I have been doing home childcare for two years and I am just done. So done. My emotional energy reserves are completely gone.
I have a 2yo DD of my own. I have a 1yo boy, 2yo girl, 3yo girl, and 4yo boy five days a week, 10+ hours a day. I have another 4yo girl one week on, two weeks off as per her parents' custody arrangement.
I am an introvert (albeit a very social one) so being "on" for 10 hours a day is very draining. The noise is overwhelming.
Having the kids here all the time feels very invasive. They are into everything. We have a very childproofed area, but if we leave something out, anything at all - one of DD's personal toys, a book, a piece of mail, garbage, anything - they are on it like ants. It feels like I am under siege, and I have to hide everything in my bedroom or the kitchen (which is blocked off). As a result both places are cluttered and out of control.
They are very hard on the house. Most recently the screens in both our front and back door have been completely ruined by kids sticking their hands through it. I am always asking them to stop jumping on my furniture. All of our kids books are destroyed.
It can be very mind numbing. Yes, we try to fill our day with fun things, but I spend a lot of the time asking the same kids to do/not do the same things all day long. Don't jump on the furniture. Don't hit your friend. Don't stand on the toys.
I am tired of putting my own needs last. I never get to go pee right when I need to go. I am tired of being beat up by 1yos.
A lot of the time I feel like parents are working against me, rather than with me. Like my job isn't hard enough already, they drop off overtired children who haven't been fed and are still in their pajamas. I have been asking and reminding parents ALL SUMMER (and all last summer) to bring their kids in decent running shoes for when we play outside. Kids are still constantly showing up in flip flops that fly off while we cross the road, and crocs that get filled with rocks at the park.
Last Sunday one of my parents (a single mom) went to a concert, so took her kid over to one of my other family's houses for a "play date". Until midnight. The kids are 3 and 4 years old. They both showed up miserable for the whole day. And they are like "My kid is so miserable because he only slept six hours. Have fun! Ha ha ha!!!!" I understand wanting to go to a concert, but couldn't she at least have gotten a babysitter at her house so her kid could go to bed?? And that is just one example among many.
And I am so sick about being stressed over my income. The way our arrangement works is that if I am not open, I don't get paid. Well two weeks ago one of the kids showed up with what turned out to be Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (we didn't know that at the time) and it spread through the whole house. All of the kids came down with it, and then I got the worst case of all (fever of 104, all kinds of blisters, awful sore throat) and I ended up having to close for 6 days.
And then the mom of the 4yo boy just gave me two weeks notice. I think this was the straw that broke the camel's back. She has been trying to sell her house for nearly six months now... at first we expected that she would be gone in September. Then she was freaking out that I would give away her space and that she would still need it, so I didn't do any interviews or anything. Then a couple of months ago she decided she was going to stay in town and register the 4yo for preschool. I don't drive anywhere with the kids (I don't have a van) so she planned to pick him up and take him as she only works a few blocks away. And then at the last minute she decided she was going to switch to another provider that could drive him instead.
Now I understand that it is easier to get someone who can drop him off, and I am ok with that. But the fact that she waited until the last minute and only gave me the bare minimum two weeks notice just really irks me. September is the most active time of year for new placements and I have been fielding calls all summer telling people I am full. If I had known this a month ago I could have filled his spot, but now it will probably take me months. This kid has been with me since the very beginning of my daycare, so I am really disappointed that I am being treated with such disregard. The financial hit is making my husband ill with stress.
Overall, I just feel unappreciated. Parents almost never wish me a good day, or say thank you, or anything. I have an undergraduate degree in business and gave up a career in commercial banking to do this, and I feel like they look at me like "the help." Just not cool.
Thanks if you have read this far. Just getting it all out makes me feel better. I am looking at going back to school, and if I don't get in I don't know what I will do. I don't want to go back to banking either, but child care is just sucking my soul away. I would love to just be able to stay home with DD but I need to bring in income or we will lose our house.