Keeping a positive mind.

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I think the timing flexibility must all depend on your previous working experience which influences your outlook I assume.

As a public servant My starting / finishing work time was never my arrival at work time or leaving work time. I never 'clocked on' or 'clocked off'. It was a vocation where I just completed what I wanted/needed to do, no matter the time. Arriving early and finishing later. The job enveloped me, my time was its.....in order to complete it to the standard I aspired to.

I have this ingrained into my mind now, hence the utter amazement at people who do not arrive at work until the very last minute and are walking out the door exactly on time.....I used to think public servants were the only ones who gave of their time but I have met lots of people in all sorts of businesses, family and friends who do the same , Don't fit in another activity before work if the timing is too slim for fear of being late or not prepared for the unexpected early meeting etc.. Deliberately catch the earlier train,bus to make sure there in plenty of time, rather than cutting it fine...

Reading various social media threads around this subject is opening my mind to this aspect of childminding... Is it a clock on and clock off to the exact minute like an old golden wonder crisps factory job I once had? Is it a there for as long as you need me, job that I had when I did the Christmas post one holiday - my job lasted as long as it took me to deliver my round of christmas cards - some days due to lots of post and a couple of blocks of flats on my route I took 2 hours longer than others, I once had a job ironing and initially I took a long time to iron 10 shirts, perfectly, but eventually I could do it in a quarter of the time! All the jobs I have had though, dealing with the public it was nigh on impossible to stick to exact hours, people are unique and fallable, they are not robots who are programmed to follow instructions, they enter a world where some days a journey on foot takes 10 mins others 5 if they have children who look and wander and chatter. Other journeys in cars are untimeable due to the nature of traffic build up, accidents and weather. Sometimes they are ultra organised and focussed and do everything appropriately, other times their personality, mental state or ability to think things through mean they are not able to always do what others bid.
I have read so many angst threads of 'rants' and 'grrr's' around early and late arrivals - creating a knot in my stomach when I think of the stressful mind of the childminder in these situations, trying to run a factory like clocking in and out system in a job that relies on human beings. So many moans around parents not behaving, arriving early, not providing suitable clothing, daring to sit and talk to the person who their LO spends their day with and has closely bonded with, not reading 'newsletters' dictating rules and regulations, allowing their little ones to bring a toy to help them deal with the fact that they have to be left in another house every day whilst parents work....I just don't think you can set rules in stone when you are working and forming relationships with families, each one is unique. Our flexibility is what will keep us in jobs, our understanding of busy parents not always being perfect is what will bond us with our families, sometimes I have read on here for a life time.
My mantra has always been to lead by example, don't dictate and demand. If I am always polite, kind and friendly then I find people follow and are equally polite, kind and friendly towards me. If I even start to moan about something in my job or life I find it begins to eat me up, negative thoughts are not good for your stress levels and are prone to escalate and influence the way others perceive me....so I go through life being prepared for the things that are going to challenge me.....
Early /late arrivals - I don't expect anyone to be exactly on time, consist 15 minutes early would prompt a conversation as to how I can help overcome this problem. I organise my hobbies around my job, and don't try to fit potentially long hobbies into short time spaces, I always allow plenty of before and after timings before booking in my life appointments.......this way I don't stress over minutes.
Lack of suitable clothing- I have spare here for age range I look after, I provide puddle suits, fleeces and wellies if parents don't ..I have spare nappies in case they forget to replenish, sun hats, winter gloves and hats, sun cream, toothpaste and brushes.it just makes my life easier and I don't stress about activities ..the cost out weighs stress levels caused by not having and potential negative thoughts...
I allow parents time to chat, they often need it and helps them to focus back in on their child at the end of a busy day at work, I like the company too, I get an insight into the child's life which helps me to understand them better...
They can bring anything to me, it teaches them how to share, the others love having different things, they learn about special toys to children and it adds to the selection I provide...I have never had big issues, if anything it offers opportunities to address issues.
Newsletters: Mmm, I always discuss everything, I might follow it up as an online newsletter as a written format parents can refer to. Newsletters are generic, informative, if I need to discuss an issue I do it one to one. I always hated at school when I had to sit through lectures of moans that had nothing to do with me! I signpost by email or text, different things often for different parents.

So, I may be a 'mug' or 'taken advantage of' but I sort of do it under my terms.......it means I remain calm, I don't get eaten up with negativity, I love my job and daily am grateful for having one that allows me to be positive. I am healthy and happy , which reflects positively on my family and children I care for.
I am concerned however for how much negativity in threads there is in the social media around parents and children .....causing the thread writer to be eaten up, worried, angry, annoyed.....too many negative thoughts which must be affecting relationships between CM and families, and their own families too. These seem to outweigh the organisational worries around government guidelines and ofsted.
I read about arguments between childminders and parents over the issues that I have discussed, this cannot be good for LO's or anyone, arguments....negative thoughts....anger...stress...for everyone.
I want to help resolve this, but if you try to point out the other person's view then often another bundle of negativity or justification rolls out....

I worry that this negativity, intollerance over human fallibility and inflexibility will ultimately end in childminders being phased out. If a government person read some social media...then alarm bells would ring over suitability of some childminders to care for children.
I worry that there are an awful lot of childminders who are stressed, so much so that they become intolerant, if they are so annoyed with parents over small, solvable things...what are they like with children?
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