have that many pairs of hands and I'm pretty sure this after school madness has contributed to me being too stressed to sleep. I've said if they're picked up by 5 or 6 then there should be time to do homework at home.
So thats the end of that and I feel better already lol

08-10-2011, 07:35 PM
i don't switch off!

i've got lots of courses etc coming up soon at weekends, so today i took the 'day off' everything and went shopping to spend birthday vouchers from july :rolleyes:

well ... i did buy stuff for me ... like a grown up handbag with NO room for childrens things! ... but i also bought some moon dough ( a mum at school was raving about it, so i have to try it! ), some new muslins, and lots of bits & pieces of craft stuff !!! i also looked everywhere i went for a nice childrens workbench! luckily i didn't find one, as i don't know how i would have carried it as went on the bus !!!

but even sitting on the bus i found myself thinking about what i needed to change on my sef, and things i need to print out for learning journeys etc!