this is taking over my life, is it just me?
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  1. #1
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    Default this is taking over my life, is it just me?

    Hi

    I'm after some words of wisdom\advise

    I moved into cm from a job as a hlta (which I Loved), as there was a breakdown in my own childcare arrangements.
    thing is its taking over everything!
    I'm always 'at work' & finding things that need doing.
    my eldest is 13, & i hardly see her. When she leaves in the morning im busy with an lo, when she comes in after school im busy with an lo so she goes straight upstairs.
    my last one doesn't leave til 7pm, so my 5 year old is so tired most nights we end up not reading, & today her teacher pulled me up on it :0(
    my baby is only 18 months & shes got really clingy as i have to pick up the other lo all the time as hes very needy.

    the lo's are all different ages so finding activities is really hard as they are all at different stages and i only have one pair of hands

    most days (if i eat) dinner is stood at the kitchen side whilst refereeing!
    the kids i have hardly ever want to do the activities I've spent hours planning
    and with paperwork some nights i don't switch off the laptop until 11pm!

    I used to go to dance with my daughter on Tuesday nights & have a coffee & a chat, I've not seen my friends for over a month now because of kids pick up times

    is this how it is?
    or is it just me......

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  3. #2
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    sorry to tell you ..but yes .THat sounds like my life too.BUT we do have choices,we can choose to work shorter to work shorter hours or less days.If you feel like its spoiling your family time then look at where you could cut back a bit x

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    I've trained all mine to have a nap after lunch so we go out every morning to a group before 9.30 and arrive back around 11.30, free play, lunch sleep, I tidy and eat and do online shopping, then when they wake we play (already covered 7 areas at the group) and then pick up kids from school and start tea, kids play together/wii/ garden, after tea the games begin, I finish at 6 and I do paperwork in one go every month so only work 1 late night a month, I keep my obs sheets on side in form of clouds (5per page) fill in as I see something and the in my late night I link and next step them, file them etc try not doing as much planning, go with the flow or like me find a group (at a childrens centre) that does the most for you!

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    I work 7.30-5.30 and that is the latest I would work, means I get an hour to read, homework and bedtime routine my 5yo.

    However I don't have as many children as you!

    First things first you need to cut your hours down to 5.30 6pm at a push.

    As already said I do paperwork once a month too, I don't plan as such, no written planning I find things to do, work out what things would be good and put them in when routine allows. I don't do set '1 hour craft activity' or anything like that.

    Be strong! On Friday night remove sight of all childminding things, clean the house and hide your paperwork (even if it takes you to 11pm) and then you can enjoy 2 full days with your kids xx

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    Also an early finish on a Friday helps, 3.15! You need to adjust your times, it's difficult and may take some manipulating but it's your business and you can do it, write to parents saying due to changes in personal circumstances, you will feel better then x

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    How long have you been working? I found at the beginning of setting up my business it was all-consuming and then in the run-up to my first graded inspection I spent hours getting everything ready - paperwork, LJs, RAs, etc etc. But it has got easier and I have found ways to minimise the time I spend working 'out of hours'. I think it's also important to remember that the nature of the job is that there will ALWAYS be something else that you could do and at some point you just have to say 'enough' and stop and go to dance with your daughter or read with your five year old or cuddle your baby.

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    It's time to re analyse your work life balance and remember work to live NOT live to work.

    write down what you want to do and work around that - if you can afford to. If you can't afford to reduce your workload i'm afraid you will just have to suck it up and carry on the best you can but have it in mind your focus for the future.

    It can get chaotic if you let it - put your work away when your last ones goes. Do your paperwork during minding times and relax about 'planned' activities, kids are just as happy cutting/tearing and sticking argos catalogue pictures every now and again as they are having elaborate activities and that is ok it doesn't mean you aren't doing your job. Chill out before you burn out.

    To be honest, Your 13 year old is probably glad you arn't in her face all the time and I think you would find her upstairs in her bedroom 98% of the day (2% in the fridge getting food to take to her room if she is anything like my 15 and 12 yr old) so that's one less to feel guilty about.

    Plan reading as soon as your 5 year old gets home as part of your 'working' day. And I take my hat off to you having a 18m old too (you must be knackered) I'm not surprised you feel overwhelmed.

    7pm is a late finish, I couldn't do it. I do until 5.30pm - 4 nights and 6.30pm - 1 night and I hate that one night. I know I will not work any later than 5.30pm in the future for new clients because I need to do what is right for me and in turn this is right for everyone else in my home.

    Good luck, you are doing an amazing job, keep telling yourself this and look after yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickers83 View Post
    Hi

    I'm after some words of wisdom\advise

    I moved into cm from a job as a hlta (which I Loved), as there was a breakdown in my own childcare arrangements.
    thing is its taking over everything!
    I'm always 'at work' & finding things that need doing.
    my eldest is 13, & i hardly see her. When she leaves in the morning im busy with an lo, when she comes in after school im busy with an lo so she goes straight upstairs.
    my last one doesn't leave til 7pm, so my 5 year old is so tired most nights we end up not reading, & today her teacher pulled me up on it :0(
    my baby is only 18 months & shes got really clingy as i have to pick up the other lo all the time as hes very needy.

    the lo's are all different ages so finding activities is really hard as they are all at different stages and i only have one pair of hands

    most days (if i eat) dinner is stood at the kitchen side whilst refereeing!
    the kids i have hardly ever want to do the activities I've spent hours planning
    and with paperwork some nights i don't switch off the laptop until 11pm!

    I used to go to dance with my daughter on Tuesday nights & have a coffee & a chat, I've not seen my friends for over a month now because of kids pick up times

    is this how it is?
    or is it just me......
    Your own kids should come first. If you've stopped doing things with them due to childminding it's not fair on any of you.

    There's no need for hours of planning, you've said yourself they don't even want to do the activities. Let your mindees play with what they choose, then expand on those, keep it simple.

    Set aside one evening per week or fortnightly to do paperwork. Every night is way too much!!

    As someone else mentioned, take them to groups/childrens centres where they organise messy play and other activities...then you go home to a clean, mess free house to enjoy some lunch, yes enjoy it lol!!

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    After 10 years I now work 4 days a week ... 8 ish till 5.30 and 6 pm one day a week. I do most of my paper work in a couple of hours on Sunday morning (or Monday afternoon. .my day off! ) outside of working hours my family and activities come first.

    BUT it has taken me a long time to get to this point. My children are now 8 & 11 but it was hard when they were little.

    Take time for your children and enjoy spending time with them. Xxx

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    I guess if you talk to anyone building up a business it is 24/7 childminding is often seen differently but it shouldn't be, maybe you need to enlist others who could help support you in your parenting/family needs till you get things sorted x

  13. #11
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    Yes it is pretty hectic. 7pm is a late finish I finish at 6pm and some parents even pick up early at 5.30pm most nights. 6.30pm is the maximum I would stretch to as I still have to do homework and reading with my own children.

    Is cutting back on your hours a possibility?

  14. #12
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    I try to finish by 5.30. I prefer to open at 8am so I have time to myself and get my own kids up and ready. I do have one 6.30 finish and that's hard as generally in a rush to do bedtime and stories etc.
    no way you could cut back a bit on a few days? On those days say goidbye to mindees then forget all about it and then focus in your own. I think that'll help.

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    Hi I've been minding almost a year and at first I was working 7-6.30 4 days a week and felt like you do.

    Unfortunately I think this is how it is in the beginning until you find a family which suits yours and their needs.

    I now work mon to Friday 8-9 3-6 with 3 brothers and 1 boy after school which leaves me with time through the day for my own children (3&1) and jobs :-) paperwork is done once a week or fortnight.

    Hang on in there it does get better. Only you can decide how to approach this whether that be cut back hours or relax slightly on paperwork.

    Try to enjoy the job it's so rewarding but can get a little over whelming some days too.

    Xx

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    I found I did too much to start with.

    Firstly 7pm is a late finish. If it's impacting on family time I would change if possible. I don't take contracts past 6pm. I will do the odd late but they are on a very adhoc basis.

    Also, don't "plan" lots of things for set times and days. Have a few things up your sleeve you can pull out as and when the LO's are in the mood or you feel they will be receptive to it. This was one of my biggest frustrations when I started. Also you get used to what kind of things work so you can quickly pull an activity together off the cuff. I just have a list of things I would like to do each week. Any that don't get done get carried over to the next week or crossed off if the child's interests have moved on or if I've met that need some other way.

    Look at the "quality" of what you are recording paperwork wise. I used to write reams and reams of stuff, a lot of it unnecessary.

    With your child's reading, let your mindees amuse themselves for the 15 minutes or so it takes. I have them playing on the floor in sight and either read with DD at the table or snuggled up on the sofa.

  17. #15
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    Thanks for all your replies

    i don't think I can cut down hours due to the parents work times, the reason they came to a cm & not nursery or after school club were hours

    I think maybe I over think things as working in schools everything had to be planned etc.
    so I've got folders of activity plans, which now I'm thinking are probably not necessary.

    today i only have lo's before & after school, & most would do the paperwork etc today. But for me its a day for my baby & to see my mum.

    this is month 4 of minding so im hoping it will settle down soon as I don't know how much longer I will be able to keep up at this pace!

  18. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tealady View Post

    With your child's reading, let your mindees amuse themselves for the 15 minutes or so it takes. I have them playing on the floor in sight and either read with DD at the table or snuggled up on the sofa.
    I tried this in the first week, but my DD get easily distracted, & if it wasn't her it was one of the others 'needing' something or more likely tittle-tattling on someone..... I think I've got the biggest bunch of grasses ever! Lol

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    I purposely keep weekends totally free for family and friends time, i don't do ANYTHING work related, i don't even talk about work. I do paperwork while the kids nap, or even while I'm watching them do an activity I get some planning done, its about finding time to cram it in
    I'd rather do it in work time anyway as I'm getting paid to do it and not doing paperwork in my own time, taking me away from my own young daughter
    I also purposely kept my living room totally free of kids artwork toys etc so I can shut the door on the dining room and I can relax in the living room without it feeling like work space
    I really feel for you if you're feeling its taking over your life, its not supposed to be like that but it does get a little overwhelming
    The nature of this job means that we do bring our work into our homes but it shouldn't be to the point where its cutting in too much on family time, I'd do as others have suggested and at least one day a week close earlier to do something with your daughter
    I don't know a childminder who hasn't felt overwhelmed at some point so you're definitely not alone, its just a case of shifting things about if you can to get some personal time xx
    Kelly xx

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  21. #18
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    I have really enjoyed reading these posts, so helpful, you are a wonderful lot

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  23. #19
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    I actually think that people are doing far too mych paperwork, planning etc i dont do anywhere near what others do and i got outstanding!! Dont get me wrong i do everything that is required

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    Quote Originally Posted by clairer View Post
    Yes it is pretty hectic. 7pm is a late finish I finish at 6pm and some parents even pick up early at 5.30pm most nights. 6.30pm is the maximum I would stretch to as I still have to do homework and reading with my own children.

    Is cutting back on your hours a possibility?
    i was going to say the same thing. 7pm is late hon. That way you can sort your little ones out and when they are in bed have time for a chat with your older daughter.

    What I would do also is try to settle mindees in play/activity when your oldest comes in so you can just have that 5 mins chat with her when she walks through the door then a proper catch up later on. Don't look for things to do all the time. Have a sort out last thing fri/early sat then leave it all and be with your family.xx
    if you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got

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