Please someone give me some advise / thoughts :(
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  1. #1
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    Default Please someone give me some advise / thoughts :(

    Hi all, im feeling pretty shitty... basically don't have anyone to talk to other than you guys as no one else really gets what its like to be at home all day with other peoples children trashing your home and not giving you 1 second of a break. WHO works 10.5hours without a break, firstly its illegal! So ive worked in childcare for the last 7 years as a room supervisor, au pair, nanny housekeeper and deputy manager of a nursery and became a childminder only one month ago.. I am lucky that I am pretty much full and yes the money is good but I am just NOT enjoying it, I feel guilty because I thought this is what I wanted but my main 2 reasons were that I had worked in some AWFUL settings and wanted to do a better job to the handful of kids in my care which I do, I give them my all. and secondly when we start a family hopefully not to far away future I can look after my baby and still earn a living. I don't know whether I should give it longer as I know a months not long but I just keep thinking of how lovely this house would be without all this child friendly stuff in it I feel bad as my partner works shift so one week 6am-2pm so he is back at 3.15 and been up since 4.30 am he has a long commute and by end of week thurs/ fri he needs to have a nap when he gets in but hwen I have a screaming baby who wants to be attached to my hip (impossible with 2 other mindees) he cant even sleep. I just feel so torn I daren't look on the job sites incase I see something that really jumps out. I m so sorry for ranting im just hoping someone can shed some light im feeling really low and like a failure x also may I add some days I LOVE it then it goes to a flip hate in literally 5 minutes of 2 children screaming or when they wont eat a homemade lovely meal ive slaved away at the evening before in my time. its really up and down

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    Not sure if I have advise but certainly my thoughts are that you have gone in at the deep end (not that that is a bad thing but make allowances for yourself), you haven't got the easiest situation so there are bound to be challenges- most of us go into CMing having had our own children (so very used to having our lovingly home cooked meals chucked at us, used to being vomited on, used to having 1-2 limpet-child(ren) screaming in ones ear, used to a house full of toys where you feel the house is now theirs and you are the hired-help, used to the non-stop demands, used to the days where even getting out of the house is too much to manage...). We also often have been at home alone already with our own children so we are used to that, and many have already established a mummy-network of friends and contacts- toddler groups we go to with our own children etc.
    Don't be too tough on yourself- you have 3 little mindees? Imagine you were a new-mum of triplets, that must to close to what you are going through plus all the pressure of running your own business and dealing with parents etc. If you were a new mum of triplets you would have family and friends running round with cassaroles and offering to do you ironing for you... but no you are on your own so give yourself a pat on the back for doing so well- really, it is a very stressful job at times.
    I would write a list of the issues and see if you can work on them one by one- can you plan to get the mindees out for a walk when your partner needs a sleep? or put a film on the TV for them for a bit?
    Can you reduce the toys/equipment or find a better storage solution?
    Have you tried the baby in a sling: hands-free makes it so much easier.
    It does get easier and easier, you will learn to relax. I would also suggest to try to stop worrying about Ofsted- you are most unlikely to see an inspector for years and even then they are more interested in how you know your children and their learning/developement and basic safeguarding than they are about RAs or anything else. Give yourself time to settle into it.

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    Don't throw the towel in yet - it is hard when you first start off but just keep on with reinforcing positive behaviour with the older children and try to find a way to put the baby down so you can take a break - I have a 5 month old who hates being put on the floor or in a bouncy chair but who will let me prop her up in the corner of the sofa with cushions and I prop up the seat cushion with another soft cushion so there is no chance of her rolling off.

    Soon it will be better weather and you can go out and enjoy a walk with the children - don't know where you live but I'm lucky enough to be on the edge of countryside and can walk my dogs whilst being paid to look after the children, can you find out if there is a childminding group in your area or if any childminders go to a toddler group - you do really need real childminding colleagues/friends not just us virtual ones. I'm off to Centre Parcs this weekend with 7 other childminders and we had a lovely Xmas meal there too - about 10 of us with partners.

    The evenings are already getting lighter, maybe you could go out for a walk when your partner comes home from his shift, it will probably settle the crying baby too. Don't know if you charge for evening meals or it's included in your hourly fees but I find that if I charge for it then I don't really care if the children eat it or not - maybe try to involve the older children in choosing the menu, I have all my mindees from babies so they haven't been allowed to grow up fussy - don't blame the children, it's their parents who have allowed them to get like that and you won't change them in just one month.

    Have you still got any support from your Local Authority - is there a Development Officer who can put you in touch with other childminders?

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    It sounds as if it's not childminding that's the problem, but how you're dealing with it while you settle into it.

    Firstly, why are you allowing children to trash your home? Don't be afraid of setting rules and sticking to them. I've seen many new minders letting children get away with all sorts of bad behaviour because they don't want to upset them or for the parents to think badly of them. Take charge, set boundaries and let them know what isn't acceptable behaviour.

    You need a break in the day, so take one. Ok, maybe it's not the sort of break where you can put your feet up and eat lunch in peace, but you do need to find time for yourself during the day. Children don't need to be entertained every minute they are with you. I take time when the babies sleep in the morning. I make sure the older children have something to keep them occupied and I sit down in the kitchen with a cuppa. I can still hear everyone and I never switch off, but I do get 10 minutes of 'me time'. The babies sleep again in the afternoon and the older ones have half an hours quiet time. They might look at books or watch a bit of TV (usually something I've recorded for them) while I have something to eat. Because they know the rules, I can trust them to sit in the lounge while I sit in the kitchen. Again, I can always hear them, but it's good to have a bit of time where they're not constantly chatting to you.

    You say you're virtually full after only a month, which is great, but did you take time to properly think about who you were taking on? Did you think about the impact a crying baby would have on your partner needing sleep after a shift? Maybe you'd be better with slightly older mindees who aren't going to cry a lot and who you could engage in quieter activities?

    In your situation I would write a list of pros and cons of childminding. Then look at anything that's causing you a problem and see if there's a solution to it. It might mean cutting back on resources, or finding different storage solutions so your house stays looking like a home. Or it might mean giving notice to the baby and taking on another older child. If you feel you're wasting your time making home cooked meals the night before, stop doing them. You've got a month of experience behind you now so look at what works for you and what you need to change.

    Keep in mind why you're doing it - for your own future baby and because you know you can offer the children a better experience than many other places. Try to make the childminding fit your life rather than letting it take over

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    Some good advice there from Moggy & Mouse - think we must have all been replying at the same time.

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    thanks for responding everyone I just feel really low and like they constantly want the next thing when I sit on the floor and play with them for the last 2.5hours and all they have done is snatched off each other and screamed grr I don't want to throw the towel in but I am working 52 hour week which I know could be worse but I have just been writing down which children etc on what days and trying to work out if I could drop to 4 days. its not losing the money id be bothered about its telling the parents because one imparticluar (clingy baby) who I really am growing fond of and wish I had her on her own but parents were un happy with there being another under1 (sibling exception) so allowed her to swap her afternoons and wish I hadn't and got a little girl almost 3 here on her 2nd day and she is a pain to put it politely jumping on sofa walking around with food squeeling so loudly when other one chases her (shes perfectly happy and very confident ) and I have told her quite firmly but its blatently obvious she has no boundaries at home and I just don't think I can/want to have her

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    Don't be afraid to only take on children who you think will fit in with you and your family's lifestyle. So perhaps a young baby who naturally will cry a lot isn't the best choice if your husband needs a bit more quiet when he comes home. Perhaps 2yr + old would be better. As for the 3 yr old who is jumping on your sofa and running around with food, be very very firm. No child here ever walks around with food. Snacks are at the little tables and meals are sat at the big table and I would be telling her that if she can't behave and keeps getting down she will have to sit in a booster seat and be strapped in. Personally I HATE taking on new children because you never know what you are going to get and sometimes it takes a while of me being really strict to get them to accept my rules.
    I feel your pain over meals though. I used to make lovely dinners and all the children wanted was fishfingers or chicken nuggets, they would absolutely hate the lovely home cooked food I had prepared for them. Now I don't worry so much or put as much time or cost into their dinners. They are still nutrious but I don't worry as much. Also I have a strict rule which I know some don't agree with on here but if children don't make a good effort with their dinner they don't get pudding. All my parents know this and are on board with it.

    xxx

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    that's really helpful alice thanks, she is a little nightmare if im honest its the second time shes been here and I actually don't want to have her back but not sure what to do or what to say to mum I hate this kind of thing I have been firm raised my voice and none of the other children ignore me or don't do what ive asked after being told once so it obviously ion this occasion is just how she is :/

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    Jessymax...you are probably feeling very stressed as you test the 'childminding waters' in all directions.

    You may feel worried about your 1st inspection when that comes along but if you are anxious ...that will spill on your practice and the children will pick up on your mood....oh!! they do that very well I promise you!

    Try to meet cms face to face...see if you find one you get on with and can talk to....very different from talking 'online'
    Exchange phone numbers so you can chat when you feel wobbly!

    It will pass as your confidence grows...we have all gone through that at some stage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessymax View Post
    that's really helpful alice thanks, she is a little nightmare if im honest its the second time shes been here and I actually don't want to have her back but not sure what to do or what to say to mum I hate this kind of thing I have been firm raised my voice and none of the other children ignore me or don't do what ive asked after being told once so it obviously ion this occasion is just how she is :/
    do you have a settling in period in your contract? I have 4 weeks during which the parents or I can say - its not working, and contract ends with no fees due other than for hours worked. If you really feel this LO is not for you, then have a chat with mum and say so. it is REALLY hard, I'm not denying it, but sometimes you have to put yourself and your family, and the other children already with you first. Maybe tell mum you're giving them warning, that you may not be continuing the contract.

    If they don't like the food provided, cut out your effort and ask parents to provide meals/snacks.

    as time goes by you will get into the routine of what works for you and how, and the longer you have children, the more they know the rules, and then new children just accept the rules, as everyone else is already abiding by them. it is hard when you have to start a whole set of children off at the same time. when I moved, I had to start off an entire new set of children, and it was hard, as the rules and routine I have always worked by had to be re-inforced and really worked at. be firm and consistent and you will get there.

    take care xxx

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    yeah have a 4 week settling in where each party has to give a weeks notice. She is just too much for me or maybe its because im feeling so down. DId any of you feel like this when u first started? thinking it was going to be the best job and idea ever to realise u don't feel that way... isit normal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessymax View Post
    yeah have a 4 week settling in where each party has to give a weeks notice. She is just too much for me or maybe its because im feeling so down. DId any of you feel like this when u first started? thinking it was going to be the best job and idea ever to realise u don't feel that way... isit normal?
    Yes I do think it's normal .. And also at different times once you are established too! I had a wobble after Christmas, I was so tired and felt over stretched but in order to make a decent living we probably all have to take more on than we would like either hours or number of children! I had a little one who was a nightmare and upset everyone else and around sept I give notice, life is much more peaceful and we learnt to manage without that wage. I have since taken on a little one from a parent I used to work with (minded older sibling) on shift and I was able to say I would only charge for hours worked which means I have some quieter days which is nice. I seriously considered a different job or re training but actually my middle dd is going through a rough patch right now and it's been a blessing being able to be here when she comes in from school to chat to her. So I made a decision that I would change my mindset, that I was where I was meant to be right now , and I am trying again to look for the good and be positive. I have to say this job is the best job in the world in the summer as you take trips wherever you want or are able to sit in the garden watching the little ones play happily in the sun and we all
    Find it harder this time of year .. Toddler groups always seem dull of coughs and colds (or conjunctivitis this am 😱!) but it is so important to have an adult chat. I don't like the effort of getting three little ones organised to go out but I always feel better and am glad when I do!

    With regard to the three year old if she has only been with you twice she could just be over excited and over stimulates with the new surroundings activities and toys. Take a deep breath and be firm next session, as Alice said strap her in at mealtime .. If no better have a chat with parents tell them what you expect and ask them to back you up by doing same rules at home.. Surely she has been in childcare before if she is three? If necessary tell yen you will give notice if it doesn't improve or extend your settling in period so you don't have to give four weeks notice if it is bad.

    It takes a while to find your groove, a routine is paramount it gives your day structure and the little ones feel more secure as there is consistency, and then one day you are pottering along and you realise you got this! Hang in there give it a while longer xx

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessymax View Post
    Hi all, im feeling pretty shitty... basically don't have anyone to talk to other than you guys as no one else really gets what its like to be at home all day with other peoples children trashing your home and not giving you 1 second of a break. WHO works 10.5hours without a break, firstly its illegal! So ive worked in childcare for the last 7 years as a room supervisor, au pair, nanny housekeeper and deputy manager of a nursery and became a childminder only one month ago.. I am lucky that I am pretty much full and yes the money is good but I am just NOT enjoying it, I feel guilty because I thought this is what I wanted but my main 2 reasons were that I had worked in some AWFUL settings and wanted to do a better job to the handful of kids in my care which I do, I give them my all. and secondly when we start a family hopefully not to far away future I can look after my baby and still earn a living. I don't know whether I should give it longer as I know a months not long but I just keep thinking of how lovely this house would be without all this child friendly stuff in it I feel bad as my partner works shift so one week 6am-2pm so he is back at 3.15 and been up since 4.30 am he has a long commute and by end of week thurs/ fri he needs to have a nap when he gets in but hwen I have a screaming baby who wants to be attached to my hip (impossible with 2 other mindees) he cant even sleep. I just feel so torn I daren't look on the job sites incase I see something that really jumps out. I m so sorry for ranting im just hoping someone can shed some light im feeling really low and like a failure x also may I add some days I LOVE it then it goes to a flip hate in literally 5 minutes of 2 children screaming or when they wont eat a homemade lovely meal ive slaved away at the evening before in my time. its really up and down
    Hi, I know how you feel. I have been a child minder for 5 months now and only now can I say that I enjoy my job. I have had lots of ups and downs and times where I didn't feel good enough and thought of giving up. The biggest thing I learnt was not to have too many little ones, I now have three eyfs on a Monday and Tuesday and just one on a Wednesday and Thursday, and Friday daytime off. I have two before and after schools as well. I would suggest that you go to playgroups or softplay areas and chat to adults. I have regular visits to another childminders house and she comes to mine so get out if you can, you will feel so much better

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    Sounds like you took on too much too soon. In the six years I did CM, I never wanted to be full as I knew it would make me hate the job! So i did evening work as well and made sure that I had sensible working hours, even if I didn't get paid all year round. Hope you find a balance soon, but don't burn yourself out in the meantime.
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    your all so helpful I wish you guys lived near me, there is no one that I find friendly round here. I wish I could cut down my hours I just feel that I cant due to not letting people down x

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessymax View Post
    your all so helpful I wish you guys lived near me, there is no one that I find friendly round here. I wish I could cut down my hours I just feel that I cant due to not letting people down x
    Remind us again of where you live? Maybe someone on here is nearby?

    Hope it gets better for you xx

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    I live near skipton in the Yorkshire dales? x

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jessymax View Post
    your all so helpful I wish you guys lived near me, there is no one that I find friendly round here. I wish I could cut down my hours I just feel that I cant due to not letting people down x
    Yes this can be a lonely demanding job. My first week back after Christmas was really hard and I've been minding 10 years. This time of year is especially hard as the days are long and the weather isn't always kind to bring a pram out especially if the babies/toddlers hate a rain ciover. Do you know the areas/towns surrounding you? Could you try to see if there are cm's there who regularly meet? Or start going to toddler groups to chat to other adults. Put your postcode on here to see if any cm's are local and ask for some support. Try not to be so hard on yourself. You are doing a wonderful job!

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    I am going to go to local toddler group on wed I have been putting it off because I just didn't warm to childminder in local area x

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    I'm in North York Moors ... Not a million miles away, but not close enough ... I'm guessing you are in Skipton vaguely near Ilkley? Not Skipton on Swale? I might possibly know of a cm in your area. I'll have a look and pm you.
    Have you spoken to fis ? They should be able to give you the contact details of an early learning support person (can't remember their proper name!) I think I've got the list somewhere ... I'll add it to the pm.

    Take care xxx

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